Guide to TV Console

Want a TV Stand or an Entertainment Center?

These terms are bandied about as if they’re one in the same, but it’s helpful to know the difference. An entertainment center is a large piece of furniture that encases a TV. It typically has open or closed shelving or a mix of both on the sides of the TV as well as underneath, in the console. TV consoles/stands serve as a surface from which to display your TV, with shelving underneath.

A big factor in deciding between the two is living room real estate. Entertainment centers typically take up more space. The camouflage option is something else to consider. Many entertainment centers have doors that give you the ability to hide your TV when you’re not using it, such as when you’re entertaining. Many entertainment centers are large enough to accommodate all your media equipment and often make a beautiful and substantial furniture addition to your living or family room.

Consider Your Storage Needs

Many TV stands/entertainment centers have open shelving or shelves with doors for storing a gaming system, surround-sound stereo, and other items, such as books and your cable box. Be sure to select one with shelving that’s adequate for your needs. Some consoles feature adjustable shelving so you can tailor your storage space. Measure the pieces you’ll be storing in your TV stand/media center, such as your TV, DVD player, gaming system, and speakers so you can size up where they’ll go and whether there’s room for them. Also, consider how much of your stuff you’ll want hidden from view. Doors in the cabinet area serve as concealers and — bonus — they help keep out dust bunnies.

Measure Room Size

Map out where you’ll eventually put your new TV stand/entertainment center. Measure the space in front of the wall where you plan to put the furniture in terms of width, depth, and height. Don’t forget to measure doorways, passageways, and stairways to make sure the item will pass through. Compare those measurements with contender stand/entertainment center models. If you’re tight on space, consider models, which fit in a corner.

Measure the depth of the TV including the stand and the frame around the TV’s screen. Measure the depth of the entertainment center’s available storage space where the TV will be placed.

Consider Construction and Design

Many TV stands are made from solid hardwood construction with a hardwood veneer. Compared to soft woods, such as cedar, cypress, fir, pine, and redwood, hardwoods provide the most strength and durability. Popular hardwoods include: ash, cherry, mahogany, maple, oak, pecan, rosewood, teak, and walnut. Other consoles are made from metal. Designs run the gamut, from contemporary to traditional with a range of colors from black, brown, and red to white and grey.

Are You Up For Assembly?

Most TV stands/consoles come with several components and require assembly, which may take an hour or more. If you’re not up for the job, recruit a handy friend or relative or bring in a pro.