I don’t yet have one of those super-duper big screen HD TVs for my house yet mostly because I don’t yet have a place to really put it. Right now I just have a 20 year old particleboard entertainment center along a large empty wall in my living room. I’m thinking about designing some built-in cabinets for that area, but I like the idea of hiding the HD TV when it isn’t in use so my living room can be both a formal room with no TV and an informal room when I have the TV on. Of course, TVs that are hidden and out of the way are also less likely to get damaged or broken by kids playing ball in the house or clumsy party guests or even agile pets.
It turns out there are a lot of cool options available that will help me display my TV but hide it from view too:
Hiding Your TV With Lift Cabinets
Premium TV Lift Cabinets – One of the most popular and widely available options for hiding a TV from site is to use a TV lift cabinet. These sorts of cabinets have been used for over 50 years, starting back when stereo systems were heavy pieces of equipment you’d display in your living room. As stereos became less popular and television sets more popular, lift cabinets remained as a viable way to hide a television set when it wasn’t needed. Today’s lift cabinets are premium pieces of furniture which slide up and down easily (many are automated) and they’re almost always designed to accommodate the larger, wider flat screen TVs that are being used today. Many even allow you to operate your remote control on the television while it is still in the cabinet. They’re fairly substantial pieces of furniture, so if you can order your lift cabinet online and get it delivered, it’s probably worth doing so.
Picturehouse Cabinet’s Plasma TV Fireplace – This is pretty darn cool and it’s definitely at the top of my list for neat ways to hide a big screen TV. It’s an electric fireplace cabinet with a lift built into it which raises up when you want to watch TV and sinks back down into the fireplace (out of site and safe) when you don’t want to see the television. Each fireplace is made of solid wood and has a host of great luxury features include a remote control for the lift and the fireplace, hidden wires, and Smooth-Glide operation so you can still decorate your mantle. This free-standing fireplace requires no flu, can hold a TV up to 50″ in size and serves as a unique focal point and conversation piece! They really do have a lot of different fireplace styles, so they almost definitely have one that will fit your decor. They’re from Britain and they’re not cheap. Update: You can also find a few TV Lift Cabinet Fireplaces available online in the United States as well!
Hide Your TV Behind Art
Television Art – Here’s a clever idea, why not take that flat screen television set and replace it with a piece of art when it’s not in use? Better yet, why not put the artwork over the TV? That’s exactly what you can do with Television-Art.com! It’s actually a really ingenious solution and it’s pretty affordable when you compare it to other methods of hiding your television. You can either hang the artwork on your television if it uses a stand or you can hang your artwork over a wall-mounted TV and really make it turn invisible. They update the selection of art they have available from time to time and they even offer monthly specials. Check out their photo gallery for more great ideas and uses.
Hidden Vision TV Mount – Looking for a truly unique way to hide your flat screen TV behind a piece of art? Check out the innovative extended flipping arm TV mount from Hidden Vision! These elegant and sturdy TV mounts come in three different varieties for some the serious TV enthusiast. They have a “Flip Around” model which flips the TV upside-down and hides it behind a piece of art when not in use, they have a standard arm and even an extended arm so that you can lie in bed and look up and watch your TV and then, when you’re down, it will fold neatly back against the wall behind a piece of art work. All the wires and cords are run through the metal mounting arms. There are some size limitations and because they flip your television upside-down they’re safe to use for LED and LCD screens but they you avoid mounting plasma screen TVs with these. You can install the mounts yourself if you’re handy and they really do seem to make quite a statement. They’re about half the price of a full-blown TV cabinet, so if you’re on a budget and but you still want something with some style, check these out.
Media Decor Moving Art and Media Mirror – Media Decor has two different options available to hide that wall-mounted flat panel TV. They manufacture frames which you put around your TV that mask the television when it is not in use. The Moving Art actually has a piece of artwork scroll down over your TV when it isn’t in use. They have a wide selection of artworks you can choose from or you can even submit your own custom piece of art. The Media-Mirrors are really pretty amazing looking. It’s sort of like a high-tech two-way mirror over your TV, but there’s more to it. They use “beam splitter” technology which means the mirror has a “high efficiency dielectric coating designed to transmit the TV picture at maximum brightness and reflect like a mirror when the TV is off.” These incredibly cool flat TV covers come with a variety of frames and customization options. They even have a version which rolls up the artwork and then slides out the TV out from the frame. UPDATE: Sadly, MediaDecor appears to be out of business. Please let me know if they are still around or have moved!
Other Ways To Hide Your TV
MK1 Studios Plasma TV Under bed Lift – So maybe you like to watch TV in bed but don’t really have anyplace to put that 50″ Plasma screen. That’s not a problem anymore with this under bed lift. This system actually fit around and under the bed and stores the TV completely out of view under the bed until you want to watch it. Then it lifts out from under the special bed frame and flips around for your viewing pleasure. The entire system is remote controlled and from what I can tell this is one heavy-duty lift system. The lift takes about 35 seconds to deploy from under the bed and allows you to rotate the screen so you could watch it from anywhere in the room, not just from the bed. They can fit a 50″ flat screen TV under a king size bed.
Frontgate Reversible Media Center – This is the cheapest of the options, but it’s also no longer available according to Frontgate’s website. This bookcase actually slides out and then turns around on a platter to reveal a wide screen TV. So you can impress your girlfriend’s parents with your leather-bound editions of Shakespeare and then chill with the guys and watch NASCAR two hours later. As far as I can tell this isn’t being made anymore mostly because it was fairly expensive for a cherry veneer product that you had to manually turn around.
Wall Mounted Cabinets Over Your TV – I’m not sure why this option isn’t more popular because a lot of people do wall-mount their flat screen televisions these days and then hide the TV wires inside the wall. I suppose finding the proper cabinet is the problem. If you’re looking for a rustic custom-made TV cabinet that will fit around your wall-mounted TV? Chatham Hill Designs will make a cabinet just to your liking and they have a number of different paint colors available. I’m not sure about shipping or production time, but it looks like craftsman Colin Miller really does a great job with these.
So it looks like I have some options. I’m not sure if I can actually afford any of them, but it’s fun to dream and see what’s available! It also makes the idea of building my own method for hiding a flat screen TV a good idea for a home project that I’ll have to plan out sometime soon.
Update: I now have a flat screen LCD HDTV and I’ll probably try mounting it on the wall in the next month or two. My primary concern is how I’m going to hide the TV wires inside the wall. It’s not quite the same as hiding the entire TV, but it will work well for the room I ended up putting it in. At some point I do hope to be able to hide my flat screen TV when I’m not using it.