This Bow Front Credenza by Century Furniture shows that flat screen HDTVs are changing the way we view home entertainment.
Be Stylish—but Be Safe
A TV that is too large or too heavy can present a safety hazard, according to Sauder Woodworking Company. Because today’s TVs tend to be heavier in front, the furniture you choose should be designed to protect against tipping.
A Checklist for Choosing Home Entertainment Furniture
When choosing your perfect piece of entertainment furniture, be sure to look for:
- Proper ventilation for electronic components
- The ability to use your remote control without opening doors
- Cord management pathways
- Accommodation of speakers
- Space for other electronic components such as DVD players, speakers and game consoles
Finding the right combination of style and storage for your HDTV.
- by Jason Schneider
If your ideal evening at home involves lounging on your sofa and watching a movie on your high-definition television (HDTV), you’re not alone. As high-end media technology becomes increasingly affordable, more people are staying in and enjoying the simple luxury of being a couch potato.
HDTVs are growing in both popularity and accessibility. In fact, the number of homes with an HDTV rose from 41 percent to 53 percent in just the last year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). “HDTVs have never been cheaper—you don’t have to be wealthy to enjoy the benefits of high-definition,” says Steve Kidera, communications coordinator for CEA. “You can get a large-screen, 1080-pixel set for well under $1,000—even under $500.”
Regardless of your home entertainment budget, finding the right furniture to house your HDTV is an important part of the selection process. Taking a little time to consider the available options will help ensure you and your family enjoy many years of home entertainment happiness.
A Variety of Options
Furniture manufacturers are meeting the demand for media storage and display units by creating stylish, quality entertainment furniture that is also functional—from simple TV consoles to more elaborate entertainment wall units.
“Furniture can help keep things organized and looking beautiful," says Rob Sligh, chairman of Sligh Furniture Company, which specializes in home entertainment furniture. Furniture can also provide options, he says. "[Some] people want a way to avoid putting a hole in the wall to hang their HDTV … Others may want to use their remote control to activate components without opening cabinet doors. Some may want to show their television in the living setting, and others want it hidden away when not in use.”
Sligh recommends the following options for home entertainment furniture:
- TV Consoles. With features such as an articulating arm to hold the TV, room for a speaker bar, the ability to use remote controls with the console doors closed, and great ventilation, these functional pieces are the fastest growing segment of the home entertainment furniture market.
- Pop-up TV Cabinets. If you enjoy entertaining, these offer a real “wow” factor—lights off, TV up, ready for action!
- Wall Systems. A great alternative to built-in units, these offer tons of storage space and beautiful display.
Measure Twice …
Whether you prefer your HDTV and accessories to be on display or hidden away, an important step before shopping is taking the necessary measurements. Sligh offers these tips:
- Take into account the dimensions and heat emissions of the television and the electronic components.
- Note the actual length, width and depth of the TV and the electronic components you want your new furniture to accommodate.
- If you’re purchasing your furniture first, note the dimensions of the areas that accommodate the TV and components.
“Either way,” he says, “knowing the dimensions will help you ensure a good fit and a beautiful result.”