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Choosing the Right Media Center

Buying furniture of any kind is a big investment. You should know exactly the sizes and styles of pieces that you want before spending any money. Media centers are especially important purchases for music lovers, movie buffs and gamers alike. Choosing the right media center for your home involves careful consideration of many factors, including space, design and potential for future expansion.

Measure Your Components

Whether you’re looking for your first media center or you want to upgrade your current furniture to something more practical, it’s important to know the dimensions of all of your electronics. Before heading out to shop, take careful measurements of your:
• Television
• DVD/Blu-ray player
• Speakers or surround sound system
• Game systems

You should also take stock of any peripherals or accessories that accompany these components. The larger and more complex your media setup, the larger the media center you’re going to need.

The size and shape of your TV is especially important. These days, most people own a flat screen LCD or HDTV, but some still have standard box-style sets. Whatever style you have, you want to look for furniture that puts it front and center while offering the proper support. There’s no point in purchasing a media center that can’t take the weight of your electronics or that makes it hard to get the best possible view of the TV.

Assess Your Collection

Just how big is your digital media collection? This includes CDs, individual DVD and Blu-ray movies, DVD and Blu-ray boxed sets and video games. If you’ve never had a place where you can store all of these things together, chances are everything is scattered around the house. Gather it all up and take stock before looking for a media center. You might be surprised by how many things you have to store.

Whatever the size of your collection, you want to choose a media center that can accommodate media of various types. It’s a given that you’ll be purchasing more media in the future, so you also want to look for something that has a little extra room for expansion. If you have an extremely large collection, you may need to look into adding some extra shelving along with your new media center.

Design a Room Layout

After you work out what size media center you need for all of your digital media and electronics, it’s time to design the layout of your media room. How you do this depends on where you’re planning to put your new media furniture. Will you be adding a piece to an existing room layout? Or are you starting a new room design from scratch? Either way, you need to know how much space you’re working with before you make any purchases.

Take the time to measure as you did with your electronics. Know how big the room is and how much space any existing furniture takes up. Make a list of each piece and its measurements so you can refer to it when you’re ready to place your new media center. If it helps, you can use graph paper to sketch out a schematic of how everything will best fit together. When designing an entire room, start with the media center as your main component and plan to arrange everything else around it.

The measurements you take will help you decide on the size and shape of media center to buy. Some designs to consider include:
• Triangular media centers that can be tucked into any corner
• Traditional TV stands with shelves for media and digital components
• Upright media centers featuring dedicated spaces for each aspect of the media experience
• Media cabinets that conceal the TV behind doors when not in use

Don’t just choose a media center that fits the space you’ve mapped out for it. Look for a style that allows you to sit a comfortable distance from the TV screen while still being able to take in all the details. And keep in mind the kind of sound system you’ll be using so that you can make the most of each speaker’s output.

What’s Your Style?

A dedicated media room or a living room with a media center is meant to be a place where you can go and unwind. Whether you watch a lot of movies, play music as a soundtrack to your life or prefer to wind down with a video game, the style of the room should promote relaxation.

Keep this goal in mind as you browse different styles of furniture. Traditional styles give you a classic look with all the functionality of a modern media center. These include wood or log models, “basic black” TV stands, cabinets and more. Modern pieces use clean lines and solid colors to create a sleek look that brings a touch of sophistication to any home. Choose the style that appeals to you so that you’ll be able to enjoy your media center for many years to come.

What’s Your Budget?

Budget is the biggest concern when it comes to purchasing a media center. Even if you find the perfect piece, you need to be able to afford it. This is where shopping around becomes important. Don’t just walk into a store and snap up the first thing that seems to fill your needs. Instead, give yourself time to browse and go from store to store to find exactly the right media center for your home.

If you’re not enthusiastic about the idea of spending a whole day driving around on a furniture shopping mission, the Internet is a great place to “window shop.” You can browse through hundreds or even thousands of different media centers without leaving the comfort of your home. Most online stores have multiple pictures or even 360-degree views of their products, so you can get a good idea of what a piece will look like in your home before buying it. And if you find the media center of your dreams while surfing from site to site, you can make your purchase right from home as well.

Other Necessities

In addition to the media center itself, you’ll need to plan for other furniture and accessories to complete the room. As you’re getting ready to shop, don’t forget about:
• Lighting that creates a relaxed atmosphere
• Seating to accommodate friends and family members
• Extra storage or shelving for media and digital components
• Decor and accessories to give the room a personal touch

Once you’ve considered all the components of your media room, you can shop for a media center with confidence. Knowing your needs before making a furniture purchase means that you’ll get exactly the right piece in a style that you love. You won’t regret taking the time to assess your media needs before purchasing a media center. Browse through Viesso's category selection to see what fits with your home decor.

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