how to choose
a media cabinet

from TV stands to wall‑sized entertainment centers

What is the purpose of a media cabinet?

In any living room or dedicated media room, a media cabinet is there to—

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Provide a well-ventilated home for your television, gaming consoles, and more

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Offer storage space for everything from Blu-Rays to board games

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Keep cords and electronics connections organized and out of sight

What size media cabinet do you need? What quality points should you look for? The designers of Ethan Allen have created a guide to answer these questions and more.

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What size should a media cabinet be?

Your first job is to decide where you want to place your television in your living room or media room. We recommend a place that—

1) Minimizes glare from windows and overhead lights

2) Is easy to see from where people will be sitting

3) Is convenient to electrical outlets

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TV measuring diagram

Televisions are typically measured diagonally; a 65-inch TV measures 65 inches from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.

To ensure that your TV will fit, you should also measure its actual width, straight across.

Whether you choose a freestanding media console (our term for a TV stand) or a wall-sized media center, your TV will be either sitting on or mounted above a base cabinet. This base cabinet should be a few inches wider than the actual width of your TV, so there’s room on either side, and even wider if you want to add décor or other items on the cabinet top.

Now that you know your TV size, measure the wall where you plan to place your TV. If you don’t have a lot of room or you prefer a minimalist look, a media console will be the right choice for you.

Thinking of shopping for a bigger TV someday? Choose a cabinet that can accommodate your dream TV now so you won’t have to purchase a new media cabinet later.

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How do I choose a media console or TV stand?

Tipover protection is a big deal—even for a small media console. We recommend wall-mounting your TV whenever possible to prevent it from tipping over onto a child. Never let your kids climb your console, and use a tip restraint to secure your console to the wall.

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Is a wall-sized media center right for me?

continental modular media cabinet

A wall-sized media center can become a dramatic focal point for your living room or media room. In addition to providing a home for your TV and electronics, it can also boost your storage and display space, making your interior design as functional as it is fashionable.

Modular media centers start with a base cabinet and add right-sized storage towers on either side. You can mix and match open shelves, glass-door cabinets, and wood-door cabinets depending on your storage goals.

open shelving on media cabinet

Open shelves are great for books, photos, and keepsakes that you want to showcase loudly and proudly.

glass doors on media cabinet

Glass-door cabinets also allow for display, and they can enclose electronics while still letting you use a remote.

wood doors on media cabinet

Wood-door cabinets are for the items that you prefer to tuck away, like game cases, extra cords, cleaning supplies, and more.

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How do I measure for a wall-sized media center?

Measure the entire width of your available wall.

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Which modular media center style do you love?

The modular media centers you see here each come with their own unique finish options for wood, metal, and hardware, depending on what they’re made from. You can see our most popular selections online; visit a Design Center if you want to see even more options. You can also order finish swatches on each media center’s unique product page.

Have plenty of room left over? Many of our media centers have coordinating cabinet pieces or shelves that you can add to either side of your tower. Have your Ethan Allen interior designer put together a custom wall unit that can truly make the most of your available space.

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What about seating for my media room?

Trying to figure out how to arrange seating around your media center? Input your media room or living room measurements into our online 3D room planner and try different types of seating to get an idea of what will fit, or have an Ethan Allen designer create a room plan for you.

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Why you should invest in Ethan Allen media cabinets

We make about 75% of our furniture in North America and have spent almost a century establishing our reputation for quality and craftsmanship. Find out more about each piece’s journey from forest to finish and what makes our wood furniture so exceptional.

We stand by our products and our warranties, and we also offer furniture protection plans to help you protect your investment.

Have any questions? Visit a Design Center to talk to one of our interior designers, or click Designer Chat—our help is always complimentary.

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