As the owner of a leading Toronto home automation company I receive many questions and concerns from my clients that range from simple (how do I replace the batteries in my remote control?) to more complex (Can I get underwater wifi access), but one question I get more than any other is, “where do I put the TV?” Years ago when they were big ugly boxes, everybody wanted to hide their televisions in armoires’ or book cases. Space restrictions often required that the TV be smaller than desired making the sound quality terrible for movies or sports.
THIS AIN’T YOUR GRANDFATHERS TV
With the development of plasma and LED technology, TV’s have become thinner and larger and they are finding their way into home theatres, living rooms and family rooms, often the focal point for family gatherings. No longer an eyesore to be hidden, TV’s are being proudly displayed like fine art pieces on walls and more often than not above fireplaces. So where is the ideal placement for your new LED TV?
THE “OVER THE FIREPLACE” LOCATION
Interior designers working on smart homes are split on this question, some preferring side walls or adjacent book cases; however the overwhelming majority of consumers prefer to install their new TV’s over the fireplace mantle. There are practical and technical issues to consider when deciding on the ideal location. If you decide to locate the TV over the fireplace, consider how high above the finished floor the TV will be located. Although there is no agreed upon standards to reference, we have found that a comfortable viewing height for an average family room of approximately 48”-55” above finished floor to the centre of the TV is a good place to start. But wait, fireplace mantles generally start at these heights. We often see mantles as high as 60” and taller which puts the centre of the TV at 6’ sometimes 7’ above the finished floor! Not exactly an ideal height for viewing.There are rectilinear fire boxes that can lower mantles to more optimal TV heights, but few designers are willing to compromise their room designs to accommodate the TV. Adding to the problem are Surround Sound Bars which when placed under the TV, either on the wall or directly on the mantle, push the TV even higher. The end
result is a very uncomfortable viewing experience when watching TV or movies for any prolonged period of time.
So what other options are there? Our preference would be to reorient the seating to allow the TV to be located on an adjacent wall to the fireplace, at
an optimal height, or within cabinetry on either side of the fireplace. Articulating TV brackets or arms allow the TV to be pulled out and angled
towards the seating for direct viewing of the screen. This frees up the mantle to display art or family pictures resulting in a much more pleasant