Products of the Year Awards 2008
Mounts & Décor: The Best Products of 2008
Show off your A/V gear in chic furniture or hide it altogether.
Electronic House Products of the Year
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September 08, 2008 by EH Staff

Do you have a separate A/V equipment closet? If not, where do you place everything? How do you make it blend into your living/media rooms? How does your wife let you get away with having a big-screen TV and all of the accompanying electronics? And don’t tell us that room decor doesn’t matter.

We hear time after time from custom installers and others that people want all of the great technology that’s out there but don’t want to see any of it. Even the big TV—which you can cleverly hide as well if you want.

Furniture choices and TV mounts don’t get too much attention in your home until it becomes clear that they are doing a yeoman’s work of ensuring that you don’t have your room overwhelmed by audio and video gear.

When it comes to furniture, we were knocked out by the sleek and chic of several pieces we saw this year. The WAVS-341 Espresso Finish Bent Wood Cabinet from Bell’O International and the OmniMount Prism 50 will enhance you room so A/V becomes a part of the cool design aspects.

For rooms that are tight on space or have a different orientation to their setup, we like the versatility and practicality that the Flat TV Corner Mounting System from AVF Inc. and the Vertical Foundations VF5023 On-Wall Component Shelf from Sanus Systems.

Televisions and projection screens are a little trickier—the guys might cringe when they’re told that those flat-panels need to go away when they’re not in use. They’re not pieces of art, after all. Or are they? The Vutec Theater Art Systems with Vertical and Horizontal Masking allows you to conceal your projection screen with an ArtScreen, plus mask it to present movies in 16:9 or 2.35:1 aspect ratios. The Media Decor Dual Eclipse Art Lift let you mount a TV and have it act as traditional artwork when not in use (customizable for you to use family portraits, too). And Stewart Filmscreen’s StarLift system takes its StarGlas—a unique screen product already—and have the ability to raise and lower it out of site.

And if you do happen to have an equipment closet or room, you’ll want to make sure it’s properly ventilated, which is by no means easy when you have racks full of heat-generating gear. Middle Atlantic, a top equipment rack provider, solved this with its Duct Cool Long Pull Vent System that you and your custom installer will appreciate.

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See also:
- Products of the Year 2008
- Products of the Year 2007
- Products of the Year 2006

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