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AV Stuff in a cupboard?

Discussion in 'AV Stands, Cabinets, Seating & Furniture' started by AMc, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. AMc

    AMc
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    I have a baby and she'll be getting mobile pretty soon so I need to hide my toys! ;)

    My gear is in an IKEA Oppli bench under the TV. The kit is all open to little fingers and it's on wheels on a wooden floor so it's got to go!

    I'm looking at putting the TV on an empty heavy wooden trunk. Behind that using a cupboard around 60cm wide, 60cm deep and 150cm tall (dimensions could vary). Making some cable holes in the back/base for SCART leads and power and using an IR repeater to control the kit inside so I can have solid doors

    I sourced several wooden trunks for around £200. A weekend searching the furniture stores and web sites has turned up very little for the equipment storage.

    Everything I've seen that's not designed for AV is too shallow and the AV stuff in the high street is too small for all my gear.

    I have a 32" Sony TV (75Kg)
    Tivo (big box),
    Yamaha DSP-A5 Amp (big 8Kg),
    Toshiba 330 DVD player (full width but thin and short),
    Playstation 2 (with RF wireless controllers)
    JVC VCR (normal component),
    Telewest Pace cable STB (slightly smaller than normal component).

    - I'm looking for recommendations for suppliers of nice wooden cabinets large enough for my kit - web sites or within the M25.

    - Recommendations for/against IR repeater equipment also welcome.

    Thanks for reading my post!
     
  2. bobbypunk

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    The only problem with my suggestions although ideal solutions, they aren't the cheapest options however should be worth the difference.
    WWW.ARCA.CO.UK
    They make cabinets designed specifically for AV very high quality finish.
    WWW.QED.CO.UK
    They make an IR repeater, which comes with a wall mountable (Standard back box) IR receiver, a controller unit and two types of emitter one which controls a single unit and one that puts out a wide angle beam. This starter kit goes for £140 but extra bits are available.
     
  3. AMc

    AMc
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    Thanks!

    The QED system is a bit OTT as everything will be within a couple of metres of the TV.
    I was looking at the Hotlink Infra-Red Extender http://www.letsautomate.com/10230.cfm at £100.

    The arca site is stuck on some Flash detection and I can't see anything - They need Fash 5 and I've got Flash 7/IE6/Windows XP Pro so I can't see that it's my PC. I've dropped them a mail.
     
  4. bobbypunk

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  5. AMc

    AMc
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    Via a very round about way I've found that they're stocked at John Lewis on Oxford Street so hopefully I can go and check them out. bobbypunk, thanks for the recommendation.

    Any other recommendations for hiding my kit?
     
  6. buns

    buns
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    another thought is to go and find yourself a half decent carpenter. I want a nice wooden finish unit and liked the look of the arca stuff.... but no way I can afford the price. So im knocking up a design and will get someone local to build it. Im estimating it only to cost a couple of hundred pounds assuming it takes a day to build

    ad
     
  7. AMc

    AMc
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    I was hunting through google results for 'cupboard' (and aren't there a lot of matches for fume cupboards?).
    Anyway I came across www.jali.co.uk
    They make MDF furniture to standard patterns in custom sizes. It arrives flat packed and ready to paint.
    There is a design program that you can download that lets you choose different sizes/shapes/doors etc. and then produces a price and a drawing. You can also do some more limited design on the site itself.

    So far I've just been playing but I could but a 500mmx1150mmx500mm cupboad with two doors and two fixed shelves for £165 delivered! Then it would just be a case of cutting vents and cable holes in the back and shelves before I put it together.

    It's not the wood that I would really like but I really don't want to spend >£500 either. I'm also considering using the Jali designer to give me an idea of what's practical in terms of sizes and dimensions and explore the possiblity of having a real wood cabinet made up.

    In an ideal world I would design and build my own wood cabinet but I don't have enough time :(.
     
  8. RichB14

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    Could you not put glass doors on the Oplli and make solid feet, i remember someone on these boards putting doors on them at little expense, you couls always make them lockable
     
  9. ChrisA

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    Hi AMc,

    Just a thought to add to the debate - how about saving the cash and not hiding all the gear? If you leave it out and teach the baby not to touch it from day one you're saving loads if effort in the future. I have two under two's and they never interfere with it at all, despite being on open shelving at floor level.

