The ideal Home Theatre console design

 
The ideal console design

There are some fundamental points which will help you to get, design or custom make your ideal home theatre console.

-       Function or form first?
Firstly, you will need to decide, is this a high WAF “stylo” console or one dedicated to Home Theatre.
One built for the latter has various design features which I will elaborate on, that is mainly functional, but doesn’t need to look utilitarian either.
-       Budget?
You can grab a simple console off Ikea, Vhive, and a few other off the shelf knock together consoles for less than $500. Or you can get a design one from Air Division that will cost $3-4000. Your carpenter can also make one for you and that can be basic – just a bunch of shelves, or be a more elaborate design that has veneer, laminate or even use real wood.
I wanted the most solid material, so I got an Indonesian company to help me make one of my own design, that was made from mahogany wood, and had shelving made with enough space for a large and deep power amp
-       TV?
You will need to decide if it needs to support the weight of a TV, and does it have the space for it.


The specs of my design:

console
- of 1660mm width, depth 600mm, height 450mm from the ground with two layers of shelves - mahogany
- Three sections, central 500 mm wide each, lower section with 280mm height for placing amp / BR player / others
- upper section for discs, 150mm height
-       top panel has a hinge at the back measuring 10cm, which allows access to the rear of the console, and the shelves do not reach all the way back, allowing you to reach into the console, and get to the back of the amplifiers and other devices.
-       The bottom has a height extension of 30mm, which gives the illusion of the console floating off the floor when you view it from the front
-       The is a slit at the back for a T5 fluorescent tube to provide light when I am plugging in items to the back of the amp
-       The whole console rests on 3M sliders – 8 of them, so I can easily move the console even when it is fully loaded with 100 kg of amps.


So what goes into the making of the ideal console.

Measurements:

The console must be measured and you need to calculate the size such that it has room for your equipment. If you intend to get a larger and deep power amplifier, you must make sure it will fit and have enough room all round for ventilation too.

Add enough shelving and a little room for expansion.

If you intend to place the centre speaker on it, make sure the combined height is lower than the bottom of the flatscreen TV you will be using. Give a little excess.

Access

Right after getting the right dimensions, is being able to get to the back of your console. If you chose a static and permanently attached design, then you will need to make sure you can slide out the amp or have some way to reach behind the console.

 I chose a design where my console is free standing, and allows me to slide out the entire console and get to the back of the console.

The backlight also allows me to see the connections behind. I also added a mirror to allow me to see the connections more easily.

How solid is it?

I made mine out of solid mahogany, as I wanted to place my centre speaker on top and have no vibrations. This is where your money goes to. Those Ikea MDF stuff just don’t cut it sonically. And it’s not only the wood that can vibrate. Poorly attached or low quality hinges also cause any doors to shake.

Doors?
For high Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF), doors can hide the equipment, but how do you allow remote control signals to pass through? You can use glass, but bear in mind, that can vibrate, or in my case, I used slats of wood to make the doors, so the remote control signals can pass through unhindered.

Cable Management

Are there holes and are these holes large enough to allow cables to pass through?
There needs to be access from the back as well as the side, since some cables will also pass to the left and right speakers.

Designs

Well even the most dedicated HT buff will need to concede some element of form. And consoles don’t need to be ugly. I prefer to have darker colors, and non reflective ones, so they don’t add unnecessary reflections to the picture quality.



Lifestyle 2010 in IFC did it, look for Sani and tell him Pete sent you. Should not be more than $1600.

I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

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