Almost every home in America has a TV, and the vast majority have several. People have TVs in their living rooms, bedrooms, family rooms, and possibly even bathrooms. Television is everywhere and has been for a very long time. Having said that, the TV has changed a lot over the decades since it was first introduced. Early TVs were built into cabinets, standalone units that doubled as pieces of furniture. As TVs moved away from the cabinet model, they required stands to put them on. Some families simply placed the new TV on top of the old one, using its cabinet as a stand, but that was not always practical; especially for those who had sold or otherwise disposed of their old TV. Thus the TV stand was born. Today, there are many types of TV stands, and buyers should know how to choose the right one for their needs.
TV Stand Basics
Pretty much anything that can support the weight can be used as a TV stand. All it needs is the strength and stability to do the job. Despite that, most people do not want to simply put a milk crate or something similar in the middle of the room where they watch TV, and so they spend the money on a dedicated TV stand that looks stylish and blends in with the room’s decor. Some go for a small stand that is just big enough for a stable mount for the TV, while others prefer a whole entertainment center that dominates the entire room.
Start With the Television
The first thing any prospective purchaser should do before buying a TV stand is to consider the TV it needs to support. How big is the TV? How heavy is it? Can it be supported from the bottom or does it need to be connected to a wall mount? Once the requirements of the TV have been determined, the next thing to do is decide what kind of stand fits best into the room.
Consider the Room
Look at the room in which the TV and stand are to be used. Consider both the amount of space available and the room’s style. A small room may want a space-saving option, while a very large room may need a stand that is large enough so that it does not look lost in the middle of everything. Style is also important; a glass and metal style may not look right in a room full of dark wood, while a rich wooden cabinet may look out of place among minimalist black furniture.
Types of TV Stands
There are almost as many different types of TV stands as there are different types of rooms and certainly more than there are different types of TVs. They range from the small and unobtrusive to bigger than even the largest flat screen. There is one for every room and one for every need.
Cantilever TV Stand
The simplest way to describe a cantilever stand is to say that it is a wall mount that rests on the floor. Essentially, a cantilever stand consists of flat base with a central spine rising from the back. The TV is mounted on the spine, usually with the same kind of bolts that are used with a wall mount, and there is usually space for additional components, or storage, below. The big advantage of this design is stability. Since the TV is solidly attached to the stand, it is much harder to knock the TV over, and it will not fall off the mount with a casual bump. It gives the appearance of a wall mount, with the mobility of a floor mount, and the added benefit that the owner does not have to drill holes in the wall to mount the TV. This is particularly beneficial for those who rearrange rooms frequently, as the stand can be moved as required.
Corner TV Stand
Corner TV stands are a great option for anyone who is dealing with a limited space. These angled stands allow for the efficient use of a part of the room that is normally unusable, effectively enlarging the room without tearing down the walls to do it. Corner stands work very well in bedrooms and small apartments, where much of the wall space is already taken.
Hideaway TV Stand
These large motorized stands, sometimes called pop-up stands, enable the owner to hide the TV inside the stand when not in use. It is a very clever idea for those who do not leave the TV on all the time and would rather not have a blank screen taking up a large part of their wall. The drawback of these stands is that they are both more expensive than many other options, and they also take up a lot of space as they need to be large enough to conceal the TV from casual viewing.
TV Wall Mount
Wall mounts are a popular way to create the effect of a movie theater inside the home. They take up no floor space and make it easy to mount the screen at eye level for comfortable viewing. The one drawback is that they require a little more care in placement than a floor stand as they need to be attached to studs in order to support the weight of a TV. Even though the weight of TVs continues to decrease, increases in screen size counteract the weight loss. This usually requires that holes be drilled in the walls, which means that once the TV is in place, moving it becomes a relatively difficult proposition.
Often costing almost as much as a TV itself, an entertainment center makes a statement as the centerpiece of the room. This piece of furniture does more than just hold a TV; it also has space for any other entertainment component as well as media such as DVDs, Blu-rays, and CDs, making it the focal point of the room.
Platform TV Stand
The defining feature of these stands is that they have nothing attached to the uprights, no backs, sides, or walls; so they make it seem almost as if the TV is floating in mid air. They are an excellent minimalist option, being light and easily portable. Some do have shelves to store video components, but they retain an airy, almost skeletal, look.
Picking the Right TV Stand
The key to picking the right TV stand is knowing exactly what needs it must to meet. The right stand depends on the room, the TV, and the prospective purchaser’s budget. Someone with a home theater system may be better off with a large entertainment center as the focal point of their viewing room, while a college student in a studio apartment may be fine with a small corner unit. The key is to find the intersection of the TV, the room, and the user’s needs. Put those together, and the decision is easy.
Where to Buy a TV Stand
TV stands are as ubiquitous as TV sets; they can be found everywhere. Locals can find them at a host of retailers, ranging from TV specialty stores to major brick-and-mortar electronics or houseware chains. Customers who are looking for a greater variety can also shop the Internet. TV stands can be found at many online retailers as well as auction sites like eBay.
Buying a TV Stand on eBay
Buying a TV stand on eBay is a snap. All you need to do is type "TV stand" in the Search box that appears on every eBay page and hit Enter to see the results. You can also use the filters on the sidebar to tighten your results by limiting them to TV stands in your price range or local area. Additional keywords also let you filter the results by either style or material, making it easier to find the TV stand that best fits your personal needs. The sort feature lets you arrange the results in the order so the best fit is at the top of the list.
Once you have found the right stand, the next thing is to determine which of eBay’s reputable sellers is the best fit for your needs. By visiting sellers’ profile pages you can not only see their feedback but also their location and policies. Checking their policies can be a great help, as you can see if they offer bundles with reduced shipping costs when you buy more than just a TV stand. You may also discover whether or not the seller is amenable ot local pickup, which can eliminate shipping costs entirely.
The best TV stand for any buyer is one that supports the television where they want to watch it and blends seamlessly with the room. Those with a dedicated viewing room may want to go for an entertainment center or even a wall mount. Something that can serve as the focal point of the viewing room makes a lot of sense for these consumers, and it makes for a great facsimile of the movie theater experience. Viewers with less available space may benefit from a corner unit, which allows a TV to be mounted in what might otherwise be wasted space. Cantilever stands are a great option for those who want the appearance of a wall mount but who also want the freedom to rearrange the room or even just move the TV without difficulty. As with so many other things, the key to buying the right TV stand lies in identifying the needs it has to meet and then matching the stand to those needs.