March 02, 2010
| by Lisa Montgomery
Tucking entertainment gear into a cabinet can feel like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle.
A cabinet with the right features, however, can simplify the task—and help your equipment perform at its peak.
Dave Jacobs, customer relations manager at BDI, a furniture manufacturer in Chantilly, Va., suggests buying a cabinet with the following features:
Ventilation. This ensures that the components won’t overheat. Ventilation can be accomplished passively, so the cabinet allows cool air to enter and warm air to exit, as well as actively via a small fan.
Cable Management. The design of the cabinet should provide avenues for cabling between components. Without it, wiring often ends up in a tangled mess.
Hidden Wheels. Cabinets are heavy, especially when they’re loaded with equipment. Wheels can help you get the cabinet into position without pulling a muscle.
Adjustable Shelving. Audio/video components come in all shapes and sizes. Adjustable shelving ensures that every piece, including perhaps a center-channel speaker, fits into the cabinet nicely.
IR-Friendly Doors. Make sure the doors on your cabinet will permit signals from an infrared remote to pass to the equipment inside.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.