The ways that people access and consume television, movies, and music have certainly changed in recent years, but in-home entertainment is more important than ever. While the Internet makes it possible to stream media from anywhere, the entertainment center remains the focal point of family movie nights and daily TV viewing.
If you’re looking to purchase a new entertainment center for your space, you may have some trouble knowing where to start due to recent advances in televisions and other media devices. Fortunately, you can find plenty of great options if you follow a few simple tips.
Start with Size
Whether it’s a couch, bed, chair, or entertainment center, it’s always best to start the furniture-buying process by getting familiar with the space you have available. When it comes to entertainment centers, you want to carefully consider both the size of your room and the size of your TV.
Of course, an entertainment center that’s too large will crowd your living space, but it will also make a smaller TV look tiny. A piece that is too small, on the other hand, will throw off the balance of the space and may not accommodate your television or the other media devices you use daily.
To get an entertainment center that’s the perfect size for your needs, you have to take a few measurements. Be sure to measure the width of your TV as well as the height and depth. In addition, make sure to measure your wall space and don’t forget to consider your line of sight so that you can find a unit with the right height for optimal TV viewing.
Consider Your Needs
Once you’ve taken and written down all the measurements, it’s time to take a minute to consider your entertainment needs. Are you only going to use your entertainment center for your TV, or do you also need room for media players, speakers, cable boxes, video game consoles, and/or soundbars?
If you only have a TV, you may want to opt for a smaller TV stand or simply some shelving that can sit below a wall-mounted unit. If you own several media devices, on the hand, it’s important to find an entertainment center that can accommodate them while providing extra space for remote controls, DVDs, and any other items you may need to store.
When it comes to storage, you’ll want to consider the size and layout of shelves and cabinets, and also how well the entertainment center accommodates cords. It’s important to look for a console that has open shelves or portals in the back panels so that you can run cords from your devices to your wall outlet.
For many people, one portal or open area will suffice, but you may need more. If you need to manage cords from several devices, look for an entertainment center with multiple portals or opt for a piece you can customize by drilling your own cord holes.
Learn about the Available Types
Like other pieces of storage furniture, you’ll find several different types of entertainment centers online and in your local furniture store. One of the simplest is the above-mentioned TV stand, which is basically a small cabinet with a flat top for your TV and additional storage space underneath for DVDs, games, and media devices.
When many people think of an entertainment center, however, the object that comes to mind is a much larger wall unit with shelves, cabinets, drawers, and a large open space for your TV. These pieces can reach upwards of 6 feet tall, and most are capable of accommodating all of your entertainment devices and accompanying gadgets. Wall units work great for many homes, but they usually aren’t right for smaller spaces.
For something in between a wall unit and a TV stand, you can opt for a media cabinet that blends in with your other home décor. You can even find enclosed media cabinets that give you the option of concealing your TV, speakers, and media players behind doors when they are not in use.
Look for Smart Features
To get the most out of whatever type of entertainment center you choose, it’s important to look for built-in features that will cut down on clutter while protecting all of your devices. In addition to portals for cords, units with enclosed back panels should include venting grills or other openings to allow for proper airflow. These features are particularly important for entertainment centers that will hold gaming equipment and/or sound systems, which can generate a lot of heat.
Other features to look for include tempered glass doors and removable back panels for easy access to all of your equipment. It may also be beneficial to find an entertainment center with wheels. Along with making it easy to get to the rear of your unit, wheels make it simple to move your entertainment center when you need to clean or want to rearrange your living room.