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Fireplaces and Displays in 2021 (1 Viewer)

Mike Frezon

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After 32 years in the same house, Peg and I are moving into a new home.

This means I've got some HT issues to figure out.

The HT will either be in our living room or family room.

IF we put it in the family room, the wall we would prefer to put our display on has a fireplace. It is a gas Heatilator fireplace.

I remember reading decades ago across the forum that putting a display above a fireplace was a bad idea.

I can't imagine much has changed to change that opinion, but I also don't know very much about it. Here is a picture of the room. The current owner has a 65" set mounted directly over the FP. And, there is also a built-in 6" shelf that extends from the middle of the wall (between the display and FP). You can see some small speakers sitting on that shelf

full


So the question of the day is: is this an extremely bad idea? Or maybe I am misremembering and is it an okay practice?

My display is a 2012 Panasonic Plasma P55ST50...if that is any kind of factor in this.

Many thanks in advance for any input.
 

Malcolm R

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I'm not sure of any specifics, but I'd think the main issue would be the amount of heat that would be rising up to the TV, and whether that would cause some kind of overheating or premature failure of electronics.

Congrats on the new house (I hope it's congrats).
 

Mike Frezon

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We are very excited about the new digs! Thanks! It's a major step up for us.

I remember reading abut two issues. One was the heat. The other was the height of the set. The height doesn't concern me that much since the set does NOT seem especially high in terms of head angle (especially given the distance from where our seating would be.

So I guess what I'm asking is: will the heat of the FP be very bad for the TV?
 

David Norman

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Can't answer the heat issues, but I'm not a fan of having the high viewing angle. I like my eye level to be midscreen or certainly no lower than bottom 1/3. It feels like I'm sitting in the front row at the theater even though I know that's not really an equal situation. In house's I've been at with TV placed above the FP, I end up with neck and eye strain/fatigue fairly quickly UNLESS I sit so far away that it might as well be a 25 inch TV again. I'm sure there an angle where I'm uncomfortable, but that certainly varied from person to person.

Is that a major heat source for the house/room-area that will be on quite a bit, or more of a fireplace that will be occasional use. Is this more of a passive heating fireplace where the heat rising pretty much straight up or a unit with a blowere where the heat is blown out into the room (i.e a lot of the direct heat isn't being directly straight up the wall.)

I would think with the Plasma which already seem to run hot, if the heat is coming directly up the wall that would be worse.

Alternative -- is this a wall (and the opposite wall) that could make use of a Projector with an automated screen? That would take the electronics away from the Fireplace and allow the center of the screen to be a bit lower since the lower edge of the screen could be well below the shelf level and unless you plan on superlong winter viewing sessions it seems you could turn off the Fireplace (or turn it on very low setting) while the screen is down.

2nd alternative -- have the Plasma there AND a drop screen for more serious viewing.

AND -- congrats on the new place
 

B-ROLL

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Congrats on the new house. Bryan suggests putting the TV and associated peripherals on a cart roughly the height of the coffee table and place it about where the barometer(?) is when using the fireplace and where the fireplace is when not using it. But I am an idiot from central Arizona who calls a fireplace a "decorative item" ;)!
 

Scott Merryfield

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Congrats on the new home, Mike. That's always exciting. We just bought a new condo in South Carolina back in January, so I've experienced that feeling recently, too.

Personally, I really dislike having the display over the fireplace. Our next door neighbors in Michigan have done this, and we watched the Super Bowl over there several years ago. My neck was extremely sore after that evening. We've had them over to our place for the game ever since.

Our family room in Michigan is laid out similar to yours, and I have the home theater in that room. Instead of putting the display along the wall with the fire place, I have it on the opposite end of the room, which is open to the kitchen and a small dining alcove. It works well.

We had the family room remodeled last year, and whenever people see it, the first thing one of the females asks is why we didn't put the TV (a 70 inch set) over the fireplace. My wife has been trained enough to answer for me. Lol.
 

Mike2001

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Congratulations on your new home Mike.

Our answer to the neck kink problem is recliners. Keeps good support for head/neck while remaining comfortable and puts the TV in line-of-sight. May not work for everyone, but in our living room, with the TV mounted over the fireplace, 5 of 6 viewing seats recline. Our TV is also on a mantel mount which swings down, so not as high as some other fireplace mounts.

As to the heat, we live in southern California so rarely have the fireplace on.
 

