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How to choose an entertainment unit

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Entertainment units are the perfect way to give a minimal flat-screen television some panache. They’re also a great way to elevate your screen to eye-level, as not to strain your eyes. Anything from a minimalist TV stand to an elaborate entertainment fireplace can look spectacular, assuming everything is sized correctly.

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Consider what exactly you’re looking for in an entertainment unit, such as the size and features, in relation to the rest of your room. You can then use what you have come up with to choose between an entertainment centre, a TV stand, an armoire or an entertainment fireplace.

What you need to know before you look

When you’re looking for an entertainment unit, you need to go in with a plan. Always take measurements of the area you wish to place the unit in, as well as the size of the TV, by width and height. Watch out for storage space and features, which can become invaluable if you have a lot of remotes or video game controllers.

If you’re using a stand or entertainment fireplace as opposed to an entertainment centre, your unit should be 2-5 inches wider than your TV. A larger stand may work if the space is filled with décor or even a quality pair of speakers. Anything smaller will look disoriented, and it can become unstable and fall.

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Not everyone uses an entertainment unit the same way. Some use them to display collectibles and framed photographs. Choose from one of the four main styles of entertainment units according to what you will use it for. These include entertainment centres, TV stands, armoires and entertainment fireplaces.

Entertainment Centres

An entertainment centre is designed to surround your television to a gorgeous effect. They’re made from several materials and come in different arrangements. These statement pieces are grand in size, up to 72 inches wide, making them inappropriate for small rooms. However, if you’ve got the space, you can easily place a larger TV, with multiple television boxes or gaming consoles. They often have cable management features – holes along the back for feeding cords and wires through. Even if you don’t want to place a TV here, the storage and shelving makes entertainment centres excellent for displaying photographs and collectibles.

TV Stands

TV stands are popular, especially given their size. They’re smaller than full entertainment centres, making these units perfect for any room. What makes TV stands so special is they can still look good with a wall-mounted screen – unlike a surrounding entertainment centre. They also come in different shapes, suitable for both straight walls and corners. Some TV stands offer cable management – usually in the form of holes that run through the back of the stand.

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Armoires

Like a tall dresser does to a bedroom, an armoire adds height to your television or collectibles set-up. These fashionable units will blend a television perfectly with the rest of your room. Some armoires have doors for concealing the television when it’s not in use, which helps with controlling unsightly dust on your electronics. However, if you have several entertainment players, especially gaming consoles, the closed doors trap excess heat during or following use. Look for one with venting grills at the back and see that the unit isn’t placed against a wall.

Entertainment Fireplaces

An entertainment fireplace is a spectacular idea for a room without an existing fireplace or mantle. It’s a classy style that combines a television stand and an electric fireplace, while still allowing for some storage space. The warmth produced by the fireplace makes it perfect for a basement. Like the TV stand, you can mount a TV on the wall above the unit for a modern look.

Choosing an appropriate entertainment unit might seem a little challenging – there are different sizes, shapes and measurements to consider – but it becomes easier once you’ve taken measurements. Deciding between an entertainment centre, a TV stand, an armoire, and an entertainment fireplace is the next and last step. Once you’ve decided on a style, you’ll have an entertainment unit that can turn a simple TV into a beautiful statement for years to come.