It's not unusual to have special needs about television. Size, sound, angled viewing, not wanting to see the TV, wanting to see the TV, hating TVs. And yet, everyone seems to have them. And more and more televisions are popping up in every room.
Sometimes the room dictates that the TV must go above the mantle. For most, this is an unhappy compromise. But here are some interesting solutions.
Client needs: optimal viewing height, best quality sound. Largest television we could get in the space. So we pulled out the mantle, changed the gas insert engine and the surround, reframed the wall, recessed the speakers, designed a custom mantle (that is technically too low for the space but allows for optimal viewing height and sound -- and meets code for the new insert). Here it is in stages. There was a lot of work and a lot of people involved here. Electricians, AV guys, ordering a new insert, code for the insert, reframing the wall with sufficient support for the wall mounted television, designing, specifying, and installing the new mantle. This was NOT easy.
Here is the after shot.
Another client wanted a really good TV but the look of the room was more important to her. She hated the look of a TV but didn't have another room in the house for watching TV. So we installed a product from Vision Art. See the art over the mantle? It's art that hides the television. When the TV is off, you see art. Then you use a remote to lift the screen so you can see the TV. With the traditional decor, the TV does not distract. Her speakers are cool too.
This solution below involved making both husband and wife happy. The husband HAD to have a TV in the living room; the wife did not like the idea of it going over the mantle. But then the husband offered this compromise: if he got the TV over the mantle, then he'd stay out of the rest of the process (which was only partially true in the end). We also changed the tile and the hearth so that when the wife looked at the fireplace, she could see something pretty.