TheFOMO

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Here's my solution to the fireplace problem! I'll be getting this myself - a little expensive but cheaper than visits to the chiropractor right?

This picture says it all. There's also a soundbar attachment so that it moves down with the TV
Screenshot 2021-06-01 072826.png
 

Malcolm R

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Quinn's mounting suggestion is a good option. It would also allow you to pull the TV away from the wall, thereby maybe avoiding some of the heat while the fireplace is running.

I don't think height is an issue except for how it may affect your neck, as others noted above. If it doesn't bother you, then it's probably not a major concern.
 

TheFOMO

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Quinn's mounting suggestion is a good option. It would also allow you to pull the TV away from the wall, thereby maybe avoiding some of the heat while the fireplace is running.

I don't think height is an issue except for how it may affect your neck, as others noted above. If it doesn't bother you, then it's probably not a major concern.
This is not much of a concern for plasma TV owners, but if you ever plan to upgrade, remember that unless it's an OLED, you need to angle that TV downward so that it's as direct to your viewing axis as possible otherwise you'll lose significant levels of color volume and color accuracy with LCD TVs, particularly ones with VA panels.
 

Mike Frezon

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Great answers everybody! Very much appreciated.

Our family room in Michigan is laid out similar to yours, and I have the home theater in that room. Instead of putting the display along the wall with the fire place, I have it on the opposite end of the room, which is open to the kitchen and a small dining alcove. It works well.

We considered this, Scott...but came up "no" for two reasons. One: we've got a nice big, clean wall on the opposite end of the room. That's where the media collection is going to go. There's no basement in the house and storage is at a premium. Two: it seems at odds with the room setup to turn your chairs away from the FP. We want to enjoy both! :D
 

Mike Frezon

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Here's my solution to the fireplace problem! I'll be getting this myself - a little expensive but cheaper than visits to the chiropractor right?

This picture says it all. There's also a soundbar attachment so that it moves down with the TV
View attachment 99177
Checking it out NOW! :D
 

Mike Frezon

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This picture says it all. There's also a soundbar attachment so that it moves down with the TV
Cool. Yeah. My center channel ain't gonna be optimally placed if I go with this setup. I figure to have my gear stand placed to the right of the FP, so it wouldn't be too far away, but not ideal, for sure. I've got a HUGE Polk CSi5 center speaker. It's 8" high/24" Wide and 14.5" deep.

But if I were to look at a mount like this, it might actually be advantageous.
 

Mike Frezon

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I don't think WAF is ever going to let me go bigger than 65"! :laugh:

If you don't plan to go bigger than 65", this should be fine.
The $899 is for larger heavier 85" TVs like 107 lbs. 85" Sony X95J

Cool! All very helpful info, Quinn! And the 540 is reduced even further to $279. Nice.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I don't think WAF is ever going to let me go bigger than 65"! :laugh:



Cool! All very helpful info, Quinn! And the 540 is reduced even further to $279. Nice.
You may need the more expensive mount due to the weight, not the size, of your display. Those plasma sets are heavy. We just removed the one that was in the condo we bought. That 42 inch set was much heavier than the 55 inch LCD I replaced it with.
 

Mike Frezon

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I looked it up. My Panny is 62 lbs.

And while I'll keep this thread active as I think it's a good discussion, the point for me has been made moot. This afternoon, on the last day possible, the owner cancelled our contract and we have been sent back to square one. :( Long story.
 

Cameron Yee

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Oh, that's so frustrating. Sorry to hear that, Mike.

I wound up getting the Monoprice version of the mantel mount. It works fine for our purposes, but I would still prefer the screen to be lower than it can go.

The way most OLEDs are, with the VESA mounts in the bottom half of the display, this would put any replacement panel higher than my existing LCD, so I don't plan to upgrade or sidegrade that set up until the LCD goes belly up. This is just general purpose TV watching for the kids, so doesn't need to be fancy.

If/when I go with OLED, it would actually go in our bedroom, where we have furniture that would nicely accommodate one.
 
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Yeoman007

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I looked it up. My Panny is 62 lbs.

And while I'll keep this thread active as I think it's a good discussion, the point for me has been made moot. This afternoon, on the last day possible, the owner cancelled our contract and we have been sent back to square one. :( Long story.
Sorry to hear that. I was about to ask if moving your TV to the right-hand wall (as you face the fireplace in the photo) would work so you wouldn't have your back to the fireplace… but never mind.
 

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