    The hardest part is educating their friends parents that it is NOT alight for little johnny to stick his paws inside the VCR!

    And, yes, with Amp, CD, DVD, VCR, HDD, Freeview, tape and switch box alongside floor standing speakers there IS plenty of temptation so I can tell you from experience that it's not just because they've not noticed it all yet!!

    Best of luck,

    C

    PS Thanks for the link to Jali. As the rack fills I'm looking to house it all for light pollution reasons!!
     
  10. AMc

    AMc
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    Mmm more suggestions...
    I did look at putting doors on the Oppli but couldn't see a good way to do it? I looked at a solid front drop down door with a piano hinge but unless I was very lucky/careful I'd have problems matching the finish. Also slightly concerned about the whole thing dropping on my daughter's head! Glass doors would be better but an even bigger DIY job and I'm not sure it's worth spending this much on a (full) £50 TV bench.
    I'll have a search and see what I can find about that other project.
    [​IMG] (camera phone picture to give you an idea).

    I am planning on teaching the little one not to play with the buttons. The whole idea escalated from a concern about the Oppli bench being on wheels and Hope pulling herself up on it then running herself down.

    I've since decided that I do want to change the set up to move the TV further back and I'd like to get the mismatched components out of sight. There's also a small part of me that wants to make room for a DAB tuner and some other toys :)

    Thanks for all your thoughts, I'll keep posting what I decide to do to see if it helps someone else!
     
  11. stevej

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    I second ChrisA's comments. My 15 month old isn't interested in any of the AV gear. The moment she could crawl we told her that she wasn't allowed to play with it. One thing though. She's showing a keen interest in my new Kef's, luckily they're up on the wall! I think if they are used to seeing it (the AV gear), it just becomes part of they're surroundings.
     
  12. AMc

    AMc
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    Can't find a link to an Oppli with doors - several threads discussing them and stacking Opplis but no-one who's actually done it.
    Any links anyone?
     
  13. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    don't remember the name, but I looked high and low, and ended up with a dark grey cupboard from Ikea, with smoked glass sliding doors. This is to the left of the chimney breast, next to a sofa, so only the top part is visible.

    I have all my ugly/accessible stuff inside (sky, xbox, switcher etc), and my Tivo and DVD player on top. I have a little battery powered IR repeater just inside the door for those items that are too hidden for line of sight operation.
     
  14. Ally

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    Having a 15 month old daughter I can offer the following advice.

    1. Get a plasma screen and stick it on the wall
    2. Dont worry about little fingers and button pressing. Its all part of the fun of being a parent. Teach your child how to play with the kit and how not to break it. They learn very quickly.
    3. If you hide it away they will only learn to open up the doors soon and it will be more of a find when they get there.

    My little girl doesnt pay much attention to it now as its always been there and we have let her touch the buttons etc. She now has a better understanding of my HC amp than I do!
     
  15. shodan

    shodan
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    And can set the VCR too! :-D
     
  16. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    Yes, this is good advice. I remember once we had friends over and their 2 year old managed to turn the amp volume to max, turn it on and then cue up 'Thunderstruck' on the CD player.

    I was so impressed, but not half as much as the neighbours were.

    My kit will soon reside in a purpose built cupboard with a nice high catch on the doors.
     
  17. AMc

    AMc
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    Just to thank everyone for their suggestions and let you know what we went with in the end.

    It all got a bit expensive/complicated/urgent and so we decided to plump for a cheap and cheerful solution until the little one is able to understand that food, drink and DVD players don't mix :)

    We bought a "LEKSVIK TV bench" for £75.00 - just a little under budget! It's under "bookcases & storage systems>TV & hifi furniture>LEKSVIK TV bench" at www.ikea.co.uk.

    It's rated to 60Kgs but it's solid pine so I've used metal 'L' brackets to reinforce the joints between the top, sides and base. I've also glued the sides, base and top together to back up the dowel and bolt mechanism.

    Before I put it together I drilled more shelf support holes so I could rearrange the shelving to give more clearance to the amp and Tivo for cooling.

    I ended up putting the components in and wiring everything in place with the back off the cabinet and the TV on top.

