Hidden TV/pop up TV

PipdogFebruary 16, 2014

We're considering a hidden tv that pops up out of the counter for our kitchen. Our last tv and cable box were hidden in a cabinet, but we don't have the space in this kitchen.

I'd love to hear from others that have installed pop up TVs. Do they work well? Any issues with them? Also, any recommendations on brands of the pop up device would be super helpful.

Traditional Kitchen by Millbrook Architects & Designers Crisp Architects

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I'm not sure the space requirements are any different.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:32PM
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What happens if you spill something on the countertop where the pop up is?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:37AM
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Wow, that pop-up TV setup looks awful.

Is it a necessity to have a TV in the kitchen like that? If yes, I'd prefer to have it hidden/recessed in the wall with a mirror or picture covering it, and sliding up or down to reveal the TV when needed.

This post was edited by FoxCrane on Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 2:54

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 2:53AM
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Sophie Wheeler

No, the space requirements are actualy greater due to the mechanics associated with the popup feature. The least space intensive requirements are a flat panel hung on a wll with an IR repeater for all of the electronics located elsewhere. That doesn't lessen the room,it just moves it elsewhere. Or watch TV on a tablet through your wireless internet. I'm a old fogey, and that's what I do.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 7:48AM
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robo (z6a)

I asked my husband if he wanted a TV in the kitchen (he LOVES tv and he loves being in the kitchen) and he just brandished his iPad at me wordlessly. So I guess he's in the tablet camp. My dream is an all-in-one computer with speakers in the kitchen for recipes, radio, and tv when desired. Possibly just on the counter. Maybe on the fridge.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:23AM
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A pop up in a piece of furniture is one thing, but this seems almost a situation of the tail wagging the dog. It's built in obsolescence waiting to happen. I would try to come up with something simpler.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:37AM
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OMG, are you kidding me? That flat panel wearing a piece of counter beret? They aren't meant to support weight. I had the same thought as jellytoast, what happens when someone spills a soda over the seams?

Anything, including no TV, is better than that arrangement.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 10:34AM
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Thanks for the responses. I'm in agreement with you all but my husband is the one that is pushing for this. He wants a TV in there but it's a small space and we don't have room on the counters (I can't sacrifice limited counter/prep space for a TV), so this was an idea he had explored as a compromise so he could get a TV to watch news in the morning. Your responses affirm my concerns -- about the spilling (we have two toddlers that eat on this counter -- disaster waiting to happen) and the built in obsolescence.

The only other option is to mount it on the wall. I don't like that idea as it would be prominently displayed and the first thing that you see when you walk in the kitchen would be a TV. A picture or mirror over the TV would look odd in the space. The TV might have to go by the wayside unless we can come up with something more creative.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:00PM
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I just designed a kitchen that put the TV over the refrigerator. Not the best place for it, but, that's what they wanted. That IS usually an awkward cabinet for anything, so why not a TV?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:05PM
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Lwo - where were they sitting that they could actually see that TV?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:49PM
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Would your husband be happy with an undercabinet mounted IPAD or computer monitor connected to your tv channel subscription via sling box?

It's less obtrusive and could be used by you for internet recipes or cooking tutorials?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 6:40AM
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IMHO, these types of TV Kitchen installations and the whole question of where to put the TV has been rendered obsolete by ipads. I would say half of our viewing is done on ipads --- certainly for one person wanting to catch the news, the ipad is perfect.

The only time you need a big TV, and have to decide about installation and camouflage, is for viewing sports and or watching movies or anything you want to watch as a group. If he's not doing either in the kitchen, a pretty new ipad --- heck even a mini --- on a kick stand is the best way to go, not only aesthetically but functionally, and and, yeah, financially!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:18AM
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I agree that an iPad solution makes more sense (size, portability, doesn't alter the kitchen).

I don't really need this, since I can spy my living room TV at an angle from the kitchen. But, if I did... I have DirecTV. What would be the best path to achieve this? I know there's an app, but it gets terrible reviews.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:19AM
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lwo, that's a very clever place for the TV. Unfortunately it wouldn't work in our space, but I like the concept.

mtn, we have an iPad but we need a larger screen for this space. The kitchen is open to a den/family room and this would be the only TV in the space. Our main movie viewing TV is in the living room which is separate from this space. My husband's lounge chair is going to be about 15 feet across the room from the kitchen, and if the kids are watching the TV in the living room, he wants to watch sports/news/shows on this TV from his lounge chair. He doesn't want to be sitting in his lounge chair watching an iPad.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:30AM
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If you must...

