Have you noticed how people compromise on the furniture they use for their “home theater.” You can’t tell me that IKEA doesn’t love the fact that they’re able to sell all those cheap stands and tables for use in holding what are quality audio and video components.
But snide remarks aside, the placement of A/V equipment is an important consideration — both from an esthetic as well as practical point of view. That’s why companies have been producing home theater furniture that doesn’t look like it belongs inside a dorm room — and lately it’s become affordable as well.
So as a case in point — take the Sanus Basic Series BFV546 Audio Video Stand. Standing 24.7-inches tall and 46.1-inches wide, the solid hardwood bespeaks a contemporary design in a light and dark walnut finish that compliments a room, and goes well with the (usually) black and sliver that most A/V equipment sports. A wide top suitable for holding a 50-inch TV, but there’s no requirement to do that. In fact the Basic Series BFV546 Audio Video Stand has an optional mount for attaching a flat-panel to it without taking up any of the top surface space. With two open enclosures — each accessible from behind, thanks to sliding cover panels — a main draw to the eye are the two pull out drawers. There’s plenty of space inside them for storing remotes and all the jazz that otherwise ends up scattered pretty much everywhere. Believe me on this.
Of course the Basic Series BFV546 Audio Video Stand doesn’t come without a balance on the scale: you assemble it yourself. But with no tools needed and a manual whose diagrams actually make sense, only someone totally against assembling furniture is gong to have trouble. Need proof? Read on.
I’ve a low table beneath my front projection screen to hold the components of my living room home theater: a satellite receiver for television, a Blu-ray player (with app capability and streaming) for Blu-ray and DVD viewing and an amplifier running all out to my 7.1 channels of audio. And a power amplifier/uninterruptible power supply too of course (and since the AC coming into my place is so damn “dirty,” a power filter module sits discretely to the back of the table). And yes, it was from IKEA. Heavy sigh.
But I want to consolidate my A/V in a nicer looking enclosure and free up some room to boot. So that calls for the Sanus’ Basic Series BFV546 Audio Video Stand. The top surface will hold the power supply and amplifier, with the satellite receiver and Blu-ray player taking refuge inside the enclosures (the back being open to aid in the air flow).
Now rather than bore you going through the process, let’s instead concentrate on the common sense and practical aspects that makes assembling home theater furniture a pleasure and not a chore. At least that was the case with this Sanus.
Removing all the “parts” from the packaging in the box can take a half hour or more, so plan on taking your time. Also you should consider where you are doing the assembly — if you have narrow corridors between rooms, it doesn’t make sense to assemble the Basic Series BFV546 Audio Video Stand in one room and then be forced to carry it into another. I’ve placed all the various bits in the living room, where it’s going to be used, with enough space between them so as to navigate around them safely. That can be important if you have children or pets or need to keep space open for moving about.
I also recommend some sensible clothing — not loose fitting — when doing the assembly. In my case, I work in a T and shorts (adding G-Form’s knee and elbow pads when necessary) and use a back brace to keep my lower back in good shape when lifting heavy stuff — which I always place flat and not standing for safety when it’s in a waiting pattern. As to hand protection, exercise gloves work well because they provide protection while keeping the fingers free. This may not be the best answer if you have to use tools, but that’s not the case here.
So I see that each part has a numbered sticker on it and a “cam” system where a screw attached to one part one part is inserted into the cam’s hole and then swiveled shut. This eliminates the need for tools, although you do have to push parts together. That gets a bit tough when dealing with wooden dowels, but short of using a soft mallet with a wash cloth, just expect to push hard and firmly, once you’ve lined the holes up correctly.
As an aid to seeing the holes once some of the parts have been assembled, my flashlight of choice is a hand-cranked LED model because it never runs out of power.
Bottom line: The assembly process for the Sanus Basic Series BFV546 Audio Video Stand took under 2 hours. That $399 retail buys you a nice piece of furniture that will compliment whatever room it’s is a given. But even better is that my home theater is now as good to look at as it is when in use.
- Adjustable feet for leveling
- Middle shelf can accommodate a center channel speaker
- Removable/sliding back panels
- Optional flat panel mount leaves top surface free
- Some manual diagrams inconsistent with the pieces
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.