TV in kitchen

CT_NewbieDecember 26, 2013

We finally picked out a TV for the kitchen. However, the one DH likes is 19" which would mean it can't flip up and fit under the top cabinets because it will hit the plug mold. I think we have 10" of space and need 11.5". The width was accounted for with the ULC but the electrician thought the tv we would end up with would be smaller than the one DH ultimately liked. Do you think it is worth it to move the plug mold? How much do you think that would cost? DH didn't like some of the smaller TVs.

Also, where should the cable box go? DH said some people put it in the cabinet. Is it better to drill a hole in the back wall or in the floor of the cabinet to allow the cable wire to pass through? If the cabinet door is closed, I don't see how we can use the cable remote to change channels and adjust the volume. Is there a trick to using the TV remote with cable? Or do we need to build a shelf that hangs below the cabinets to hold the cable box? I had wanted a very clean line all around vs. it being interrupted with a cable box.

I saw the houzz article on TVs in the kitchen but it didn't address my questions.


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Regarding cable box in a cabinet or otherwise not line of sight, I'm familiar with 2 potential solutions:
1) radio frequency remote & cable box.
2) infrared remote repeater.
Talk to your cable company to learn more about these.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 1:32AM
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Sophie Wheeler

He may like it, but it won't work. He has to pick something smaller or put it somewhere else. Or give up a TV in the kitchen. Aren't they everywhere else? Can't he just watch his tablet? Most people do these days.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 7:43AM
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CT Newbie, you are still here! I tried to ask you somewhere else what cabinets you ended up going with because you were doing such thorough research, but I lost track of that thread before I could see if you replied.

I agree with Holly. What on earth do you need a tv in the kitchen for? If you're cooking, you should be cooking! If you're eating in the kitchen, you should be talking with your family. If you're trying to follow along with a cooking show, a tablet is probably better--you can bring it around the room with you and consult recipes on it.
Television is on the way out anyway--I read fewer kids in their 20s have cable subscriptions than older folks. They watch videos online.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I don't remember your kitchen layout, but we put our kitchen tv above the fridge as it's hard to reach space anyway. The doors nest back so we can hide it completely when we want. We didn't have the issue of the cable box as our kitchen is open to the FR and the kitchen TV is a slave off of the FR TV. And it's in the perfect location across from the island so DH can have breakfast and watch the news every a.m.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 9:31AM
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I like the idea of a TV in the kitchen, though I agree that it shouldn't be on during meals. When I'm canning or baking, for example, I spend hours in the kitchen alone and enjoy the distraction.

I was planning to place a TV in an "up high cabinet" that I can't reach conveniently (I'm very short). I was going to plan an outlet and space for the cable box INSIDE the cabinet, and my plan was that I could close the door, and -- voilla! -- the TV'd be gone. I'd be able to reach the doors to open/close, and I'd control the TV with a remote that would live in a drawer. I still think that's a good plan.

However, in the end, the plan that seems to be shaping up to be "ours", includes a kitchen and family room that're close together . . . so the family room TV'll be visible from the kitchen, eliminating the problem for me personally.

I can't agree that TV is on its way out. My 20-year old was fairly well thrilled with the TV we gave her for Christmas. I think families will continue to want a nice, big TV in their living room or family room. I agree that tablets and other technologies are changing viewing habits, but I think that's a matter of adding or substituting in certain situations . . . not flat-out replacing TV.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 9:31AM
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This post was edited by GauchoGordo1993 on Thu, Dec 26, 13 at 11:10

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 10:44AM
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We have a TV in our kitchen and love it. I watch very little TV, but I like to have it on while I'm cooking or to help occupy my toddler when I'm working in the kitchen. I have no problem with a little TV watching; I don't think we will all rot our brains because we watched Wheel of Fortune.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 1:27PM
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I love the TV in our kitchen. No reason why you shouldn't have one.

As for the cable box, if it won't fit in the space you can put it in a cabinet and run cables behind the wall. A couple of things to note if you do that:

- I would add extra cables as spare if you open up the wall. It is a pain to do so not worth it if a cable goes bad forcing you to open the wall again
- I would put HDMI cables behind the wall and use a TV that uses HDMI for the TV input. That is the most modern connection and gives you more flexibility if you change TVs years from now
- you can attach HDMI wall plates on each side so that you connect the cables in the wall to the back side. Then you can use short HDMI cables at the cable box and at the TV. With this approach you don't have cables pushing directly out of the wall - it's a bit cleaner.
- You might want to add an Ethernet cable or two behind the wall too, since modern TVs connect to the Internet directly now
- you cannot legally or safely run power cables behind the wall, so make sure you plug the TV and your cable box into respective wall outlets wherever they are. You can use a recessed outlet to save some space.
- if you put the cable box in a cabinet, you may need to think about ventilation. The cable box will generate heat and over time the temperature of the cabinet will rise which can shorten the life of the box. If your cabinet is open or if you have vents underneath the cabinets (eg at the toe kick) that might be fine, otherwise there are small quiet fans you can use for this purpose.

