Cable boxes, blu-ray players, game consoles, sound bars and so on. We all have a few accessories that we like to plug into our TV to create the viewing experience we want. While the world is becoming more and more online, and “cord-cutting” is certainly a popular trend, most people still use TV accessories. Additionally, many streaming devices actually require a box of some kind. So, if you are planning on purchasing a TV lift cabinet, what happens to your devices? The answer to that question depends on your accessory so below we’ll address the most common situations. Before addressing specific devices and situations, it’s important to understand what tools you have at your disposal. Two of the best tools to conceal devices in a TV lift cabinet are IR Emitter Systems and Storage TV Lift Cabinets.
IR Emitter System
What is IR?
Have you ever tried changing the channel or adjusting the volume on your TV with a remote control only to find that something is blocking the sensor on the TV? This is a frustrating element of devices that rely on infrared (or IR) sensors to communicate with remote controls. Because it relies on a signal being carried via lightwaves (infrared lightwaves, to be exact) the signal cannot go through solid objects. Just like sunlight can’t pass through a solid wood door, IR signals can’t communicate with sensors without a direct line-of-sight. And, while there is better technology available, IR is still very common in TVs, cable boxes, and DVD players. If your device requires line-of-sight, the IR emitter system might be a good fit–so keep reading!
What about RF?
RF signals are signals that are small bursts of radio waves. The devices communicate with each other via radio frequency (or RF). The upside to RF technology is that, unlike IR signals, RF can pass through solid objects. This means you can leave devices behind closed doors and the remote can still reach the device. If your devices do not require line-of-sight, they most likely use RF technolgoy and the IR emitter system would be of no benefit to you.
The IR Emitter System
The purpose of the IR emitter system is to allow you to keep your devices out-of-sight while still allowing your remote control to communicate with them. In order to do this, the IR emitter system utilizes a signal receiver and a signal emitter. The signal receiver takes the signal from your device and hands the message off to the signal emitter. The signal emitter then broadcasts the signal to your devices. With this system, the IR signal receiver must be visible–remember, it still needs line-of-sight. The emitter, on the other hand, can be anywhere you want! It just needs to be near your devices to communicate with them. The receiver on our IR Emitter System is very small and discreet and depending on where you place it, draws no attention. With this device, you can stow your IR devices anywhere!
Storage TV Lift Cabinets
A storage TV lift cabinet is a TV lift cabinet with additional storage built in. For example, our Storage TV Lift Cabinets and TV Lift Media Consoles all have a combination of doors, drawers, and shelves on their faces whereas our Basic and Basic Plus TV Lift Cabinets do not. Storage-type cabinets are great for device storage because they have grommet holes in strategic places to allow for cords to pass from the storage portion of your cabinet to your TV.
While “cord-cutting” is nearly epidemic, according to Pew Research, 56% of Americans still received TV programming via cable or satellite in 2021. So, if you are in the majority of Americans using a satellite or cable box, what happens to your box when you get a TV lift cabinet? As we discussed above, most cable boxes rely on IR signals to work with your TV. If you are planning on using a cable box, consider purchasing a TV lift cabinet with some storage functionality and add the IR Emitter System. This way you can hide your cable box behind one of the doors on your TV lift cabinet and still connect via the emitter system. Please note that the storage depth in our Storage TV Lift Cabinets and TV Lift Media Consoles is ≈9″, so if your cable box is more than that, please contact us for a custom solution.
Easy! We recommend the sound bar cubby for any and all sound bars. The cubby is an optional upgrade on the Basic, Basic Plus, and Storage TV Lift Cabinets. On TV Lift Media Consoles it comes standard. With this simple upgrade, any sound bar will have the perfect home in your cabinet. And, because most sound bars are built to look very sleek and stylish, they really don’t hurt the aesthetics of the room.
Ironically, most “cord-cutters” who are cancelling cable or satellite actually end up using a streaming device that still requires a box and a cord. However, most new streaming devices like Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick, etc. rely only on RF signals, meaning the devices can remain totally out-of-sight while still functioning perfectly. So, with these devices, you will not need the IR Emitter System. You can even stick these devices to the back of your TV with high-quality adhesives (something like Command Strips) and they would remain fully functional.
One additional note here is that there is usually room inside of the TV lift cabinet to leave your streaming devices at the bottom. We don’t recommend this as it makes them difficult to reach and they can shift around and potentially become crushed by the descending TV. This can result in damage to the device, your TV, and possibly even your TV lift mechanism.
Modern game consoles rely on RF to connect controllers to devices. Therefore, they can remain stored in a storage cabinet while in use. If you plan on using a game console with your TV Lift Cabinet, please check the console to ensure it is not deeper than about 8.5″. If it is, please contact us and we can develop a storage TV lift cabinet that has adequate space for your needs. At the end of the day, we want this to work for you, so we’re happy to modify the cabinet to fit your needs. Just note that certain modifications (not all) will incur customization fees.
DVD or Blu-Ray Player
Most DVD and Blu-Ray Players rely on IR signals, so your best bet is to purchase a storage TV lift cabinet or TV lift media console and add the IR Emitter System. However, it is easy to check if your device using IR or RF by simply pushing buttons on your remote while the sensor on the device is blocked by a solid object (you can also try pointing the remote directly into the ground). If the device responds without line-of-sight, congratulations! You have an RF enabled device and you can put it where ever you’d like. If it does not respond, the solution above is perfect for you.
Nearly any modern device can work within a Wildwood TV Lift Cabinet. It is true that in some cases modifications must be made, but most of the time your device can work flawlessly by utilizing a Storage TV Lift Cabinet or TV Lift Media Console and adding an IR Emitter System where necessary. If you have a device that you are unsure about, give us a call at 801-901-8249 and we’d be happy to help you find the best solution for you.