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Entertainment Center Shopping Guide

Entertainment technology is a constantly growing and developing industry.  TVs are rapidly changing shape, where once they were a large box they have now become as thin as a picture frame. Twenty years ago, you may have used a set of rabbit ears and a large VCR player. Now DVD players come thin and cable boxes come in all shapes and sizes. If you have updated your technology but not your furniture, you may find yourself with either way too much or not enough space. New styles of TV stands and entertainment centers have kept up pretty well with meeting the needs of today's consumer. From a simple black TV stand with a cabinet, to an elaborate wall unit that houses all of your electronics, you will find an entertainment center to suite your needs.

Before You Shop

The first thing you must do before you set out to look for your TV stand is measure everything. When measuring your TV, don't forget to measure the depth, not just the width and hight. Also make sure to measure all of your electronic devices too including your cable box, PVR, DVD/VCR, gaming consoles, audio equipment, any anything else you plan on storing within your center. Are you wanting to store DVDs within your center? How much space will that require? Many entertainment centers and TV armoires are enclosed, knowing all dimensions of your TV and electronics will be a huge help in making the right decision. It often helps to know the weight of your TV and electronics since many stands have a weight limit to prevent breakage. Consult your manuals.

What You Should Know About Your Flat-Panel TV

Does your flat-screen TV have a stand or do you plan on mounting it? Many types of TV stands and entertainment centers have built in mounting capabilities. Knowing your mounting hole pattern will help with compatibility between your furniture and TV. Many wall mounts can only hold a certain amount of weight.
Many TV stands have become wider and thinner to accommodate wider flat-panel TVs. This trend of new sizes may mean a re-arrangement of furniture in your home. Make sure you know what shape of center will fit into your living room.

Making a Colour and Design Selection

The trend in modern TV stands are neutral colours such as black, dark brown, white and silver or grey. Depending on your living room design, finding a center in a complimentary colour is no hard task. Though many centers are becoming very sleek and modern using glass, metal and unique shapes in their design, it is not hard to find classic styles to fit a traditional living room. The majority of classically designed centers still contain all the necessities to house today's modern electronics.

Things To Consider

Wire Management - Make note of the wire management capabilities of your entertainment center. It is important that there is sufficient hole space to run all your cords through without becoming too entangled. Many centers open at the back to allow for easy rear access to your electronic devices. If the center is enclosed, ensure there is enough ventilation.

Glass Cabinet Fronts - The majority of cabinets with glass fronts do allow for your remote to work through it, even if they're frosted or made of coloured glass.

Upgrading Electronics - If you expect to upgrade your TV or electronics in the next few years, consider extra space or an expandable unit.

Assembly - Let's face it, your TV is expensive and you don't want it to fall and break. Since TV stands can come pre-built or assembly required, it is important to consider your level of handiness before making your purchase. Your stand should not wobble when bumped. Consider the quality of materials and construction when deciding on a unit.

Your entertainment center should fit your needs, suite your style and be safe. Make sure you prepare yourself and your space when purchasing a new TV stand and you will be happy with your purchase for years to come.

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