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Topic # 165918 24-Feb-2015 16:53
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Our TV and entertainment unit lives in a big recess.  We don't like this recess so we are going to fill it with cabinets/shelves/drawers. These will fill the recess top to bottom and side to side.  I'll get the cabinet professionally made but to my design and I'll be fitting everything out.  I would welcome feedback on the below.

Because I have 1m depth there can be a false back wall, behind which there will be a cavity for cables and ventilation.  It's big space and there will be more than just entertainment stuff in there.

Main features: -

- TV (up to 50") 
- Speakers (FL, FR, FC) positioned relative to TV, couch.
- Components: BD, Onkyo NR, sat decoder, NUC, spare slot) behind glass doors but on slide out (generously spaced) shelves.
- Build the network hub in here (modem, WiFi, switch, NAS, ATA, USP, Hue bridge, Sonos bridge).
- Drawers for DVD's and CD's (we still have quite a few).
- Cupboard for charging cameras etc
- Liquor cabinet
- Designated spare cable draw.
- Some Hue strip backlighting for when I'm playing music.

Other considerations
- Sub Woof: I've read it's not a good idea to put a sub in a cabinet so I'll put it elsewhere or never get around to buying one.
- Ventilation: Louvered vents in the kick board below the AV component and network compartments in the false wall behind them. Hopefully that will get air through the back wall.  I could then vent the rear cavity into the roof.  Hoping to avoid fans.
- Cables: Fit conduit tubes between the compartments (component, data, TV, speakers) to run the AV and data cables
- Access to wall plates (data, coax, power) behind drawers in rear cavity, pull drawer out to access.
- Power panels (surge protected): In the cavity behind a (shortened) drawer.


What am I missing?

How much space do I need around/behind my speakers?






Mike

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  Reply # 1245727 24-Feb-2015 17:17
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Can you post a photo of the space, and dimensions? Don't forget you may want to get in there eventually, can it be hinged? Sounds like it'll be too heavy to move otherwise.

I wouldn't put all the heat behind a false back, it'll heat up eventually. Blow it out the front. My PS3 and receiver in an enclosed space both need ventilation - I use PC case fans. I think you'll likely need fans.

Not sure I'd put every piece of electronics in there, they tend to have fans and can make noise.




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  Reply # 1245728 24-Feb-2015 17:17
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It would be really cool if you could design it as one assembly with wheels and then attach at one side with hinges.  This would allow you to swing the whole unit out together for easy access to the back of TV etc and to mess around with cables.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1245763 24-Feb-2015 18:04
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If it's hinged and in a cavity you won't be able to make the cabinet full width, as it'll hit the other side when you swing it out. Wheels yes, but make sure they take the weight, so you can pull it out easily,




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  Reply # 1245793 24-Feb-2015 18:37
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It can be hinged if one side has a slightly triangular shape.

If it is on wheels, you could put some vents at the bottom to cover up the wheels, and allow cool air to come in under the cabinet, via the raised wheel cavity and then rise up the back of the cabinet.
Ensure lots of wheels - try to find something stronger than those cheap plastic castor wheels. Mitre 10 has a reasonable selection.

Ensure that shelves can be removed / change heights.
Have heaps of space at the back for cables to go between shelves, and via the back wall to go between shelves without being seen.

If you are mounting a large TV, make sure you run some nice wide PVC pipe from behind the TV to the AV equipment. This means heaps of space for cables and getting around bends that you can fit your fingers in far enough to fish out a cable with a plug on the end.

Fans can be annoying.
If you do install a fan to extract hot air from behind the cabinet, you can use a 5v 2amp power supply, with a large 12v computer case fan.
A 5v power supply on a 12v fan makes them run nice and quiet, but fast enough to do the job well.




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  Reply # 1245840 24-Feb-2015 19:35
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If you do need wheels and are in Auckland check out David's emporium in Manukau, good selection and much better prices than mitre10/bunnings




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  Reply # 1245843 24-Feb-2015 19:36
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raytaylor: It can be hinged if one side has a slightly triangular shape.


Yes sure, but keep in mind if you're making the cabinet quite wide and a decent depth (hinted to be going in to a recess that's a metre deep by the OP, so the cabinet could be a good one to make the most of it. No idea how wide though?) then that'd be quite an angle to make it work and you'll see it from the front. I just checked my cabinet which is just under 1800 wide, and with the depth it is you'd be losing maybe a little over 50mm at the back on that side to make it work. It could work though if you do the same to the other side so it's symmetrical. Could look quite good that way actually. The biggest problem with hinging to a wall is that no matter how well anchored it is, it'll very likely still show damage quite quickly and easily unless the wall surface is solid wood and the floor is perfectly level and also wooden. Painted or papered surfaces will crumble and crack without much movement.

If it is on wheels, you could put some vents at the bottom to cover up the wheels, and allow cool air to come in under the cabinet, via the raised wheel cavity and then rise up the back of the cabinet.
Ensure lots of wheels - try to find something stronger than those cheap plastic castor wheels. Mitre 10 has a reasonable selection.