    It's arranged like this...
    Playstation - VCR
    DVD - Cable (power strip behind)
    Tivo - Amp (power strip behind)

    The real headache is the lack of ventilation and cable access. As supplied it has one smallish hole in the top centre which you could probably just pass a SCART lead through.

    Thankfully the internal shelves are not quite full depth so there is clearance for cabling behind them with the back on. The back panel is the only part that isn't real wood, it's just thin particle board with a print of wood effect on one side!

    I cut six slots in the back level with the shelves so I can get at connections and cables. Then I added some U shaped slots in the middle bottom and top so I could attach the back panel without disconnecting everything that exits the cabinet (speaker wires, power in etc.).

    Cutting the back was really awkward as the back is too thin to jigsaw accurately but thick enough to make it hard work with a knife. To be honest it's a bit of a bodge and I'd like to redo it with a thicker panel of MDF at some point. I may also look at the metal X braces that go with the IKEA shelving systems next time we go there. Still once you put it in place it adds a lot of rigidity by holding the cupboard square. I had considered leaving it off but I wasn't happy that it would hold together without bracing.

    The back is screwed rather than panel pinned to give it more rigidity and so I can remove it if I have to in future. My 70Kg 32" Sony Wega is on top of it and seems secure.

    It's more than big enough for all the components (Width: 95 cm, Depth: 62 cm, Height: 75 cm). The Tivo and Amp can sit side by side in the bottom.

    The doors are safety glass so there's no need for a remote repeater - one thing that caught me out was positioning everything so that you can see the IR receivers, I had to swap the amp and Tivo over and put the Tivo on some wooden blocks to get good line of sight to the receiver through the doors.

    The doors bolt on one side and have a removable key on the other which should make them kid proof enough for now.

    The TV is high enough that it shouldn't get too sticky when our daughter starts to haul herself up on the furniture. It was a bit weird looking up at the TV after the Oppli but we're used to it now.

    I was also concerned that heat build up would be bad but the nursery thermometer confirmed that after an evenings viewing the amp was no hotter than it had been before and the overall temperature of the cupboard was only 2 degrees higher than the rest of the room.

    I'll post a picture when I have time to download from the digital camera. Thanks for the help and I hope my experiences will help others!
     
  18. AMc

    AMc
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    [​IMG]
    Before using my slightly customised Oppli

    [​IMG]
    And now with my new strenghtened Leksvik cupboard.
    Front left and right speakers are tucked just behind the sides of the TV and the levels adjusted to suit.
    That picture is already out of date as I've added an Acoustic Solutions SP111 DAB/FM tuner under the DVD player!
     
  19. AMc

    AMc
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    Could a mod move this to the new AV Furniture forum - might be of interest to someone in future (I've already had one PM).
     
  20. Ged

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    Andy,
    We had one of these until we bought a plasma.
    I moddified the doors by removing the glass and fitting metal frett panel sheeting. It comes in various styles and colours, £13 a sheet from B&Q, but when fitted it will allow all the kit and centre speaker to breathe.
    Sod's law it ended up on the tip as you could have had the doors.
    Ged
     
  21. steev

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    Andy

    Re your message on the other thread, I'll propose it to my other half to see if it gets her approval. I may go for the X-brace option. The other issue then is being able to move it to access things. With the TV on top it's going to be heavy and it will be fairly close to the wall. Maybe I'll just have to make sute I get it all right first time.

    Thanks
     
  22. AMc

    AMc
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    I would recommend the X brace as this will be strong, gives the maximum amount of cooling and easy access.
    Ged's idea is well worth considering as it can get warm in there.

    You will have to do some modification of the back because the single cable access hole IKEA provide won't take many SCART and power cables. You'll probably want to route power through the bottom and signal out through the top.
    I'd recommend cutting U shapes to the edges so you can get the back on and off without disconnecting all the wiring.

    If you have a digital camera I'd take some pictures of the back panels on your kit so you can find the wires/sockets without having to extract the whole unit.

    The internal shelves are only sitting on pegs so if you are handy you might be able to attach them to full length drawer runners and slide them out to get at the back of your kit - might be possible?

    You're right that once fully loaded it is very hard to move. We have wooden floors so I can walk/slide it forwards but it's very, very heavy and moving it like that puts a lot of twisting strain on the cabinet which the glue and L brackets help to counter - still I don't do it if I can possibly avoid it!
     