For the remote, there are a couple options. One is called an IR extender - essentially this would be another cable you run behind the wall. On one end is a light that you put in front of the IR sensor on your cable box (or Apple TV or any other device). On the other end is a sensor that you stick on the front of the TV. There's also a small box in between that converts all the signals. You then point the remote at the sensor and it triggers the cable box. They work well, but some sensors (e.g. Ones that attach as wall plates instead of TV sensors) have limited angle range, meaning you need to be in front of the TV instead of off to the side (beyond ~45 degrees). If you use this approach I'd suggest you buy one that can support multiple devices (eg in case 10 years from now you decide you want to add a second device without taking out the wall)

The other remote option is to use RF. RF signals go through the cabinet. The disadvantage is that you may need to use a different remote than the one from your cable company. Logitech makes remote devices called Harmony that are very good for this. I power my TV, my TiVo, my Apple TV, and a BluRay player using a single Harmony remote with no problems - really easy to use once you've set it up properly.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 1:30PM
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With a tablet, you don't need all of those pesky cable connections. If you have Xfinity, you can pretty much watch anything anywhere. I watched a Formula 1 race live on an airplane trip recently, and am watching a movie here at work during the slow time.

With a tablet, you don't to worry about if it will fit or not. All of the younger crowd that I know pretty much have given up conventional TV except a large one in a family room.

It's not about "not" having a TV. It's about utilizing the most current technology. You're living in a an IPod world and talking about the equivalent of cassette tapes. :)

This post was edited by live_wire_oak on Thu, Dec 26, 13 at 13:53

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 1:51PM
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I use an iPad all the time but for me it's a totally different experience. An iPad is personal while a TV can be viewed by a group. My kitchen TV is 42" and really can't be replicated on a small iPad screen. Plus it's more of a hassle to view DVR recorded programs (especially from premium channels) on an iPad.

If you're remodeling anyway, doing a kitchen TV setup isn't all that hard.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 2:52PM
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I'm another fan of big TV in the kitchen. It's great to watch while I cook, and allows me to still watch the ball game when I run into the kitchen to refresh our snacks.

In our recent kitchen reno, we put in a 32" TV with a Harmony remote system. No need to take out a wall; the HDMI cables were installed behind the wall with just a couple of small holes drilled into the wall. Now the cable box, Blue ray player and RF receiver are all neatly hidden away in a drawer, no cables dangling from the high mounted TV. The Harmony system is convenient and nicer to use than the remote from the cable company. A really nice feature to the RF system is that I can be at the far end of the kitchen and can use the remote to change the TV station without having to point it at the receiver. However, it does have to be pointed at the TV to turn up the volume or turn it on/off.

If you like TV in the kitchen, the Harmony system is a wonderful way integrate it. We really prefer having the TV mounted on the wall rather than taking up counter space.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 11:08PM
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Thank you all! You've given me a lot more options to think about - RF vs. tablet or some bigger form of it

Holly, we hardly have time to watch TV. So, at least if it is on while we are cooking and/or eating (just DH and I), we can have some entertainment. We can listen even if our eyes are focused on something like cutting. We do want a shared experience as calumin mentioned but at the same time, it would be nice to look up recipies on line there, with some sort of protective film on the screen vs. using my laptop

Longtime lurker, hello! I've been busy moving (and probably have another six months of sorting and unpacking but still need to start inquiring about a master bath reno). Unfortunately, I did not see your post. I ended up going with Rutt Regency because of the KD and the design. It's not as if I felt that it was such superior cabinetry to Brookhaven/Woodmode or Plain and Fancy. All of that research just satisfied my need for verification of quality and better understanding of how the cabinets were put together vs it pointing to one brand as superior. It told me for my purposes I could go with the mid line vs. the top of the line with each brand since I wasn't taking advantage of the features offered by top of the line.

As for placement, The family room TV is too far (even if on an arm) to be clearly visible from the kitchen. And we are leaning towards putting that TV on a side wall rather than put it above the centered fireplace which is opposite the kitchen. It seemed a shame to cover up the nice stone work with a gigantic TV

Also, where we are likely to be prepping and cooking is in a corner facing away from the family room. If the kitchen TV is in the corner, it can be visible

On the cable, I'm not sure what the electrician put in. I assume it is HDMI but I'll ask. Would be nice to skip the box but I think DH subscribes to a premium baseball package.

