Remember those old-style CRT television sets? Of course you do. After all, it hasn’t been that long since they were our only serious option for TVs – no matter how much we’d love to forget them. So, back in the day, you had a customized entertainment unit built in made to fit your behemoth of a TV.
My client was no exception, and when they called me in, here is what was already in place:
Their problem was that they wanted to install a new flat-screen TV, but couldn’t do so with their existing cabinet. A flat-screen TV the same width of the old TV would only be about 18 inches high. But one with the same picture height as the old one would be about 44 inches wide. There was just no way they could get anything that big into their 32 to 36 inch wide cabinet unless they mounted it on the doors!
What to do. What to do. Well, they could have ripped out the entire unit and started from scratch, but that would have been a hefty investment.
Most built-in units are modular in construction (like kitchen cabinets), allowing them to be fabricated in a shop and then installed on site. So we decided to replace just the units that needed the size adjustment. In this case, my client wanted to center the TV over the cabinet that would hold the DVD player, cable box, and other components. We opted to replace the older TV cabinet and the bookcase units on either side, to balance the look of the new unit. She also decided that it really didn’t make sense to have the TV concealed behind doors, when those doors would just end up being open 95% of the time – especially since the TV would be mounted flush with the cabinet’s face frame, with a minimal opening around it for air flow.
Because the original crown molding profile was no longer available, I carefully removed it, with a plan to later splice together and reuse the different sections. I then carefully removed the three cabinet cases that would be replaced, leaving the right hand case untouched.
Once I had slid the new cases into place, I reinstalled the “new long enough to go across the whole front” crown molding, and touched up the paint. Now it looked as though it had always been that way!
As a final note, my clients didn’t want to have to look at a tangle of TV components and wires, so we went with a surface mounted infra-red sensor (that’s the dime-sized black dot you see under the TV). It sends the remote control’s signal back to an All-In-One Infra-Red controller. This technology lets you keep your home theater devices behind closed cabinet or closet doors, even when they're in use. The system delivers commands to up to eight individual home theater components!