With the changes in television technology, TV stands, audio racks, and entertainment centers have evolved. Gone are the days when televisions were considered a stand alone piece of furniture. Modern television sets are very different from sets built just a few years ago. Major technological advances in television design have completely changed not only picture quality, but also the physical enclosure.
Since televisions became commercially available in the nineteen forties, the heart of the TV was the picture tube. More accurately, the picture tube is a large cathode ray tube. The cathode ray tube or CRT is a large vacuum tube with a series of electron guns in rear of the tube. Simply stated, the electron guns shoot electrons at the front of the tube which itself has been coated with a fluorescent material. The fluorescent material causes the electrons to diffuse and the fluorescent material glows as a result. Through a series of signal modulations, a visible image can be seen.
This same technology fueled the personal computer revolution. CRT computer monitors use the same decades old technology as the television. As anyone who has owned a personal computer knows, old CRT monitors are large and bulky, taking up lots of space. Like CRT televisions, CRT monitors generate lots of heat and consume more power than newer solid state technologies.
TV sets today are much larger than older cathode ray tube sets. The difference is that the new high definition TV sets are no where near as deep. An older CRT television that measures twenty six inches diagonally may be as deep as twenty four inches. Compare that to a new high definition television, which might only seven or eight inches deep.
Because of the number and size of the components used, early televisions were built into their own furniture cabinets. The sixties ushered in the age of the portable TV. These TV sets were made portable because of the introduction of the TV stand. Even though it was portable, the TV was still fairly heavy, requiring a platform of sort kind. A whole, new industry sprang up offering a variety of TV carts and stands.
During the nineteen sixties and nineteen seventies, American households with televisions usually had just one set. Being able to transport the TV from living room to bedroom was a big deal. These early TV stands and carts were pretty basic, combining both a viewing platform and portability. Since the sets were not tied to a cable, many of us remember being able to wheel the television from room to room with relative ease.
During the nineteen seventies and nineteen eighties, televisions shed the furniture look and became more of a stand alone video component. Screen sizes grew and the TV became less than portable. Another interesting development reduced the need for portability. Many American households had two or more TV sets. Gone was the need to move a single set from room to room. The family room or living room once again became a gathering place for watching TV and the age of the entertainment center began.
During the late nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties, the television became an integral part of home entertainment systems. Home audio moved to incorporate television into a single integrated entertainment system. Stereo receivers had the capability of accepting and processing the television audio signals from cable, satellite, and analog sources. Instead of having to rely on the speakers in the TV, we could channel the audio to our stereo speakers. It was not long before the introduction of surround sound technology would again change the way we listen to television.
The entertainment center and the TV stand have become the central focus for the modern electronics that have enhanced the television viewing experience. The advent of cable and satellite control boxes meant that more space was needed. DVD players, surround sound processors, speakers and other components are now an integral part of TV viewing. These components need to be relatively near to the television monitor. A myriad of cables connections are required these days just to watch your favorite TV show.
Size Does Matter
The depth of the new high definition television sets is less than the old CRT televisions. Even a large fifty inch diameter set may be no more than six inches deep. Another difference is that high definition sets can be hung on the wall in the same way one would hang a painting. Still, some sort of stand is needed for other components. That is where a good quality TV stand or entertainment center makes all the difference.
Regardless of the room decor, a TV stand or entertainment center will fit right in. The ultra modern look of some new televisions can be muted by a TV stand that is made in a more traditional style. Whether you chose a TV stand made of walnut, cherry, or other rich hardwood, you can maintain a traditional look while having ample space for all your components. From art deco to modern, there is a variety other styles that are sure to compliment any decor.
The cathode ray tube technology will soon be a memory. Even if physical connections like cables and cords are replaced by wireless technology, there will still be a need to neatly store and organize the ever expanding number of video and audio components.