Entertainment Centers

Audio visual and media center display tips

Home entertainment centers provide storage for your television, electronics, books and knickknacks, and are also often the focal point of your living or family room. Therefore, when purchasing an entertainment center, you want a unit that is pleasing to the eye and has appropriate compartments for everything that you intend to store.

Practical Considerations

When choosing an entertainment center for a television you already own, be certain to have the dimensions of your television on hand. Also consider the wall and floor space available for the unit. Many newer televisions are slimmer and less bulky than older models, allowing for sleeker entertainment centers with less depth. On the other hand, big screen TVs tend to require special big screen TV entertainment centers to accommodate their supersized dimensions.

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Many TV entertainment centers include spaces for entertainment options beyond your television, such as a DVD player, additional speakers or even a stereo. Purchasing such multimedia entertainment centers requires a bit more consideration, because you have to not only ensure that there's enough space for each element but also make certain that the configuration allows for easy access and proper installation of each item. You also want to make sure that wires are protected and as out-of-sight as possible.

Space-Saving Entertainment Center Options

Corner entertainment centers maximize often unused wall space and provide storage and space for your television and entertainment needs. TV armoires are often taller and narrower than regular wall units and have cabinets that store your television and electronics out of sight.

TV stands are the most compact and least expensive type of entertainment center. They usually sit low to the ground and have an upper shelf or top that the television sits on. Underneath, there may be room for additional electronics or storage.

Purchasing Entertainment Centers

Once you know the type, size and configuration of entertainment center you need, you are ready to purchase. Shop around in numerous stores and/or online to find the best deal. Consider additional features like matching book shelves or additional space for speakers and knickknacks, but don't pay more money for features you won't use.

Check the materials and construction to be sure your entertainment center will handle the weight of your electronics and other items, and note any special requirements for furniture cleaning or care. Be sure that any drawers or cabinets open smoothly and quietly. Don't forget to consider access to electrical sockets; some sort of opening at the back of the unit through which wires can be connected will make installation easier.

Entertainment centers can be custom-built, but given the expense and the wide variety of ready-made products available, most people tend to purchase a factory-built unit. Both Sauder and Kenwood entertainment centers are popular with consumers. These brands tend to offer quality products and usually stand behind them with a warranty.

When purchasing an entertainment center for your home, be sure to consider all of your needs and even anticipate what you'll need in the near future so that you can purchase a unit that will fit your room and lifestyle for years.