The Practicality of High-End Televisions

There's an interesting (although slightly less than informative) article in today's Seattle Times about the movement towards flat panel and thin-display televisions and its impact on interior design in the family room ( . One of the comments made in the article was that today's newer homes aren't being built with a large cabinet television or armoire in mind.

How true.

My wife and I moved into a 6-year old house last year and the biggest challenge upon moving was figuring out where to put the television. At the time we had a 36" Sony Wega -- a hulking monstrosity in girth and weight that sticks out nearly three feet from the wall. The shape of the living room didn't allow for such a television, unless we were to block a window with it or push the couches into the hallway to avoid sitting on top of it.

My answer? Well, we just spent several hundred thousand dollars on the house, why not another three on a television? Okay, so actually, that's not really how it went down. But in the end, we did end up getting one of Samsung's new DLP tv's. It's 48" in viewing area, but only about 14 inches deep and about 60 pounds. Too wide to hang on the wall, but thin enough to not dominate the room. But then came the question of what do we put it on. Everywhere we went there were big traditional television cabinets and armoires and small, flimsy, tables or little chests of drawers that were either too low or too high. Most with a higher concentration of glue than wood.

Finally, we came across a company called Salamander Designs ( who not only ships direct to the customer, but has a bevy of awesome television tables that seem perfectly made for DLP and LCD tv's and you can actually customize them with different doors and drawers and whatnot. Those of you with plasmas can enjoy your wall art, but may want to look at their site anyway as the tables hold all of your components as well, and probably look pretty good under a hanging plasma too.

Anyway, I mention this because the article in the paper only name-drops a couple of companies who specialize in very high-dollar stuff. Salamander's "triple 20" table wasn't cheap (nearly half the cost again of the tv) but it'd be a shame not to see them get mentioned. And for what it's worth, we get as many compliments on the table as we do the tv. I'm obtrusive enough, we don't need the furniture piling on.

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