Monday, January 11, 2010

It's a Niche Thing

While we were building our house we purchased a 36" flat screen CRT TV and had the builder construct a custom niche over the fireplace deep enough and wide enough to hold the (300lb) TV. This was 5 years ago or so, when flat panel TV's were just coming out and were tremendously expensive. So expensive that we couldn't justify spending THAT much money on new technology while we were spending a significant amount on our new home.

Since then, technology has improved, prices have dropped and DH decided the time had finally come to make the switch. So, immediately after Thanksgiving, we ordered a new flat panel 54" plasma TV for not much more than we had spent on the CRT. After being shown in stock on the store website, it arrived the second week of January and since then had been competing with the Christmas tree for floor space in the family room on a 10+ year old Ikea TV stand I had purchased for my first townhouse. (DH and I roll like that, keeping crap in the basement until it turns up useful again.)

As mentioned in the 12/31/09 post, the brother in law came over and helped DH move the old TV out before New Years, so New Years Eve and Day found DH framing in the old TV niche over the fireplace to allow the mount to be recessed into the wall and the TV as flush as possible to the wall. And that's kind of where it got left.

Until last weekend when he busted out the power tools and knocked out most of the remaining items to finish the project, including building a beautiful mantle shelf to help redirect the heat of the running gas fireplace away from the new TV.

(Pretty shelf, IR receiver*, corner of TV, corner of slate fireplace surround)

This weekend he touched up the nail holes with filler and some cracks with caulk, and with my help, and not 1, not 2 but 3 trips to various stores to collect the necessary cables, managed to get all the wires pulled from both the A/V cabinet on the right of the TV (the cable box, PS3 and DVD player are located in there), and from the A/V closet (where you find the Amp, CD carousel, infrared central station, etc.) in the back hall.

(Here you can see lots of wires, the depth of the recess & the heavy duty stand.)

We also managed to get the TV mounted. Despite a significant difference in weight between the two TV's it was still a two person job to get the thing mounted. It didn't help that the mounting stand we purchased (at a significant discount thanks to it being a now discontinued model, but just what we needed - it swivels, it pulls out 2', it tilts - bells & whistles, it has them) weighs at least as much as the TV, if not more. But with some trial and error, it all worked out.

Everything except for the back panel still needs another coat of trim paint, and some areas could use a touch more caulk, but the area is 99% of the way to completion. And it looks like it's been that way since the house was built. I'm so proud.

(I have no idea why our wall paint looks beige in this picture. It's really a nice sunny yellow that makes me very happy. The wires on the left lead to the Wii; in the confusion of wires DH accidentally took out the wires he had pulled for it thinking they were for the VCR we decided to relegate to the basement. I don't know if you can see, but the trim at the top of the left niche also has dentil moulding so that's why the mantel shelf has it as a nifty little tie in between the two.)

And I have to say that while I thought the picture on the old TV was fine, I have now been blown away by HD. The end.

*The IR or infrared receiver allows us to control the different electronics without having to see them. It's essentially a shortcut which has a connection to all of the different electronics. Our Amp remote has been programed to control all of the electronics as well so there is usually only one remote needed to accomplish most TV viewing related tasks. Unless we are trying to restart an On-Demand movie, in which case we need the cable remote. Ah well. Nothing is perfect.


  1. I have to say, I'm totally lusting after your new entertainment system. To.Die.For.

  2. 54"? Jealous? Moi? never!

    Looks good though I have to say.