Buying a TV stand? Read this first

Here's how to pick out the best TV stand to enhance your viewing experience

Gear? TV size? Infrared remotes, cable management? You’d think the process would be straightforward, but this TV stand buying guide covers many important considerations beyond mere style and color. As you shop for your TV’s new throne, make sure to consider how much space you need for equipment, how the stand manages cables, the size of the stand, and more.

Cut the clutter

Think about all the equipment your stand will need to accommodate, for starters. You may have an A/V receiver, Blu-ray player, center channel speaker, and even more boxes that must be stored under the TV. Remember: Equipment can overheat if there isn’t enough room for it to breathe, so be certain there is ample room for all the devices to fit while also allowing for airflow.

While we’re on the topic of gear, one aspect of TV stands too often forgotten is cable clutter. Once you place all your equipment in the stand, there will be many cables to connect to both the TV and wall sockets. TV stands with closed backs keep cable clutter out of sight, but you’re going to need enough holes for wire management. You can minimize the need for large holes by using thinner cables, but speaker wire tends to take up a lot of space. Another option is open-backed TV stands, which place little restriction on wiring up your system, but they also show all the wires. If you go with this style, plan to use zip-ties or velcro cable ties to keep your cables orderly.

Which electronics will fit?

Consider the type of equipment you have when you are mapping out your new stand. Will your remotes need to see the electronics to work? Most electronics still use infrared eyes to receive remote signals. Rather than having to open cabinet doors every time you watch TV, consider a stand with darkened glass doors that let that remote signal through.

Think about the size of your TV and how big of a TV stand you will need. Make sure the top of the TV stand is deep and wide enough to hold your TV. TVs are getting bigger, and you may upgrade down the road, so keep in mind that you may need more room later.

Also, the wider the TV stand, the more structural support it needs to stay in shape. Heavy TVs and amplifiers will bow wooden stands without rigid construction; a glass stand can be a good alternative.

Some stands offer a mounting bracket so the TV appears to float. These stands minimize the need for surface area and can be much smaller than conventional entertainment centers. If you are converting a wall-mounted TV to one that will sit on furniture, but you lost the stand/legs that came in the box, there are universal TV stands. These stands attach to the VESA mounting holes on the back of a TV.

Keeping all of this in mind, you should have no problem picking the perfect TV stand that will last you for years to come.

This video features the VIVO Universal LCD TV Stand, the Furinno Entertainment Center, the Whalen Furniture XLDEC54-NV Flat Panel Entertainment Stand, and the We Furniture TV Stand Console.

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