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Babyproofing a custom entertainment center?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So, I am somewhat optimistic that I might be able to buy a nice new Pioneer plasma soon, probably of the 50" variety. I also have a carpenter friend who is quite handy at building entertainment centers, etc. So, the plan is to have him build a custom entertainment center for me. I am trying to come up with an arrangement which is usable, attractive and baby-proof. Obviously, it probably won't achieve all three perfectly. I would appreciate anyone's advice. My 1 year-old is quite fond of touching the components now, and is just starting to touch the television itself, which is fine for an old CRT, but not for a nice new plasma with a shiny bezel.

Here are the main parameters:
- Corner placement (not ideal, of course, but it is a living room, not a dedicated theater, and there is no other real option in this room).
- Plaster walls (The corner placement already has me doubting wall-mounting as a real option, but the challenge of finding studs in plaster has me even more concerned)
- Two floor-standing speakers (Athena AS-F1.2s), one center-channel speaker (AS-C1.2) and a subwoofer (AS--P400) in the front (right now the center channel sits on top of the CRT, but I assume it will need to either below the plasma or creatively mounted)

Some of my main questions would be:
- What is a good height that will generally avoid kids touching the screen, without being excessively high? (I'm not one who likes the above-the-fireplace sort of mount, etc.)
- How would you recommend mounting the screen? Normal stand? Some sort of specialty stand? Cantilever wall-mount? Some sort of mount/stand built-in to the custom cabinet? Something else?
- Any other general tips for trying to design a custom cabinet (both general and specific to this situation)...

Thanks in advance for any advice.
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncfoster View Post

I am trying to come up with an arrangement which is usable, attractive and baby-proof.

And..............it's a TRIPLE oxymoron with a half gainer. 9.8 !!!!!
post #3 of 13
chicken wire?
post #4 of 13
discipline..
post #5 of 13
Rather than trying to baby-proof the entertainment center, why not just try to prevent your child from reaching the entertainment center. You could put up something like this Baby Gate
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
It goes without saying that I know the entertainment center will not do all of the work for me. I am just trying to get some advice on choices others have made to MINIMIZE the risks.

I'm really not knowledgeable about designing an entertainment center at all. So, I'm looking for general advice as well with regard to the corner location, the advisability of wall-mounting, etc.

So, yes, I expected the one-liners. But, does anyone have any serious advice?
post #7 of 13
I wouldn't worry about the TV, there's nothing you can do. Eventually it will be reachable regardless of height (unless its so high you need a ladder to access, but then that'll be difficult to watch).
As for speakers, they shouldnt be on the floor. Wall mount, flush mount, or bookshelf mount. No wires - anywhere. If you can't run your wires in wall, get some wire racetrack and cover them.
Electronics should be above the TV, but well ventilated.

Seth
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncfoster View Post


So, yes, I expected the one-liners. But, does anyone have any serious advice?

Ok, I know that I'm gonna sound like some kind of pompus jerk here, but I just can't help myself with this post.

I will be the first one to help out any newbie here with even the most basic questions regarding their audio or video equipment, but asking us how high one should mount their TV so their kids won't touch it or just the general questions you asked takes nothing but a bit of common sense to answer and may be the reasons for the one-liners.

I mean, just look at some of the answers here:

"With respect to the TV I suggest mounting it on the wall at a height young fingers cannot reach........"
"Baby gates"
"Lockable doors"
"Teach your child"

All the answers that you are going to get here "should" be obvious, and if they're not, than there are other issues at play here that is of greater concern.

Sorry, foster, it's just the question and the resulting answers just have me shaking my head this morning.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I agree that pretty much all of the answers so far have been common sense. I was looking for the answers that might not be so obvious. What kind of locks work well, what kind of materials are preferable, etc.? I just assumed that maybe others have tackled this question and come away with some dos and don'ts. If not, oh well....
post #10 of 13
I'd be most concerned about the floorstanding speakers. They can be rocked back and forth and you'd have a squashed kid. I have the F2.2s and while they don't flop around, they aren't rock solid steady, either. I guess you could stick them in an entertainment center and they'd be secure, but I'd have to think sound output would be affected.

I think if you keep the screen high enough for his reach now, you can discipline him later if he has a habit of reaching for it. If he doesn't after a year or two, he'll probably leave it alone.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

I think if you keep the screen high enough for his reach now, you can discipline him later if he has a habit of reaching for it. If he doesn't after a year or two, he'll probably leave it alone.

Question: How do you turn the system on?
Answer: Push the "on" or "power" button.


Comon' guys. This is getting kind of ridiculous, no?
post #12 of 13
Maybe he's just looking for confirmation, or someone who can come up with something he hasn't thought of.

I admit it seems like it's obvioius, but sometimes it's a forest/trees thing.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok all,

Here's my last futile attempt try to rephrase my question.

Does anyone have any advice for me (you can assume that I am a reasonably intelligent person and not a negligent parent) when it comes to the design of a custom entertainment center? I'm just looking for the sort of things that might seem obvious after the thing has been built, but might NOT be obvious to someone who has never tackled such a project before. Feel free to chime in even you have general tips that aren't specific to the baby issue (best ways to assure proper ventilation/air flow, etc.)

I've laid out my general situation above. Any reasonable advice is appreciated, whether it relates to a good design that you've seen/used that I could pattern after, or whether it relates to little details like "These kind of latches/locks are useless to keep my kid out, but these ones worked".

The idea here is that I have a somewhat blank slate to work with (other than the corner location), so I want to make the best choices I can. I am not expecting anyone to guess my kid's future height. I am not expecting furniture to do my job for me. Nor am I asking anyone here for basic parenting advice.

I do sincerely thank anyone for serious advice on this topic.
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