Ideas for a Wall-Mounted TV and Blu-ray Player Shelf

Whether you play Blu-ray discs in a standalone Blu-ray player or through a home theater system, you can place your player on a shelf below an HDTV that you mount directly to the wall of your media room. Your mounting and shelving options depend on the size and weight of your TV, your room decor and the style of your furniture, and include choices you can make, buy or commission from an expert craftsperson.

Braced & Floating Shelves

Shelves that need to carry more than a little weight without integration into a piece of furniture must tie in to the studs within wall construction to gain rigidity and load-bearing capability. To create a flexible shelving area, use wall-mounted track standards like those installed in bookcases. These metal tracks provide slots for shelf brackets at intervals no more than a few inches apart. For a shelf that can carry a load but uses no visible means of support, opt for a floating design that gains its support from hardware you attach to the wall and insert into the back of the boxlike shelf design.

Brackets & Framing

Small- to medium-sized HDTVs include built-in stands that enable them to sit on a shelf without additional hardware. The bigger the set, the more you'll want to mount the TV directly on the wall with hardware designed expressly for that purpose. Match your mounting system to the size and even the brand or model of the set. Some TV mounting hardware includes a built-in shelf designed for a Blu-ray player, attached below the brackets that hold the set, and an integrated cable-management system that hides and contains wiring. For a custom look, have a craftsperson build a picture-frame-like enclosure that hides the TV bezel behind burled walnut, gold leaf or other decorative touches.

Cable & Cord Management

If your wall-mounting setup lacks a built-in cable management system and you don't want to hire an electrician and contractor to integrate your wiring behind the wall itself, you can choose from options that either hide the wires or make a decorative element out of them. A homemade fabric cover the same color as your wall can make a bundle of cabling blend in to a solid-color background. Snugging the wiring together and fastening it with cable ties, hook-and-loop wrappings or a spiral of decorative fabric can hold it out of the way.

Other Considerations

Before you invest in wall mounts and shelving, verify some integral specifications on your TV and playback equipment. If your A/V components' remote controls send infrared signals, verify that the window at which you aim to change channels or control DVD playback remains accessible with the components in their final mounted positions and the remote in the hand of someone sitting on the furniture in your viewing area. Don't invest in wall mounts without verifying that your TV set accepts this style of hardware. If you choose a brand-new TV set design, it may not be compatible with available mounting devices and may require a stand to accommodate its weight.

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