Keep the Aesthetics: Make the Tech Disappear

EntertainmentRoom copyImpressed by those flawless homes where all of the video/audio cables are invisible? Working closely with one of our certified systems integrator and an interior designer allows you to strike the perfect balance between your room’s design aesthetics and technology. Whatever you desire can be achieved.

Generally, the larger the home, there’s a need for more TVs and sound equipment. And along with additional A/V equipment, comes more unattractive components that take away from your home’s décor. So whatever the space, there are a lot of available options for getting all that technology out of the way, allowing you to preserve the aesthetics of your home’s interior design.

Custom Cabinetry
Rather than purchasing a pre-fabricated entertainment center, all of the components as well as the speakers can become part of a room’s intended design. You can even have the TV on a motorized lift to rise out of the cabinetry when you want to watch it and retreat inside the cabinetry when you don’t. Another option is to make the cabinetry flush with the wall so nothing protrudes into the room. If you don’t want the TV hidden in the cabinet, TVs can be mounted above the cabinet for that floating off the wall look or placed on top of cabinets that stick out from the wall.

Custom cabinetry also ensures that both the cabinet’s placement and the materials used won’t interfere with the sonic performance of your equipment. You will want to be sure the cabinetry is coupled to the wall, not left free standing, to prevent rattles and other interferences, not to mention safety in seismically active areas.

TVs in Unexpected Places
Maybe you only want to conceal a small TV. Try hanging it under kitchen cabinetry to avoid appliance clutter on the counters. For that truly space age appearance, get a mirror TV installed in the bathroom. This is actually a TV installed inside a mirror. Turn it off and there is no trace of a screen.

Camouflaged Speakers
The one item most people want to hide is speakers, which is easily achieved with in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. These types of speakers do not contain any outer wood enclosures like floor standing and bookshelf speakers. The interior of the walls and ceiling become the enclosure and like any enclosure it has to be designed in a manner that promotes the best sound quality, so your installer will probably recommend special insulation, baffling and other acoustical treatments to ensure optimum sonic performance. To further camouflage the speakers, you can make the bevel and grills virtually disappear by using paint, fabric or even wallpaper that matches your walls.

Soundbars are a new choice for many people due to their sleek designs and small footprint. They are usually about the same depth as the TV and can match aesthetically. Most manufacturers provide wall mounts for placement underneath (or above) a TV. There are even wall mounts that hold a TV and soundbar. It’s also possible to conceal soundbars inside a cabinet by using a transparent grill.

Hiding the Projector
Even the projector can be hidden away. For that professional polish, place it behind the back wall and use a special glass to project through. Depending on the environment and available space, it’s possible to have a soffit built along the ceiling edge and use that to conceal the projector and even hide some of the cabling. Some of our customers have the projector placed on a lift that drops down from the ceiling and is only seen when it’s in use.

The Ideal: Equipment Room
Equipment rooms are the most preferred way to hide your A/V components as this gets the gear completely out of sight. Often installers will convert a closet or build out a room in the basement. For homes with a dedicated theater, sometimes the equipment room is built within that space. A centralized equipment room will house all the A/V components, including amplification, input switching and source components and service each room with a TV.

Controlling Your Hidden Gear
Once you hide all of your gear, especially when you have a centralized equipment room, basic remotes become useless since they require line of sight with the gear they control. We have universal remote options that are perfect for your integrated system. These universal remotes allow you to control everything from your television to the lights in your room and more.
Existing Home vs. New Home
All of these options require a good deal of retro fitting in existing homes, which means opening up walls to run cabling and install equipment. A certified and experienced installer is a must. Building a new home? Be sure to contact us before drywall is installed. We work directly with designers and builders to create a plan of where the theater and other A/V systems will be located. If budget requires you to do your A/V projects in stages, at least invest in pre-wiring the house so cabling is already inside the walls and pre-concealed. It will save you money and lots of construction headaches down the road. Call us for a consultation today.

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