Artwork-Hidden TVs Can Change with the Times
One custom electronics pro tells why artwork-framed TV concealment is ideal for media rooms.
February 08, 2013 by Arlen Schweiger

I recently visited custom electronics firm Audio Video Experience in Hampton Falls, N.H. It’s an amazing showroom (photo tour to come) that was transformed from a 19th-century colonial home, featuring all the New England charm you’d expect.

Like a lot of CE pros, AVE gets plenty of demand for solutions that take a home’s aesthetics into consideration. Perhaps a lot of that is due to the New England locale, where the company deals with many older homes that require some extra TLC to retain their look and feel during a home tech makeover (much like what AVE did to its own showroom).

Toward that end, AVE often sells systems for concealing TVs, and even projection screens, behind motorized artwork. It’s a custom solution that will certainly distinguish your typical wall-mounted TV from the ordinary to the truly special. AVE currently offers Vutec’s ArtScreen system and Stealth Acoustics’ Cover Art, and AVE’s Andy Himmer gave us a number of reasons why such systems are frequently requested.

1. Sights to Behold. Let’s face it, flat-panel TVs when turned off aren’t the prettiest things to look at. The black screen, the often dull-looking bezel, the unwanted screen reflections. TVs are not works of art. But they can sure look like them with a motorized art system. For starters, AVE shows a posterboard of the frame choices provided by the Stealth system, and Himmer notes that the Vutec options even go far beyond those (he notes the Stealth as more entry level, starting from around $1,500, and the Vutec more versatile and custom, starting around $2,500). As a taste of what you can get for frames out of the Stealth line, the poster shows options in burl, brown, black and burgundy.

2. Abundant Image Choices. Depending on what company your custom electronics pro works with, your choices for the motorized artwork could be unlimited (other manufacturers in this category include Media Decor and VisionArt, to name a couple). Along with all of the frame choices, you could decide among literally thousands of art reproductions, original artwork, photography and even images from your own photo collections.

3. Flexible and Future Proof. One reason Himmer loves seeing homeowners’ eyes light up when he starts talking about motorized artwork/photo TV concealment is that there’s room to grow, literally. With a system like Vutec’s especially, whose rolling canvas can be relatively easily detached from its motor and swapped out, you can replace artwork for each season of the year if you wanted or change family portraits as the kids get older, Himmer notes. “With Vutec you can replace the roller, and don’t need to replace the entire thing when you want to change,” he says. “Let’s say you take a family picture ... and in five years the kids grow, you can use the new picture.” So like any other piece of art hanging in your house, if you want to look at something else after a while, you can ... and still have the TV there in place.

4. Hide More than a TV. Working with a custom pro, who works with manufacturers that specialize in custom products, affords a variety of implementations with such concealment products. For example, Himmer notes that Vutec can customize the size of its ArtScreen system to cover displays from TVs all the way up to 100-plus-inch projection screens. AVE also works speaker manufacturers that produce soundbars, and can customize the artwork frame to fit in front of a recessed niche for mounting both the flat-panel display and soundbar speaker below it. The motorized artwork will descend over both, and a system like Vutec’s allows for the CE pro to create as much room as he needs for installing the recessed TV and soundbar into the wall. The Stealth solution, on the other hand, might work better for simply covering in front of a non-recessed wall-mounted TV.

Here’s how the two solutions looked in AVE’s showroom (Vutec on top, Stealth below):

Related: 8 Ways to Hide Your TV

Here’s a video shot at CES of a VutecTheater Art Multi-Vu screen in action:

If you attend this event, please let us know what you thought! 

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for and Electronic House magazine.

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