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Old January 18, 2008, 11:06 AM   #1
normab
 
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Question Pros and Cons of TV over a Fireplace?

If I had my druthers there would be no TV in the same room as the fireplace. Alas, I did not win the family vote, but I do get major say on where it's placed!!

So, if we have to have a TV in the same room, what are your thoughts about putting it above the fireplace? Seems we have seen lots of examples of people doing this, but we are trying to decide if it makes sense. Our other options are to put it on a console or hang it from another wall in the room.

Any opinions out there?
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Old January 18, 2008, 11:39 AM   #2
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I wouldn't want the TV over the fireplace. I feel a little dizzy even thinking about it. You're watching the TV and your eyes are constantly drawn to the movement of the fire. And the warm air coming up from the fire might do that "wavy" thing right in front of the TV picture. If there was no fire in the fireplace I guess it would be okay....
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Old January 18, 2008, 12:32 PM   #3
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If the fireplace burns real wood, it would be a very bad decision to place an LCD over the fireplace. Any transient smoke contains all kinds of constituents (oils, tars, etc) which would damage the LCD screen.

If it is a pretend fireplace (zero clearance gas fired) you just have to worry about localized temperature issues.
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Old January 18, 2008, 01:33 PM   #4
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It might be hard to hide the wires in the wall behind the TV as there may be a chimney there, so you get wires running down the wall somewhere. If the cable box (if you have one) or DVD, etc. is now located further away from the set, y0ou may need longer cables than you currently have.
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Old January 18, 2008, 01:37 PM   #5
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I have an LCD TV mounted above a gas-only fireplace. It looks nice and all, and it was the main TV watched by everyone in the household for a couple of years.

But now that I have a second, larger LCD TV mounted in its own custom niche in a new family room we built last summer, the old living room fireplace TV rarely gets watched. Not because it's not nice to look at or anything, but mainly because it's mounted TOO HIGH on the wall for easy viewing. In order to be above the existing mantle, it puts the set too far up the wall. Even from across the (admittedly small) room, you need to tilt your head back at an awkward angle to see the TV. Current plans are to eventually move this set to the master bedroom, and mount a nice painting or interesting mirror over the fireplace. (We never did get around to hiding the wiring, which is another complaint. Looks very "unfinished.")

So if you want a reason to tell the family No, talk to them about the height of the TV, and where/how will you route the connecting wires, cables, and cords. Exposed wiring on a wall-mounted TV kind of defeats the cool built-in look, in my opinion.

Dave
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Old January 18, 2008, 02:16 PM   #6
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I built our house with a gas fire place in the living room s.e. corner and entertainment area on the north wall between windows and have upgraded since to a 56 inch LCD. All I can say is , WOW , I like it. In between the fire place and entertainment area my wife has a jungle of plants some over 16 ft. tall. I dont think our TV would look as nice as the fire place so there on different walls.

bill
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Old January 18, 2008, 02:56 PM   #7
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have my plasma over my fireplace as well....

dont use the fireplace all that much living in florida...but when it does get used the temps inside the wall where the wires are are not much far from ambient room temp.

if it were hot enough to hurt the TV outside the wall or the wires inside the wall...the wood framing in your wall would catch fire first =)

the chimney area is pretty well insulated inside a house.
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Old January 18, 2008, 03:15 PM   #8
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I, too, would think that a TV mounted over a fireplace would be too high to watch comfortably. You generally want the TV at eye level when you are sitting on a couch / chair.

Above the fireplace might be ok if you always watched TV while standing up...