Livewire are there larger tablets than the iPad that you think are good? And is there some sort of flip down/rotating tablet holder? Also, we have a CAT5 in the office but didn't put in a line for a computer in the kitchen so we'd be going wireless. Do you think the standard cable wireless modem is sufficient for streaming TV? Or would I need to get a booster?

I think it might be $150 for the TV and say $40 for the RF plus additional monthly cable. So maybe it takes 4-5 yrs to break even on the tablet, assuming it lasts that long?

Repac and others, did you have a problem with venting the cable box in the drawer?

Gaucho thanks for the suggestion but I thought that spot was a little high for viewing for me. I'm on the shorter side and our SubZero seems to be taller than our old fridge making the cabinet above extra high (but you're right, it is empty)


    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 12:57AM
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I can spy my living room TV from the kitchen. It's not perfect for viewing, but it's good enough. Mostly I like it on for football or baseball and I hear it well enough. If I miss a great play, there's always rewind. I would probably have a small TV in my kitchen if I didn't have my current setup. I live alone and, esp. at night, there's something to be said for the sound of voices in the house.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 12:44PM
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I cannot see the FR TV from kitchen, but I can listen. If sitting at kitchen table, then TV is visible. I guess if I wanted one in kitchen, I'd go with a small one. However, you only have room for a 10" one, which is TINY.

I think you have many good suggestions here. By the way, I bring my IPad with a recipe into kitchen often. It is so easy to look up an on-line recipe these days.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 4:00PM
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AnnieDeighnaugh- Question not about the TV. I like your cabinets with the glass on top. How high is your ceiling? How tall are the cabinets part with the door, and the part with the glass in the upper cabinets? I wanted to do something like that for a few of my cabinets, but we only have space for 36" upper cabinets that will go to the ceiling and my contractor thought our ceiling was too low.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 4:51PM
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I've had a TV in the kitchen for 20 years. It is in the space over the double ovens. The cabinet company built a frame around the TV and when it is off, it is barely noticeable. The first thing I do in the morning is flip the TV on while I am getting my coffee. In our pending remodel, the TV is a definite part of the new plan. Wouldn't be without it.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 5:54PM
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If you want to get an "oversized iPad" look for an "all in one PC". I linked to one example.

I'm happy with just a tablet in the kitchen, but for a while I considered something like this. In addition to being able to watch video on it it's a full PC. You can use it for the family calendar, display photos, etc. You can even do real work on it with a wireless keyboard and mouse if it's mounted in a convenient location.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acer AIO PC

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 9:56PM
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We love our TV over the fridge! Cable Box is underneath it so remote works normally⦠The doors push back into the cabinet or we close them when we have company.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 10:30PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

ndsa, our upper cabinets are 2 separate doors. The glass is antique shimmer glass from the old house so we didn't want them opening and closing on a regular basis. The glass doors are about 13" high, the lowers about 25". We have 9' ceilings.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Here's our TV - out in the open, loud and proud. I am still looking for some way to beautify the cables and cable box. My first attempt resulted in a dysfunctional remote control issue.

Here is a link that might be useful: 1910 Craftsman kitchen reveal

This post was edited by threegraces on Sat, Dec 28, 13 at 10:15

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 10:13AM
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This says something about my age and my priorities, but I designed a whole wall around my TV.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Three graces, what is the room/area BEHIND your TV? With our living room tv and the tv in my DD's room, we designed it so the wires and cords go through the wall into the area behind it, which in each case is a closet. Must be what sombreuil did too.

Sombreuil, we designed our living room wall and furniture arrangement around the TV. I always say "know thyself" and in this case I know we watch a lot of television!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 12:25PM
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CT Newbie, venting was no problem with our cable box, BluRay player and RF receiver in the drawer. It is no warmer than any drawer above a toe kick vent.

BTW, we had our cables and system installed by the Geek Squad. Our KD said that even the best electricians aren't usually as knowledgeable about the options for TV-cable connections. So true. When they were working on the wall where the TV now hangs, the electrician told me that there was no way the cable could go behind the wall directly from the drawer to the TV mounted a few feet above. Electrician said they'd have to open up the wall and use a much more expensive connection to go around some 2 x 4s. Geek Squad took a look and said the straight connection was no problem, and they got it to work easily. They also said that heat buildup in the drawer would not be a problem. Geek Squad was really worth the price.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 12:35PM
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sjhockey - our dining room's built-in hutch is back there.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 1:12PM
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Sorry, no need for a TV in the kitchen of my old castle. One in the LR is enough, and that puts me to sleep.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 6:15PM
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Wow! A lot of nice looking kitchens posted here. But I think your TVs would be too big for our space.