Hafele offers several versions- most pop up- weight limits around 220 lbs ($1100 lis for 46" tv)
Thy handle an Accuride quick lift- 120lbs up to 50" tv- $3000 list, few others- there is a manual with counterbalances- these take 10-12" out of the depth of the cabinet
Note that the picture you supplied uses a wooden top with a lip- stone is a different story.

Alternative if you "Must" is a drop down- only handles 110 lbs and max 26" tv. List is "only" $740 for all parts.

Think about the typical status of all the tv consoles with doors you see- I see one in 2000 with the doors ever closed...

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:55AM
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Why not just put the TV where viewing is optimum for the lounge chair, rather than trying to put it in the kitchen where it doesn't work?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:56AM
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I agree with SJ. Sounds like your family room/den needs a TV.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 12:16PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. We currently have a TV in the family room/den now and the configuration isn't working.

If you put the TV in the family room, you wouldn't be able to see it from the bar stools/peninsula or while you are working in the kitchen. The goal is to leave the family room/den as a conversation area because the room is open to the dining room. With a TV in the den (there is no place to hide it in the den), if you are sitting at the dining table, you are looking at a wall with a TV on it just 12 feet away from our dining room table. A TV on display in the den feels like the centerpiece of the multi-purpose space which is something we want to avoid because we're trying to use it as a dining/kitchen space, and less of a TV watching space, save for times when my husband needs his ESPN/news fix or my kids want to watch cartoons while they are having a snack, thus the desire for something hidden.

We're still looking at cabinet layout options to see if there is a place where we can sacrifice some cab storage for a TV. Compromises....

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 1:22PM
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chiefy76 even though it doesn't look like it, there is overhang to the foreground of the island, and that is where they anticipate sitting to watch the TV.

Pipdog, this doesn't sound like an actual TV problem as much as a flow problem with the house. You need a place to watch TV, and a place away from it to focus on people and conversations. If you'd post the floorplan of the house, as well as how you have your furniture arranged, some brainstorming could possibly help with the issue without succumbing to a TV in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 4:12PM
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Fori is not pleased

C'mon, gotta give us a layout of the two areas!

But....the popup...I mean, I have a popup camper, but even I wouldn't do this! :P

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:23PM
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fori, it is a pretty ridiculous looking contraption with that silly looking piece of counter top sitting on the TV. The pop up idea has officially been discarded - I made my case last night and it has been put in the trash bin. But my husband is still lobbying for a TV somewhere in the kitchen. He's not giving up! :P

live wire, you're right, this is a flow problem. This space is so open concept that we're struggling with how we want to live in the rooms. Even though we've been here a month, we have no furniture yet -- we're eating off a card table and have a hand-me-down sofa that someone gave us and a few other IKEA pieces we bought for the interim. We sold all of our furniture with our last house, so we're starting from scratch. We were hoping that living here would give us a sense of how we used the space, but after a month, we're still confused.

I'll try to draw up a floorplan and post it tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some photos which might help. Any thoughts on space planning would be so helpful to us. This house is stumping us...

Here's the den/family room which has to double as a dining room. We don't have a separate dining room. Currently, we have a 10 foot sofa on that long wall, a coffee table and lounge chair against the window. The current thought is to put a smaller sofa (84 inches) and two lounge chairs there and just make that a conversation area with no TV:

Here's the other angle (that empty space used to be an indoor grill). This space is where the dining table will have to go.

This is the view from the kitchen facing the open den/family room/dining room:

another view of kitchen:

view of kitchen/den with your back against the sliding doors -- the TV is currently on the smaller wall but we don't like it here for several reasons, one of which is that it is very close to where the future dining table will go. Also our TV is large, sitting out on a credenza and it dominates the space which I am seeing more as a dining/conversation space. You can also see all ugly cords from the back of the TV and components when you are sitting at the peninsula.:

This is the living room we were thinking would be our TV watching/movie room -- otherwise this large room will go unused - with the TV in the den/family room, we virtually never go in there:

This post was edited by pipdog on Tue, Feb 18, 14 at 23:13

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Hi Pip,

Congrats on your new home. Looking good. If you remember, I was one of major dissenters on painting the ceiling but was happy to hear later that it wasn't good wood worth saving. I didn't comment then as I was in my own move, remodel, live with parents, etc. hell.

I think I know what you are trying to do with the space. If I am seeing this correctly, it appears as if the room that you want to serve as a den/family room actually is connected by the wall to the dining room. If so, there could definitely be sound transfer with two TVs as it appears that the fireplace is open and then you have the open ceiling. Am I reading the space correctly? If so I can see your desire to only have a smaller tv in the kitchen area only. Is DH okay with perhaps having to sit at the bar to catch up on news, efc.? It could be great for conversation. Otherwise I can only see the spare tv going on the short wall you speak of now and then it can't be seen from the kitchen from what I can tell.