Kurt
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Old January 18, 2008, 03:23 PM   #9
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depends on the distance from the wall to the chair I suppose...the mounts tilt.

i actually find it more comfortable to watch while reclining =)
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Old January 18, 2008, 04:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TUG Improvements! View Post
...if it were hot enough to hurt the TV outside the wall or the wires inside the wall...the wood framing in your wall would catch fire first =)

the chimney area is pretty well insulated inside a house.
Agree, but I'm concerned about the heat that is generated from the face of the fireplace opening. Heat rises and the first stop is the TV.
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Old January 18, 2008, 04:49 PM   #11
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ive never noticed any heat above the mantle that would be any cause for concern for a tv.

its been there for 2+ years now and gets used every day.
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Old January 18, 2008, 09:08 PM   #12
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I've got an LCD mounted in an opening above my fireplace and we love it. We have gas logs with a fan installed to help heat the room and therefore blow the hot air out from the mantle helping keep the heat from rising straight up. As far as the viewing angle goes it probably depends more on the size of the room than anything. We have a large living room and when I put my leg rest up on the recliner it puts me in a perfect position to sleep, oops I mean watch TV.
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Old January 19, 2008, 11:42 PM   #13
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I have seen many TVs above the fireplace and it does not seem to be a problem safety wise, and I didn't have any problems with viewing them from a sitting position either.

I think the room layout and furniture arrangment has to be taken into consideration. Many times a room only allows one main focal point thus it may not be possible to have them located on different walls and still have the furniture arranged to view both.
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Old January 21, 2008, 10:34 AM   #14
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Go for a separate wall

Ours is plasma above the fireplace. Because it is plasma, there are no issues with picture clarity from any angle, but it is still uncomfortably high to watch. The tilt suggested earlier could solve that issue, but I don't know for sure. With LCD, I'd think height would be a bigger issue since angled viewing is sometimes unclear.

The other thing to consider is where all the peripheral equipment goes and how easy it is to get to the connections. Ours is set up so that the DVD, cable box are below it (we didn't want unsightly cording stretch from the wall recess out to the fireplace front, but we couldn't place above the TV otherwise we wouldn't be able to reach, and no other place built in the wall for them) thereby raising the TV up that much higher (8"-12").

And finally, with ours, all the connections are in the far back AND in the very center making it essentially impossible to switch off any peripherals without major effort pulling the entire TV out of the fireplace recess...major pain. So we never use this TV for gaming or other things we would occasionally put on this TV. This would not be such an issue if the jacks were close to the edge on your TV....or, ideally, in front!

If it were wall mounted elsewhere you could reach the jacks, put it at the appropriate height, and if you are building now, either build in small recesses with predrilled holes thru the wall near that area to house the peripherals, or predrill holes around the TV to come out below or to the side of the TV so a nice small cabinet can be purchased to house all the other electronics and keep most of the unsightly cabling hidden in the walls. Do make it close and large, thou, so fishing for wires is easy.
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Old January 21, 2008, 07:21 PM   #15
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I have a ventless gas fireplace in a unit that includes a cabinet above for the TV, cable receiver, VCR, etc. The doors close so you don't have to look at the TV all the time. It came this way with my floor plan when the house was built.

The bottom line is that I'd never do this again. The TV and accessories get too hot. I've never had any damage, but who knows how it is effecting the electronics. Also, there is some discoloration of the pain from the heat. I also can't fit a larger TV in the space.

The angle of the TV isn't too high (five fee off the ground) and I've never had any issues focsing on the TV when the fire is turned on.
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Old January 21, 2008, 09:13 PM   #16
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I've got a lot of components connected to each of my HDTVs. There's no way this would work over the fireplace unless the entire installation was designed at new construction of the fireplace. Even then, the way technology changes over time, I doubt today's system will remain the same for the future. Besides, one fireplace is rock to top of a 16 ft ceiling and the other is faced with clear cedar over a masonary structure.
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Old January 21, 2008, 09:40 PM   #17
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We stayed at the Marriott Manor Club last week and there was a TV over the fireplace. It convinced me that the angle was not comfortable with that small of a room; too short of a distance and we all complained about neck strain. I moved to the bedroom and watched the TV at eye level. Now that's what I'm talking about! Easy viewing.
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Old January 21, 2008, 09:59 PM   #18
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Heat is an enemy of any electronics. If you hold your hand on the cabinet you will feel heat. Add a fireplace under it and you add more heat.

It may not have an affect in the short run, but over time it will age the parts inside.

Then again, if you do not use the fireplace on a regular basis, you may be ok.



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