This is your basic TV in the living room setup.
The living room in my new house has a very open design. No walls to the back and right, and only windows to the left and front. In the center front is the fireplace. Placing a TV in this room was a challenge. My wife did not want a tall cabinet next to the fireplace, obscuring a window. I did not want a large glass eye built into the stone above the fireplace. And, even with moveable art, I did not want to crane my neck upward to watch TV. It just does not seem comfortable.
So, I decided to hide the TV inside the hearth. The TV, when raised, is located directly in front of the fireplace, which is the ideal viewing location in most homes. I replaced the god of fire with the god of entertainment.
I was fortunate to be building a new house, where this type of project is feasible. I have a five-foot crawlspace beneath the family room. The hearth is raised a foot above the floor, and the joists are running left to right. Lastly, it is a gas fireplace, where I can turn off the heat whenever I want. And, anyway, how many nights a year do you use the fireplace and how many nights a year do you watch TV?
My one absolute requirement was that the results look professional. It must have Wife Acceptance Factor. Also, I did not want guests leaving thinking that I should have hired a professional installer.
And I could not hire a professional installer. I went to the premier AV store in my area and the design engineer turned the project down. I have to agree with him that there were too many unknowns in the project, which made it difficult to give an estimate. The parameters of professional results and profitability could not be met.
So, I struck out on my own. I spent a lot of time reading, talking, surfing, and planning before the first dime was spent. I filled a graph-lined notebook with drawing and notes. I lost sleep. One thing that helped was that the Motivated Design Lift team is accessible and helpful. I felt that if I ran into a problem they would help me figure it out.
I designed an outer box to hold the lift that I mounted in the hearth box during house construction. It hangs down in my crawlspace between the rafters. I built the inner box out of plywood and then gave it to the cabinet company to duplicate in maple. Once everything was in place the granite company measured the hearth for the cutout for the lift.
Notice the grill in the cabinet on the left that hides the sub. I am very happy with the results. The only sign of an AV system to visitors is a thin rectangular cutout line in the granite hearth. When in use the sound is terrific and I am sitting close enough to the 55" Panasonic plasma to have great view. Also, Integra AV receiver and Control 4 remote. This is not nearly as fancy as many of the posts here, but my main goal was to enjoy the technology in my living room.Edited by spend2much - 10/29/13 at 6:35pm