  23. AMc

    AMc
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    In case anyone turns this up in a search...

    Yesterday I finally undertook wiring in my Quintro+ so I could split out a signal for the projector. I also took the opportunity to swap the hardboard back for an X brace. It's the longer length sold with the IVAR shelving range and it stabilised the cabinet. There's a little more flex than with the board back but not enough to worry me. Cooling is much better and the rewire was less of a nightmare!
     
  24. Ged

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    Just for future reference, you can buy round hole saws which are used in electric drills. this makes light work and allows easier cable management.
     
  25. AMc

    AMc
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    I actually did use a hole saw to cut access at the top and bottom, but the board is very lightweight with a thin printed wood effect. The saw skated a lot the covering flaked and it didn't cut a nice neat hole. Maybe a better DIYer could have made a neater job :)
     
  26. Tenex

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    The Ikea Kaxas TV/hifi bench (smoked glass etc mentioned further up) has 4x large round circular cable exits etched into the rear panel but they are only barely etched so I found myself digging out the hole saw to cut through. No particular problems (well, cramped) but they could have just cut the damn things out at source.....

    I'm in the same position as you some months on and I searched high and low for something other than the Ikea Kaxas solution, but oddly when I assembled it I quite liked it. Still not wired it all up though....

    Anyone have suggestions as to how to lock sliding glass doors against small fingers? :lease:


    :offtopic: [oh and to those who suggest teaching little ones not to fiddle I was sceptical until I checked it out with a professional and it seems gender differences render it almost imposible to do this with anything other than a female model ;) The professional opinion is there is no way it'll work with male offspring as they seem to have fiddling hard wired into the chromosomes..... together with a tendency to grab each and every remote, though boredom may set in at some indeterminate point]
     
  27. AMc

    AMc
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    There seem to be 2 Kaxas stands on the Ikea web site, one with sliding doors and one with a rotating door. I would guess you need a pop up/down bolt for either but I don't know where you'd find one.
    The rotating one could also be locked with a normal cupboard/drawer catch if you could superglue it to the door and you'd probably want to paint it black - http://www.ikea.co.uk/webapp/wcs/st...uctId=20664&langId=-20&parentCats=10106*13756
    Failing that a luggage strap round the cabinet would also work - again pretty ugly but taste and babies don't seem to be easy companions.

    LOL - I'm afraid my little girl is just as taken with buttons and dials. If she can get a phone or a remote then she is very pleased with herself. You can see the look of glee on her face if she spots that the Tivo remote is in her range and unattended.
    She has finally learned that the DVD collection is best left on the shelves not scattered on the floor - but it took a lot of explaining and a fair amount of tears to get there.

    Once she's old enough to want to watch telly for more than 5 minutes then I'll show her how to work the basics but for now I'm just fortifying and keeping the remotes on the mantle!
     
  28. Tenex

    Tenex
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    It's the TV bench / sliding door one. I wish I could find one of those locks that jewellers/photographic stores used to put on sliding doors.

    I'd be the last to encourage TV watching in children but as the SO watches so much and the baby gets drawn in I bought a Pingu DVD and that had the little wonder spellbound sitting inert for up to 10 minutes entranced. Oddly this hasn't happened with the subsequent Pingu DVDs.

    First action every morning is characterised by the hunt for remotes and phones - much more important than mere food.....

    ...couldn't live without it though :blush: ;)
     
  29. DeekosRSV

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    Just sitting reading through suggestions for an av stand with my wife (will she ever find one she likes she sighs) As we're expecting our first child we're now looking for something that matches the living room decor AND child freindly!!
    Anyway she suggests this following site for those of you's with little mini-me's that love the remote control as much as daddy!!
    http://www.bounty.com/Shopping/WillyUmYum/catitems.asp?cat=27

    Any more suggestions for as she puts it "proper wood" units?!
     
  30. thelawnet

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    Just ordered my new 32" LCD, and I want to hide it in a cupboard. That is, I need to close doors on it. The reason is that my wife is a childminder, and I don't fancy footballs being kicked against it and whatever.

    Only found one option, Markor from Ikea for £165. Seems like overkill.

    Anyone recommend a better solution that protects the TV?
     

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