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In my corner of the world, most new homes and apartments have a fireplace in the main living area. Presumably this makes them seem more attractive in the real estate listings. There are two things wrong with these fireplaces. One is that they are the cheesy gas-fired type. The other is that (unless
your house is huge) they usually sit in the exact spot in the room that is the most practical location for a TV.
You could get an expensive flat-screen TV and mount it above the fireplace, but thats too high for seated viewers, leading to neck strain. You could just put the TV in front of the fireplace, perhaps with the back pushed into the hearth, but that just looks stupid. This is even more of a problem if you like to have your TV hidden inside a nice piece of furniture when not in use.
Here's the solution. Rip out the brickwork of the firebox and seal the flue. This leaves a hollow space in the wall. A mechanism that can hold the weight of the TV is mounted, which expands up and out into the room.
When folded up, the TV screen is flush with wall, exactly filling what was the opening of the hearth. With the fire screen closed, you might not even notice it wasnt a real hearth.
Press a button, the fire screen opens, the mantel posts fold out to either side as needed, and the TV lifts up and out into the room. It settles at eye level for convenient viewing.
And best of all, the TV is still operable when folded into the mantel, so you can put on one of those video fireplace discs and enjoy an old-fashioned evening.
Video fireplace recordings
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]
Propane fueled video display
another way to present images in the hearth [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]
(?) I hate it when that happens
[thumbwax, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]
Picture House - Plasma TV Fireplaces
Sort of baked, although their implementation pops the plasma out of the top of the mantel. [krelnik, Sep 13 2005]
||Wow..any way you could do this with a jukebox ?
||anyroad have a toasted one of these +
||No, sorry, but there's no substitute for a real fire. Oh, the flames, the flames. .....
||If you have a real fire, who needs a TV ? Burning stuff is much more entertaining.
||For the crypto-pyromaniacs amongst us (8th...) how about a furnace that is disguised to look like a TV? A veneer of normality for when guests come round, but when they have gone, a world of immolation from the comfort of your favourite armchair.
||//If you have a real fire//
Ah, but the premise of the idea that this is replacing one of those natural gas faux log fireplaces. You can't burn anything in these fireplaces other than the gas, so they are no fun at all! And the flames produced by one of these are boring compared to the real thing.
||A vendor has subsequently baked something very similar to this, see last link.