For about 90% of the custom installations we’ve seen, hiding the gear is the name of the game. When you think about it, one of the reasons flat TVs are so popular is because they’re “hiding” that deep TV tube we all used to put up with. Similarly, most people would like the cable box, DVD player, A/V receiver, and whatever else, hidden. Oh sure, there’s the exception. There are the folks who want to enjoy the pretty lights on their A/V receiver, or those who want to savor the fine finish on their speakers. But, in the custom installation marketplace, these people are rare. So, for those of you in the vast majority, following are some solutions for making all that gear disappear from view.
Hiding Components (e.g. DVD players, CD players, radio tuners, amplifiers, A/V receivers, cable boxes, etc.)
Some users will avoid this because they’re worried that their remotes will no longer work. But, remote operation is maintained with remote repeater systems, starting at around $300.
Many tuners will display station numbers and song information, and so should be placed where they can be seen. Closets or basements may also be used to hide gear. Just remember, if you have to load it (e.g. DVD player) or read it (e.g. Sirius tuner) then provide a convenient location. This might mean putting a DVD player close to the TV but hiding a receiver in a nearby closet.
Between the listener and the loudspeakers there should be nothing. Within the confines of that one rule, you have a huge number of placement options. For those who want absolutely no visibility, speakers that are designed to live behind paint or wallpaper are the solution. (www.stealthacoustics.com) More often, homeowners are happy enough with flush mounted speakers in their walls or ceilings. These come with white grills that may be painted or stained.
Some grills are even frameless, for an extremely clean look. (www.sonance.com)Between the listener and the loudspeakers there should be nothing. Within the confines of that one rule, you have a huge number of placement options. For those who want absolutely no visibility, speakers that are designed to live behind paint or wallpaper are the solution. (www.stealthacoustics.com) More often, homeowners are happy enough with flush mounted speakers in their walls or ceilings. These come with white grills that may be painted or stained. System designers will often use ceiling speakers that are the same size as the ceiling can lights, for a symmetrical, orderly look to the ceiling.
Other speakers look like planters.
And still other speakers are recessed into furniture, shelves, or walls, and covered with acoustically transparent fabric. On-wall speakers with color matched fabric.
Built-in speakers beneath art. The art is made of braids and is hiding a projection screen.
Subwoofers are made that go in floors, walls, and ceilings. However, the best performing subwoofers sit out on the floor. This can make some people unhappy. Once again, a good carpenter can come to the rescue.
TVs, Projectors, Screens
Cabinets with doors or with built-in lifts have long been popular for concealing TVs.
And, if you’ve got the room above your ceiling, you can put your TV or your projector on a lift.
TV’s may also be hidden on pop-up lifts that live under your bed.
Mirrors or paintings may also be used to hide TVs. This bathroom mirror (above) conceals the TV when the TV is off.
The TV (right) gets concealed by a motorized painting. Or, paintings may be put on hinges and swung out of the way for viewing.
Projector screens might be hidden behind walls or above the ceiling. Often, screen casings will be mounted to the wall or ceiling but be concealed behind some decorative fabric suspended from the ceiling.
As long as they remain hand-operated, remote controls must be out in the open because they need to be touched. There is no real hiding this part of your system. But, the programmable remote controls enable one to hide many other things. For instance,instead of several remotes sitting on the coffee table, there can be one programmable remote. You can hide the other remotes in a drawer.
Instead of a bank of light switches and a security system keypad and an audio system keypad, there can be one in-wall touch screen controller that acts as all of those things.
One touchscreen controller can replace a host of buttons and knobs. Then, those devices that would have been making your walls ugly may get hidden in a closet wall.
Your best value is when you let us help you design your whole entertainment system and then have us deliver and install it. Most systems, to get them right, require hours of preparation. A site survey is usually just a small part of this planning time. When you hire us to handle everything start to finish, you not only get it done right, you get all the hours of prep and planning at no charge.
If you think checking out any of the above–or something else–might be useful then give a call to (973) 428- 9800 and let’s see if we can help. Please remember, all demonstrations at our Parsippany, NJ location are by appointment only.
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