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This is a straightforward entertainment center with storage; approximately 24 inches high, 20 inches deep, and 72 inches wide. The two electronic compartments have openings for air to enter under the front door, and space for hot air to vent at the top back, in addition to room for wires to pass from one side to the other, and out the bottom back (for speakers). The four drawers provide storage for media. Kick space rather than legs keep pet toys out from underneath.
$1,750 as shown, in Walnut
That isn't a picture hung on the wall... it is a flat screen TV! Of course, the electronics to support the TV - tuner, DVR, Cable or Satellite box, etc. - don't hang on the wall, which is where we come in.
This is the cherry console for the electronics... Cherry is a fairly light tan when new, but gradually darkens - in a couple years it will be a rich warm medium brown. Like a suntan, the change becomes less apparent over time. The top right and left are flat panel "push-push" doors to access storage. The bottom left and right are drawers. Ventilation is provided with an opening in the front bottom, behind the doors, and provision for hot air to exit at the top back.
The client suggested "different" legs than I often use. I was very pleased the way it came out. The thicker wood required did drive the cost up a bit, as did the special "hidden" knife hinges on the side doors, the panels in the doors, and other features, but I think the results were worth it... and the project was delivered at 15% below the agreed-upon price
$3,100 as shown
This is a fairly typical "stand" for a modern television. The height is typically about 30 inches, but can be as low as 24 inches (as in this unit). Some people find one section adequate for electronics (which would likely be in the center). The overall width of this unit was 54 inches - with two electronic sections, and a smaller closed but ventilated storage area in the center that may be used for a computer.
The electronics can be behind glass doors (for access by remote controls through the doors). Each section should be about 18 inches inside width. Ventilation is a critical issue for the electronics in the cabinet. One solution is to leave an opening between the bottom of the door and the bottom shelf as shown here... a couple inches where air can enter from the kick-space or under the cabinet. The shelves are back a little bit, so "cool" air can flow up inside the door.
Depth for electronics, ventilation, and wiring should be 4-6 inches deeper that the deepest electronic unit - often 20-25 inches (this one is 22 inches). The shelves are shorter front-to-back so wires and air can flow behind the units, and dividers between electronic sections do not reach the back of the cabinet so wiring can run between sections. If the cabinet will be away from the wall, then a hot air vent can be placed at the top/back of the cabinet, with wire holes at the bottom back. If the cabinet will be against the wall or in an alcove, a vent hole can be put in the top, behind the TV.
In addition to the TV and electronics console, a matching media storage cabinet was built... shelves behind doors on the left and right, and a pull-out section in the center, with shelves on each side of a center divider, to hold CD/DVD/VHS media.
$1,350 for the TV Stand with 3 "plain" doors and interesting legs,
$1,250 with kick space rather than legs,
Matching storage cabinet with plain doors $1,400
See veneer options if you like the "colored" bubinga veneer door.
Not all media centers have to be wide and low. In this case, the TV was on the fireplace mantle. No way to hide wires inside the wall. So a Media center was built to go beside the fireplace, as tall as the mantle, so the wires could sneak across the back of the mantle, from the media center to the TV and sound bar.
The veneer on the flat panel of the door is pecky pecan - a light colored wood with lots of tiny spots that make the door blend with the stone wall. A regular wood "raised" panel could have been used, or other veneers on a flat panel.
||Open adjustable shelving was left for electronics (present and future), with storage below for media and whatever. The bears that reside in the living room found a new home until more electronics arrive. The bottom storage could be built with ventilation if more electronics are required. If desired, more open electronics space could be traded for less closed storage.|
$400 with plain door
See veneer options if you like the veneer door.
Be sure to also see the custom conversion entertainment center for a bedroom, with the TV high enough that both partners can see the screen lying down.
Width: The television or the width of an alcove often controls the width of the entertainment center. If doors to enclose the unit are desired, additional room needs to be allowed at each side for the doors to slide out of the way. Since the "flipper" doors cover the inside of the cabinet, another inner cabinet must be built, inside the doors, to support any shelves. However, when the doors are open, the electronics are probably uncovered as well, allowing ventilation from the front.
Most electronics units are under 18 inches wide, most often about 15 1/2 to 17 inches. This probably relates to the traditional 19 inch "relay rack" (19 inches between mounting screws, able to support a shelf about 18 inches wide) used in commercial installations. If a glass door will be used in front of the units, allow a little extra room so the unit can be moved to the side if the door stiles block the remote control receiver. Ventilation is critical - allow for cool air input as well as hot air out - sometimes with a very large allowance for ventilation at the back if the units will be run with the door closed.
Height: The height of a drawer needs to be about 6 inches on the inside to allow various media (tapes, CDs, DVDs) to be stored. Therefore two drawers, plus kick space, puts the bottom of the TV at least 21 inches above the floor, as in the walnut entertainment center above. Common height of the shelf for the TV ranges from 24 to 30 inches, to clear most coffee tables and feet on recliners. When the television is a little higher, the electronics can be underneath.
In a wide unit, the electronics can be in a separate "bookcase-like" unit that slides in beside the TV, and slides out to make the connections. If the electronics are above or below the TV, the back of the electronics have to be accessible after the unit is in place. In the system above, the bookcase at the right is moved away to provide access. Special hardware is available to allow a stack of electronics to be pulled out and rotated for ease in making connections, but the hardware alone is over $500.
Electronics: A power strip will almost certainly need to be mounted outside the unit, near the electronics section, because of the large number of units to be plugged in.
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