Thanks Repac. Will keep the Geek Squad in mind. However, I am now sort of intrigued with the idea of an oversized all in one PC.

Cevamal, thanks for the link! That one is a little too large but I will continue to look. I tried the Optimum app on my laptop and it's not bad so I guess our wifi router is sufficient. There was a little freezing but then it seemed fine. I have an Acer and am pretty happy with it. But it isn't HD so I think an HD all in one would be even closer to real TV.

For those who have a "permanent" laptop or tablet in the kitchen, do you have to log in every time to watch TV? Can you set the screen saver to stay on long enough? How do you manage security if you have baby sitters or cleaning people come in from time to time? If you're logged automatically with the TV app, does that mean they can also check your messages? Are the hard drives of your computers connected and visible somehow via the wifi or is there a way to keep that separate?

Do you share music across devices? And if so, how? or are you logging into iTunes? DH keeps mentioning a Sonos system but I'm not sure how that works.

Thanks so much! Maybe I should start a different thread on All-in-one PC instead of TV.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 9:54PM
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The all in ones seem to be about the same size as the TVs (19"-23") with depths of ~12"+ so I still have the dilemma of having to move the outlets and replace with a shorter strip. Otherwise, the screens have a huge jump down in size.

Does anyone have links to TV/computer holders that fit under the cabinet and allow one to flip down the screen? That would help in assessing dimensions.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 10:41PM
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TV/computer holders that fit under the cabinet

Link below, just images

Here is a link that might be useful: TV/computer holders

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 10:57PM
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In our house, ethernet rules. We don't even have cable TV. We have an antenna with a network tuner (Silicon Dust HDHomerun), Roku's, and now Chromecast's. I try to keep everything on wired cat6, but use the wifi for the Chromecast. Hopefully Google will come out with a wired version someday. Everything is controlled/accessed via tablets, phones, or computers, both PC and laptop.

The latest addition is the Chromecast and I'm very impressed so far. I think it has the potential to be a game changer.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 11:06PM
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Instead of getting an all in one PC, another approach is to just add an Apple TV connection to a regular modern TV. If you have a Mac, you can just project the computer screen wirelessly onto your TV.

Chromecast is pretty nice too.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 11:33PM
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If you use a chromecast or appletv you need a separate device to control it from.

The advantage to a tablet or an AIO is you can do it right there on the device itself.

Not necessarily a problem, just wanted to point out the issue isn't just displaying data.

I love having a tablet in the kitchen and use it primarily for recipes which would be a hassle if I had to control it from another device.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 3:59PM
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I probably shouldn't be advising, as my knowledge about this is nil. Just wanted to reiterate the "slave TV" option. It sounds like your family room & kitchen are close enough that you wouldn't be viewing 2 different channels on those 2 TVs? It would eliminate the need for a cable box. Don't depend on me for any specifics. We have a TV we can bring into the gazebo that is a slave to our FR TV.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 4:58PM
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If you use something like a Harmony remote control you can use the same remote to control all the devices.

A tablet is a great device. But you need to be able to reach the tablet to control it, correct? So it could work if you place it very near the area where you plan to watch it.

An AppleTV uses essentially the same operating system (iOS) as a tablet, but it was designed to use in a TV format.

My thought was that if you were going to use something to run a real computer like Windows, there are other approaches (like Airplay mirroring on AppleTV or Chromecast) that work well.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 5:03PM
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Thanks Zep. In look at all of those holders it seems like they would have a bit of thickness even when flipped up. So maybe the plug strip won't really be in the way since I only get about a half inch or so of light rail anyway. Doesn't anyone's TV get completely concealed when flipped in the up position?

RMTdoug, I should email you offline. We have to upgrade our entire network. Our old Dell is slow and out of space. We were thinking of going Mac but will probably want to stick with PC. Our multi-function printer is dead and the reviews on CNET and PCmag for the top printers all have negative user comments. We need a good scanner to reduce the mounds of paperwork we have, plus, it would be nice to print on card stock occasionally but I would want the quality good enough for printing out my resume. Then we also need NAS and a new big TV for the family room in addition to our media/TV/music strategy. I just hope our wireless router can handle all that, granted Sonos has its own wireless.

I will look further into all of your suggestions - Chromeast, AppleTV or something similar, etc. And will try a spare lap top in the space just to see how PC vs. TV gets used. It's hard to know which one is best for us and yes, what can fit into a holder that can bend to be the least conspicuous is also important. It almost looks like the laptop/tablet holders are different from the TV holders.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 11:20PM
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