Most households have a room where the main activity is watching TV. We're well past the era 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 all can communicate with your television. It makes sense to try to be prepared for new devices and methods of communication that will become commonplace in the future.
Whether you'll be gutting your TV room, building it new or doing a minor remodel, the tips below will help you make the most of it.
- Know how the TV will be used. Unlike the kitchen, where there may be only one cook, the TV room usually gets used by everyone in the family. Odds are, not everyone will be up to speed on what devices the other people in the family use, how they use them and how they need to be wired.
Before planning your installation, bring everyone together and discuss which devices will be plugged into the TV, the size of the plugs (important if you have to drill holes in furniture), how they are controlled (by remote, wired joystick, wireless joystick, etc.) and how often they will be used.
You'll also need this information to plan your electrical power and storage needs.
- Consider glare. Think about the placement of the television relative to the windows in the room. You can always pull the blinds, but even a small amount of light leaking around the sides of a window treatment can create a glare on the TV screen.
- Put the screen at eye level. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your TV room, you have two focal points in the space. Many people solve this problem by mounting the television over the fireplace. Often, the viewing angle is too steep when a TV is placed this high, and it is better to install it adjacent to the fireplace so it can be lower.
A good rule of thumb is to mount it around eye level for those seated. Sit on your couch (or one of similar height) at the distance it will be placed from your TV and see if it feels comfortable for viewing.
- Plan for your speakers. If you'd like surround sound, buy the speaker system you want and then run the wires, rather than the other way around. This way you'll know how many speaker wires to run and whether any parts of the system, such as a subwoofer, will need a dedicated outlet.
If you are not planning to open up walls, consider mounting the speakers high on the wall and installing crown molding to hide the wires. They should still be run in wiremold to protect them, but you won't have that unsightly channel running around the room.
Attach the mount to blocking. If you plan on mounting the TV to the wall, you will need to open up at least that part of the wall and install solid wood blocking so you can attach it. Any heavy object mounted to the wall should have wood blocking installed, but especially something as expensive as today's TVs.
- Plan storage for your components. So you've had the conversation about what devices will need to be hooked up to the television — but where are you going to put them? If you don't want them out in the open, the two most common solutions are to place them in a nearby closet or in a piece of furniture.
Furniture is convenient because you can put it as close to the TV as you want, but remember that you'll need to drill holes in the back, bottom or top to accommodate multiple wires. If you want to keep the doors closed and still use remote controls, you'll need to purchase a signal repeater. And these devices generate a lot of heat, so you'll need to provide enough room for airflow.
If you put everything in a closet, ventilation is not as much of an issue, but you'll need to find a way to route the wires there, and you'll also need a signal repeater.
Remax InnovationsCurrent Listings
Licensed to sell real estate in the state of Iowa