Contractor Tips: Tune into Some Top-Notch TV Room

Most households have a room where the most important activity is watching TV. We’re well past the age when all you needed was an outlet and a pair of rabbit ears — now, DVD players, game consoles, cable and satellites, computer networks and stereo systems can all communicate with your television. It makes sense to attempt to be ready for new apparatus and methods of communicating that will become commonplace in the future.

Whether you’ll be gutting your TV room, building it new or doing a remodel, the tips below can help you take advantage of it.

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Know the way the TV is going to be utilized. Unlike the kitchen, where there could be only one cook, the TV room generally gets used by everybody in the family room. Odds are, not everybody is going to be up to speed on what devices the other people in the household use, the way they use them and how they need to be wired.

Before planning the installation, bring everybody together and discuss which devices will be plugged into the TV, the dimensions of the plugs (important if you need to drill holes in furniture), the way they are controlled (by remote, wired joystick, wireless joystick, etc.) and how often they will be used.

You will also need this info to plan your own electrical power and storage requirements.

Consider glare. Consider the placement of the television relative to the windows in the room. You can always pull the drapes, however a small amount of light leaking around the sides of a window treatment may create a glare on the TV screen.

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Place the screen at eye level. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your TV room, you’ve got two focal points at the space. Many people solve this problem by mounting the television over the fireplace. Many times, the viewing angle is too steep when a TV is put this large, and it is much better to put in it adjacent to the fireplace so that it could be lower.

A good rule of thumb is to mount it about eye level for all those seated. Sit on your couch (or one of equal elevation) at the distance it will be put out of your TV and see if it feels comfortable for viewing.

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Plan for your speakers. If you would like surround sound, then buy the speaker system you need and then run the cables, rather than the other way around. This way you’ll know just how many speaker cables to operate and whether any areas of the system, like a subwoofer, will need a dedicated socket.

If you aren’t intending to start up walls, think about mounting the speakers high on the wall and installing crown molding to conceal the wires. They should still be run in wiremold to safeguard them but you won’t possess that unsightly station running around the room.

Attach the bracket to blocking. If you plan on mounting the TV into the wall, you will need to open up at least that part of the wall and put in solid wood blocking so you may attach it. Any heavy thing attached to the wall ought to have wood blocking installed, but especially something as expensive as the current TVs.

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Plan storage to your components. So you’ve had the conversation about what apparatus need to be hooked up to the television — but where are you really going to put them? If you don’t need them from the open, the two most common solutions would be to place them in a nearby cupboard or inside a piece of furniture.

Furniture is convenient as you can set it close to the TV as you need, but remember you will need to drill holes at the back, top or bottom to accommodate multiple wires. If you want to keep the doors shut and still utilize remote controls, you will need to purchase a signal repeater. And these devices generate a lot of heat, which means you’ll need to supply enough room for airflow.

In the event that you set everything in a cupboard, venting isn’t quite as much of an issue, but you will need to find a way to route the cables there, and you will also need a signal repeater.

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Build in flexibility. Technologies alter, and we often update one part of a system while retaining the remainder. Try to build some flexibility into your installation so you may conduct new or additional wires if they are needed in the future.

It’s standard to put in an access panel supporting bathtub plumbing. If you can, do this to your TV installation too. If you need to run cables into a wall in the future and also the wall is open now, set a PVC pipe at the wall so it’s easier to drop those cables into the cellar or your entrance panel.

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TV sizes change, and they don’t generally get smaller. If you are going to construct a shelving unit around the TV, look at leaving additional space around the television for future upgrades.

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Consider screens. If you want to hide the television out of view, you are able to mount screens like these. Pocket door hardware, available at most hardware stores, allows the screens to slip back and forth. Install cut which hangs down far enough across the front face to conceal the track.

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If you’d like doors to start and then slip back, you’ll need a flipper door slip, which isn’t available at most hardware stores. Instead, you ought to purchase these from a woodworking site such as Rockler.

Another option is a lift, which permits you to conceal the television at a cabinet and raise it when you wish to watch.

TVs are not only seen in TV rooms. Even in the event that you don’t need a TV in the kitchen, then think beforehand. If you are planning a renovation, it’s easy to run a cable to this (or a different) room in the event you reconsider — or if you want to sell the home for a TV lover’s paradise.

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