Flat Screen TV Cabinets
- Television Furniture Guide
Flat screen TV cabinets are different from other types of TV furniture as they offer an enclosed unit to hide your AV components from view.
They are one alternative in a range of options that you will come across when you are looking for a way of installing your home cinema equipment.
We have discussed the other options as part of our guide to TV stands for flat screens.
In this part, we look at TV cabinets in more detail.
A flat screen TV cabinet is usually the most expensive type of television furniture.
They feature an enclosed design which keeps audio and video equipment away from harmful dust particles - in addition to inquisitive fingers or paws.
Bell'O European Design TV Cabinet
Many of the strengths and weaknesses of TV cabinets are also shared with wood TV stands.
TV cabinets are available in both flat packed and fully assembled forms; and the fully assembled cabinets do tend to be substantially more expensive.
A good example of an enclosed TV cabinet is the Bell'O WAVS333 European Design TV Cabinet in the picture here.
It is critical that the interior dimensions of a TV cabinet are sufficient to incorporate all of your home cinema equipment and any additional future purchases. Most TV cabinets have height-adjustable shelves to increase storage flexibility, although some cabinets offer very limited shelf depth. Always check this will be sufficient for larger and deeper audio and video components.
If the TV cabinet features wooden doors or drawers, it will be necessary to open these in order to use
IR remote controls - although the purchase of an infrared remote control repeater kit will solve this problem.
However, some television cabinets feature clear or darkened glass fronts which keep AV equipment enclosed yet allow both IR and
RF remote controls to function. An example of this is the Techcraft SWP60 Veneto TV cabinet pictured below.
As with a wooden television stand, ventilation of equipment is critical. Some intelligent TV cabinets feature vented bases which draw cool air through the bottom of the cabinet and push the warmer air out of the rear panels.
60" TV Cabinet in Walnut
The isolation of a TV cabinet is also very important. If the cabinet itself or the interior shelves are not isolated it could potentially cause an annoying rattle when you are using your home cinema equipment.
Some TV cabinets offer a choice of either a glass or speaker cloth insert in the top compartment - or just have an open space for a centre channel speaker. It is of paramount importance to ensure these types of TV cabinet are fully isolated.
Some higher quality TV cabinets are supplied with surge protected power strips, and these will protect your sensitive AV components from power spikes which can easily ruin electrical equipment. If a power strip is included with the cabinet, this usually means that there will be a location on the TV cabinet where the power strip can be attached.
For TV cabinets where a surge protected power strip is not included, it can always be bought separately and placed behind or inside the TV cabinet.
Advantages and Disadvantages of TV Cabinets
- Enclosed design protects AV equipment
- TV cabinets make home cinema systems look neater
- Wide choice of sizes and finishes
- Some TV cabinets are supplied fully assembled
- More expensive than alternatives
- Flat packed TV cabinets can be time consuming to assemble
- Cabinets lacking ventilation may lead to overheating AV components
Flat Screen TV Cabinets Summary
If you want to hide your AV equipment in your room from open view, then a flat screen TV cabinet might be the right solution for you.
TV cabinets are often a more expensive option, but are also the best way to conceal your hardware in your living space. Not everybody wants to have all their AV devices on display for all to see.
However, with this type of solution, you must be aware of ventilation issues and make sure the room inside is sufficient for your hardware.
Check out our other guides to TV stands if you are still unsure of your choice.
This guide was written by Paul Murphy, of Big AV - the UK's leading internet retailer for TV Stands, TV cabinets and TV accessories.
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