Ensure that shelves can be removed / change heights.
Have heaps of space at the back for cables to go between shelves, and via the back wall to go between shelves without being seen.

If you are mounting a large TV, make sure you run some nice wide PVC pipe from behind the TV to the AV equipment. This means heaps of space for cables and getting around bends that you can fit your fingers in far enough to fish out a cable with a plug on the end.

Fans can be annoying.
If you do install a fan to extract hot air from behind the cabinet, you can use a 5v 2amp power supply, with a large 12v computer case fan.
A 5v power supply on a 12v fan makes them run nice and quiet, but fast enough to do the job well.


As raytaylor suggested, don't make the cabinet too shallow. 500mm minimum depth would be my suggestion, but I wouldn't go too close to the back of the recess. Also agree with the other ideas/suggestions. 

Sounds like quite a project!




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  Reply # 1245848 24-Feb-2015 19:54
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I want to build my own wall mounted unit at some stage. This pic is one I quite like the look and design of:





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  Reply # 1245929 24-Feb-2015 21:19
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Thanks for the comments.  I can't insert a photo sorry, I don't have photobucket or anything like that

The recess is 2400mm x 2400mm x 820mm (H x W x D).  Not sure why I thought it was 1000mm deep. That's still really deep though.  My deepest component is 250 mm. 

I like the idea of hinge/wheel concept, but I'm not sure how to deal with the cords and cables running to the wall plates as I swing it out/back in

By running chase tubes between the various compartments, and having wall plates accessible by removing drawers, I'm hoping to avoid ever having to get in behind the gear, but Murphy's law does say if I can't get in I will need to ... maybe few removable panels would be prudent insurance.

I was thinking I would vent the back cavity into the roof space. 12v fans on a 5v supply sounds like a good idea.








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  Reply # 1245935 24-Feb-2015 21:22
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The roof space will probably be too hot to accept more heat on a hot day, unless the roof space is also vented out.




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  Reply # 1246199 25-Feb-2015 10:20
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The roof space isn't actively vented, and it would get very hot a sunny day.  But it isn't air tight either so I thought I could just keep pushing hot air into it? 




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  Reply # 1246201 25-Feb-2015 10:21
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do you have photo of the area you wish to do the work on?

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  Reply # 1246214 25-Feb-2015 10:44
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Never liked the idea of cabinets like this, what happens when you want to upgrade your electronics or speakers, everything has to fit a certain size - the size you have now. What if you cant find a TV with the correct dimensions in 10 years time.




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  Reply # 1246219 25-Feb-2015 10:49
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What sort of speakers are you using, and how do you intend to fit them within the space? (Given you say the new shelving will take up the whole of the cavity.) Some speakers (eg Kef eggs) will work ok within or sitting on a cabinet, as they essentially sit on their own stands, but I'd imagine it's preferable that standard 'bookshelf' type speakers don't sit straight on shelving, especially if the L/R are expected to operate full-frequency (given your comment re no current subwoofer I'm assuming this is the case).

My general suggestion will be to make sure there's a high degree of flexibility in the design, eg while you may use CDs and DVDs now, chances are in a few years this won't be the case, so ensure such spaces can be used for other purposes later on.

In our first cabinet I co-built (not built in, mind you), it was built deep enough to take a 34" CRT, and large enough for nine components! Now most of that shelving is used to store kids' games, what with the demise of the VCR and tape deck, plus a move from pre-amp/power amp/processor to just an HT receiver.

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  Reply # 1246221 25-Feb-2015 10:56
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geekiegeek: Never liked the idea of cabinets like this, what happens when you want to upgrade your electronics or speakers, everything has to fit a certain size - the size you have now. What if you cant find a TV with the correct dimensions in 10 years time.


Agreed; especially take care designing the whole unit around a specific TV size (let alone model) - you may be happy with 50" now, but who knows in a few years that this will still be the case? This is the main reason I went with TV on the wall (currently a 60" but I still hope to pursuade my wife that the next upgrade should be larger!) and a bespoke cabinet we had made to our specifications sitting below this (with cables fed through the wall).

I'm always frustrated looking through open homes when I see they have built a recess into the wall to take a TV - aside from the problems caused to focusing through having a TV in line (or close to in line) with the wall and that the TV is inevitably too high on the wall, it's astoundingly short-sighted to assume that the recess will remain appropriately sized into the future...

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  Reply # 1246226 25-Feb-2015 11:06
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geekiegeek: Never liked the idea of cabinets like this, what happens when you want to upgrade your electronics or speakers, everything has to fit a certain size - the size you have now. What if you cant find a TV with the correct dimensions in 10 years time.


Speakers arent upgraded as often as the rest of the stuff IME, and the receivers are all about the same size. If you are limited then find one that will fit the gap you have.

If its in 10 years time, then redo it to suit what TV you can put in there at that time. Who knows what TVs will be like by then so trying to plan that far ahead is a bit silly.




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