It’s the time of year for gift giving – especially big gifts for your whole family, like a shiny new TV. But while every member of your family is basically guaranteed to go bananas for a new television, in the excitement it can be easy to overlook just exactly how it’s going to fit into your living room. Even a modest upgrade in size or type of TV will probably make your current tv stand obsolete. So if you want your new TV to look good (and I don’t just mean the picture), plan to update your entertainment center as well.
Why Do I Need To Upgrade?
Almost all new TVs these days are flat screen, whether you opt for an LCD, LED, or 4K. But that means that entertainment centers that were perfect for CRT tvs are too big, and often the wrong dimensions. Even if the opening in your old entertainment center can accommodate your new tv, the deep stand will make it look set back and can even obscure your picture. The solution? Opt for a simpler TV stand, which will better showcase your TV and leave your living room feeling more open.
How To Mount It
Another reason to make the swap? Flat screen tvs can be installed in a whole lot more different configurations than a CRT tv could. With big, bulky CRTs, you put them down once and then dusted around them until they died. But flat screen TVs can either be set down the same way or wall mounted. You’ll need to decide which way you want to mount your TV before you pick a new tv stand. If you want to leave the TV’s base on, choose a stand high enough to keep the TV at a comfortable viewing level. If you want to wall mount it, the stand you choose is less important than the wall mount. For the best of both worlds, look for a stand with an integrated mount. This will save you having to secure a mount directly to your wall, which can leave unsightly holes.
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Why Size Matters
Even if your family is upgrading from one flat screen to another, you might still need a new TV stand. In this case, the size of your tv stand should be proportional to the size of your TV. Specifically, the stand should be at least a few inches wider. This is less true with a wall mounted tv, where you can get away with having a very small stand. But if it’s going to remain on its base, a too-small tv stand will make you wall look off balance. A long but lean, minimal stand can balance your space without crowding it, leaving ample room for all your electronics.
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What About Add-Ons?
One thing that too many people overlook is that your new TV stand isn’t just for your new TV; it’s for all the stuff that goes with it, too: your sound system, dvd player, gaming systems, and media. So in addition to considering the dimensions of your TV, you want to make sure the drawers and shelves on your new TV stand can accommodate all your stuff. Gaming consoles don’t like to be in closed spaces, and receivers linked to extensive sound systems come with a veritable plethora of cords that you’ll probably want to hide. So be sure to account for what your tv stand will be housing beyond just your new tv. Serious console gamers will benefit from a TV stand with lots of open shelf space; the look might not be a great fit for someone who wants to use the stand for storage.
A More Modern Entertainment Center
I mentioned before that old, big, boxy entertainment centers are falling out of vogue. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with just a simple TV stand. In fact, many companies offer extensive, elegant modern entertainment centers that are anything but the old full-wall style varieties. I especially like ones that feature that built-in wall mount backing. Paired with a low-to-the-ground, built-in looking media storage, you get the same functionality with a seamless, less bulky finish.
If you just bought a new big screen TV and are in the market for an entertainment center to go with it, you probably want to keep that setup for more than a couple of years. So, in addition to the electronics you already have, consider what additions you might make in the near future. Will you want to upgrade from a sound bar to a surround sound system with a receiver? Will one of your kids be getting a new gaming system? What about a blu-ray player, Apple TV box, or something else? If you think so, make sure to get a tv stand that can accommodate your future needs. If you aren’t sure, a modular shelf-style media center is easy to add on to later.
With all this said, the world probably isn’t going to end if you don’t have a new entertainment center installed the day you get delivery on your new tv. My point, really, is that you should give as much thought to the furniture that will supplement your TV as the TV itself, and remember to keep enough room in your budget that you can make it happen. After all, you still have to look at your living room while your TV is off!
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