Basement Finishing & Theater Rooms – The Top 10 Ways to Hide Your Audio Visual Equipment

General Article

If you’re getting set to start your basement finishing project, and are considering including a theater room or at least a family room with some high-powered home theater equipment, then you might also be wondering how to camoflauge all of that fancy equipment!

Nothing kills “new home theater euphoria” quite like an ugly stack of equipment in the corner or (even worse!) equipment littering the base of your t.v. or projection screen. But what should you do about all that stuff? How can you conceal the equipment needed to create a high-octane theater room? Should you even be worrying about this with all the other things you need to do to prepare for the start of your basement finishing project?

Don’t despair! Yes, this is the right time to think about this. What’s more, we’ve come up with the top 10 ideas to help you effectively conceal your home theater equipment, without sacrificing the functionality of your equipment, or your basement.

Drum roll please…

10. Do Nothing. O.k. this doesn’t actually conceal anything, but if you are of a minimalist persuasion and don’t break into a cold sweat thinking about looking at all your equipment, then just put the equipment on a shelf near your t.v./screen. Your basement finishing project won’t be the first on the block to go with this set-up.

9. Buy a large plant. Again, for the minimalist this is probably an acceptable solution. Disguise the equipment with a large plant that will still allow the infrared signal from your remote(s).

8. Create shelving in a wall and cover the opening with a painting. While this requires a little more effort to change out DVDs and Blu-Rays, it is an effective way to conceal your equipment. Overheating could be a potential hazard with this option though.

7. Wire your basement components so they’ll work off the components from your t.v. area upstairs. Absolutely, positively, WILL NOT be seen from the basement. The big downside is running up and down the stairs constantly!

6. Cover your wall shelving with cabinet doors. If done properly, you can create stunning built-ins that will wow! your neighbors when they are over. May need to leave doors open to allow for ventilation so equipment doesn’t overheat.

5. If you plan to have a wet bar nearby in your basement finishing project, plan for one cabinet to have glass doors and shelves for your equipment.

4. Recess your t.v. or screen and your shelves on either side. Then, install curtains (very theater-esque) that will hide the equipment. If you really want to create the maximum effect with this option, put the curtain on a track with a motor that can open and close it as much or as little as you want. Who knows, maybe you can even start charging admission?!

3. Install an infrared eye and repeater. Infrared eye (about the size of a dime) goes anywhere near the t.v./screen. Wire from the eye to the repeater is hidden behind the drywall. Repeater is installed in a closet/storage space/mechanical room or anywhere else your equipment will be hidden. When you use your standard infrared remote, the eye tells the repeater to talk to the equipment and do your bidding.

2. Wire your home theater system into your existing home automation center and control the basement with an additional home center remote. While this is an awesome option, it only works if you already have a home automation program installed in the rest of the house, or are willing to spend the money now to remodel it into your existing home.

And the #1 way to hide your audio/visual equipment for your basement home theater system is… Stick your equipment in any old room in the house, and buy yourself an RF Remote System. While this will still require speakers and video wiring to be run inside the walls, you don’t need any special wiring for eyes to repeat the infrared signal from your remote. The RF remote signal will go through walls and can talk to the signal receiver as far as 100 ft. away.

Don’t stress out about the home theater in your basement finishing project! There’s a solution for every budget out there. With a little help from a qualified pro, and some careful planning, you’ll soon be the talk of the neighborhood!

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