I think I would either do a flip down something under the cabinet or a small one wall mounted on the dining end of the cabinet run. Again, it couldn't be seen from the kitchen and maybe not what you were looking for on the end of he cabinet run but this house seems like it can handle some looseness and not stiff formality.

If it has to go where it is now, they make cord covers that clean them up and make it more visually appealing short of hardwiring.

I understand you current living conditions! We moved into the new place a week before Christmas and were still camping out.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:18AM
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Aaah! What a beautiful view! And to wreck the good vibes with a TV?

Love your house... gorgeous views outside, too.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:10AM
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We are starting our remodel, Demo is next Monday & Tuesday. Hoping for completion date of 5 weeks. Cherry cabinets, cambria counter tops, GE induction cooktop, GE convection oven, etc. Backsplash mural found this:

Was thinking about a small TV for a countertop, listen to business news, etc during dinner prep. Probably instead just settle for a coaxial cable in the baseboard. Then buy a Hauppauge Win TV USB adapter for a notebook. ($70 commitment). No permanent commitment to countertop clutter. Also, that offers full access to my satellite reception, which I don't think I get with my Kindle Fire or an iPad.

I have used these Win TV adapters in my home office for years. They work OK.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:02AM
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robo (z6a)

Still totally loving your home!

To me this sounds like a bit of a struggle between wanting to minimize the intrusion of TV (keeping it out of the den) and wanting to maximize ability to watch TV from anywhere in that large space. I think it's a bit of a clash to want something that husband can watch from a lounge chair completely on the other side of the room (that will be loud in the kitchen!), and also want something unobtrusive and also want to shoehorn it into that kitchen which is absolutely lovely but not huge. Hence I can understand the need for unusual fixes. I think if husband and children are absolutely insistent that a TV must go in this space, the best place remains the long wall of the den with a small tv.....20 inches or less.....that won't dominate the space and is unsatisfyingly small enough that it MIGHT drive people to the living room. That pop up tv is pretty small....so you just need to remind everyone of that when you bring in the insignia 19".

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:06AM
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Would you consider a projection tv? I know some folks with one, when it's not on you wouldn't know there's a tv in the room. Maybe talk with an A/V specialist.
Will the dining table be on the peninsula side or the other side of that open space?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:09AM
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That's such a beautiful space, plus the view!!! I like the painted ceilings. Thanks to Louisiana for pointing out some of the architectural features. I can see the opening at the ceiling between the living room and family room/den, plus there's the fireplace between them. So, with all that space and wood, sounds are gonna travel. If you have a movie going in the LR, esp. with kids watching, that sound won't stay in that room. If DH wants to sit in a comfy chair by the window--and who wouldn't with that view?--do you realize how loud the TV, if placed in the kitchen, will have to be? And his vision better be good as well.

I totally get wanting to watch news or sports in a different room than the main TV. I live alone in a small house and I'm embarrassed to say I have 4 TVs, more an acquisition over time than a one-time decision. There's gotta be a way to get an unobtrusive-when-off flat panel into the FR/den or even something that can be moved around.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:29AM
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I started in my last place by designing a lateral pullout that held the TV and as the design changed I ended up just running all the cords through a grommet to the inside of a cabinet so all the cord and stuff were out of the way.
Then I had an electric I device (from Rockler) to run the remotes.

I am glad I nixed the pullout for the TV because it was during the transition period between tube TVs and flat TVs, and I avoided having something mis-sized. It ended up on a small table that could be pulled out and turned depending on where we were sitting and pushed back to be unobtrusive at other times.

The reality of it is that people watch TV. Actually I mostly listen to TV so how much I see is not so important most of the time.

Bunny Williams (Miles Redd's original employer) said the way to get people to use a room is to put a TV in it. and I pretty much think this is true. --and I guess if it's good enough for people who get in Architectural Digest, it's good enough for me.

Maybe you can put it somewhere where the cords and other stuff can be hidden and it can be turned depending upon where you are watching it from.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:09AM
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While I agree with deedles, if you really must have a tv, I agree that a projection tv may be the way to go. I thought this was a clever solution for getting a very large screen into essentially no space at all. Start watching at 7:10:

Here is a link that might be useful: projection tv in tiny house

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:18AM
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robo (z6a)

pipdog - another idea, totally off the cuff -- what if you put almost ALL the comfy seating in the living room and kept two lounge chairs only in the dining room/den? To further drive people into the living room?

A third idea - not sure if this would fit with how you live, what if the living room because the adult nice room, with the nice dining table and conversation area, and the den became the informal living area with a breakfast table and comfy furniture and TV?

