If Only Flat-Screen TVs Really Were Flat
When old tube TVs were on the way out and thin plasma and LCD screen televisions were taking over homes, it was such a dynamic change from the TVs of yore that living room design choices seemed to change overnight, and the promise of televisions being no more obtrusive than a framed picture seemed to be a goal within reach. Twenty years on, why does it feel like we came close to perfection but fell short?
To imagine the perfect television installation, we must come back to that item that has graced the walls of homes for centuries, framed art. After all, classical paintings were the televisions of their day. With frames chosen to match home décor and no wires to plug into them, framed art really does set the standard for rectangles hanging on the wall.
Why then does the average TV install not live up to this standard?
Television thickness is one issue and not just the depth of the TV itself, but also the wall mount and any cables that have to plug into the back. In rooms where the TV cannot be seen from the side, this thickness is rarely an issue. After all, 5 inches or so hardly compares with the floor-sprawling console televisions of the past. But in rooms where the TV can be seen from the side, perhaps where a nearby corner leads into a hallway or on a fireplace that juts out into the room, seeing the side of the TV and the black metal mount behind it takes some of the delight out of the future that was promised.
Pockets, Backboxes, & Frames
Elevating a wall mounted TV from a pretty-good installation to something truly amazing can utilize any number of solutions that have been developed over the years. Everything from motorized picture movers to futuristic mirror glass can be used to hide a TV when not in use, but the basic solutions are far less costly and an easy consideration for all a home’s televisions, not just the ones in main rooms.
Pockets – when building a home, it is usually not difficult for a builder to provide a pocket for a TV to be installed in. Sinking the TV into a 4-to-5-inch pocket ensures, that from the side, the mount and any wiring cannot be seen. When sized and mounted properly, the front of the TV can be flush with the surface of the wall outside the pocket, getting us closer to that ideal look.
Backboxes – Wall mounts add an inch or three to the depth of a TV. This a depth that could be negated with the use of an in-wall back-box, a metal enclosure that can hold the wall mount and devices like surge protectors and streaming boxes, keeping a TV closer to the wall and giving the installer the space to keep wires tidy and out of view.
Frames – Just like classic paintings, we can treat televisions with picture frames of varying styles, colors, and finishes. Like icing on a cake, a TV frame can be the finishing touch of a TV installation, integrating the TV with its surroundings.
The solutions exist to take the average wall-mounted TV and elevate it to what we all used to think the future of televisions would be. We just have to have the desire and take the proper steps to make it happen.