Where To Hide Your Home Theater Electronics
Aesthetics are an important concern for many homeowners. Sure, they may want a big screen and better sound, but they don’t want to have to move any of their important furniture or knickknacks. Many times this leaves the AV enthusiast of the house to wonder where to hide their home theater electronics. There are some standard answers to this question (which we’ll address) but also some non-standard ones. Let’s begin.
Dedicated Home Theater Furniture
When looking to hide home theater electronics, the go-to solution is to buy furniture that was designed for that exact purpose. These often include open shelves or those with doors that allow light (for your remote) and sound (for your center speaker) to pass through. The benefits are clear. There is usually space for a center speaker, they are low enough that your TV (if you place it on top) will be at an appropriate height, and there is plenty of ventilation.
But this type of furniture doesn’t work for everyone. They can be expensive, they can be large, and they have limited styles. Finding one that works in your space and decor can be challenging. While they are designed to hold your home theater equipment, space is not unlimited. As the AV enthusiast collects gear (because we do), running out of space can be common.
The second most popular solution to hiding your home theater electronics is to use a nearby closet. Yes, you’ll need to install an IR repeater system, but this will get your home theater equipment completely out of sight. This is sure to make the aesthetics committee happy.
There are a few problems with this arrangement. First, you need a sacrificial closet. Those are in short supply in most homes. Second, you now need to run all your wires (including your more-expensive-by-the-foot HDMI cable) to said closet. Let’s not forget that you’ll probably want to keep that closet door closed. This traps in all the heat which means you’ll need some way to vent it to protect your gear. Lastly, you’ll still need some sort of rack or shelving system to hold all your gear.
Cabinet Off to the Side or Behind a Couch
Not all home theater furniture needs to be underneath your TV. Sure, much of it is designed this way, but that’s not all that is out there. There are racks and stands that can be placed in a corner or off to the side. Plus, some of those TV stands are actually the perfect height to hide behind a couch.
The downsides are the same as using dedicated AV furniture at the front of your room. High cost, low style options, and price are all problematic. But the benefits are all there as well with high ventilation, cable routing options, and tons of space.
Lastly, you could buy a “console table” (yes, I had to look that up). Those are meant to go behind a couch and often have open shelves. But make sure your gear will fit. They are often very shallow so larger pieces of gear (like an AV receiver) might not fit. Measure carefully and plan accordingly
We’ve addressed how to convert furniture so that it can be used to hide home theater equipment. If you have a piece of furniture that fits your aesthetic, you can convert it so that you can use it for hiding your home theater electronics. We warn you to follow our guide carefully. You need to worry about ventilation and how your equipment will receive its IR commands. But before all that, you need to be very careful to ensure that your equipment will fit. It is not enough to measure the depth of gear. You need to remember to account for the space needed for any connectors.
Room Through a Wall
Our last suggestion is one you might not have considered. Your TV is probably on a wall. Maybe you’ve even wall mounted it. What’s on the other side of that wall? If it is a room where you can inconspicuously place a home theater equipment rack, you are a simple hole away from a great solution. Now you can hide your home theater electronics not with an expensive rack or timely furniture conversion, but with cinder blocks and plywood. Even if you need to buy an AV equipment rack or stand, you can get one that is less expensive because you won’t be looking at it in your main room.
Have you hidden your home theater electronics? What did you do? Let us know in the comments!