We have a TV-less living room (and no kids) and a monster tv family room. We use our TV-less living room for adult conversations, book club meetings, reading, and because it has the only fireplace. Every so often I drag a smaller TV in there so I can have downton abbey viewing parties near the fire but we use it a surprising amount considering how much my husband loooooooves TV.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 11:45

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:41AM
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I agree that a TV in the family room/dining room will have sound travel between the LR and FR and both TV's will have to have sound lowered to a very low level to avoid interference. We went through that in our last house and the TV distance was 30 feet to a split stairwell down to the lower level and then another 20 feet to a wall far removed from where the TV upstairs was located. The stairwell was open to the upstairs, but not open to the lower level. There was no door on the entry to the lower level. Sound was always an issue.

Could you put a small TV above the wall ovens that could be recessed somewhat (8 inches deep in an open framed cab) and put on a full motion tilt that could bring it forward for viewing in the kitchen or at the bar. That would not help the person in the easy chair, but I think sound interference will be an issue if the TV is located in the Family room. If it seems too high, perhaps you could lower the wall ovens.
You don't look like you have room at the end of the bar for a TV with a full motion tilt in a recessed panel, but you could measure and see.
How about putting a TV in the master bedroom with a comfy chair or two?

Your house is really coming along. I can't believe how quickly it is coming together. Your floors are gorgeous and look great with your cabinets. I look forward to seeing your progress. Your house has great bones.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:19PM
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thanks for the thoughts and suggestions.

oaktown and writersblock, I love the idea of a projector! I hadn't even though about that. We're calling an AV person to see if they can help us with that.

louisana, you're correct, the wall between the open kitchen/family/dining does not fully separate the living room, so there will be sound transfer. Actually, one of the bedrooms does not have a wall going to the ceiling so there is a lot of noise carrying around the space.
Here's how the space is laid out (pre-remodel):

ineffable, I'm a TV listener too. We have Sonos speakers we've installed in the house and I could be perfectly happy just listening to Pandora and watching Downton Abbey and SNL on my iPad, but my husband would be so lost without a TV of his own.

tom_nwnj, thanks for the recs -- I will check them out. Good luck with the remodel!

robotropolis, thanks! I like the idea of putting all the comfy seating in the formal living room and just making the den/space next to the kitchen just a "lounge" area -- for drinking wine, playing games, etc. I think it would significantly enhance our use of the house as we don't currently use the living room. That room is bathed in light most of the day and has the best views of any room in the house -- it seems like a waste not to utilize it.

linelle, we were just visiting friends recently and they had a TV (LARGE ones!) in every room, including several of the bathrooms. The owners both work in the entertainment industry, but it was slightly overkill.

karenseb, thanks for the nice words. In our upcoming kitchen renovation, we plan on replacing the double ovens with a pantry as we have no pantry and limited food storage space. A tv at the end of the bar is still definitely an option if we can recess it -- we're going to have an AV person come out to measure. If all else fails a TV in the master bedroom is an option, but I'm not generally a fan of TVs in bedrooms.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:10PM
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Going further with what robo said, the room that appears to be the formal living room looks large enough to hold a sitting area and dining area. Could you include a dining space in there? Though now that I think about it the end closer to the kitchen has the fireplace, but it is the same for the other side. However with the other side it is at the kitchen.

Continuing with that train of thought you may could include a breakfast area across from the breakfast bar with a small conversation area to the side as you are planning now just the formal area to be flip flopped to the other side of the wall. The tv could continue to stay where it is. Making it more of a kitchen, breakfast, keeping area.

However, I know when entertaining you might prefer it to be the other way with the tv out of that space nearest the kitchen. If it were me, I think I would compare each space used each way and see how they measure up.

In this house we just remodeled, the front room was used originally as a living room and there was no dining, but I need a dining room. The room is rather large so I am just making a small sitting space at one end with a dining area at the other.

While we opened up a wall from the kitchen to the den area and like your space the tv is around the corner from the kitchen. This gives me the ability to talk to DH or kids while preparing dinner, but I can also have my program "Fresh Air" on low on the radio so only I can hear it.

All of this gave me the flexibility of having two dining spaces, a somewhat open concept to the less formal area (den), yet some privacy in the kitchen while having only the one tv area and one formal space. Yet, I have to admit there may be a time when a tv is added to the kitchen.

Also, I may have been confusing in my first posting when I called the area you wanted to move the tv to the den. I generally call the tv room the den.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:51PM
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Wow! This looks like a really cool home. Congrats! What a view!

I just cam across this discussion thread but nonetheless, I wanted to give some feedback. A pop-up in the kitchen counter can be awesome but it definitely has to be the right application.

Hope that helps!

Here is a link to the video here:

Another great option is using a drop down out of the upper cabinets. You can see some options for that here:

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:47PM
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