Under Cabinet TV Review - The Best Features in Under Cabinet TVs
Under cabinet TVs can add a lot to almost any kitchen cabinet. The kitchen is often the center of activity in the house, so we look for ways to make the time spent there more enjoyable. While the den or living area is often home to a large screen television, a small kitchen TV like an under cabinet TV is often just what's needed.
Under Cabinet TV's
There are a number of features that competing TV's offer. Which features are the ones that are most important to you?
One of the first things is to know how you plan to get the signals for the set. If you plan to do receive signals over the air, make sure the TV is digital TV ready. If you plan to use a cable service or a satellite dish, you'll have to make sure you have the space for the converter box that goes with those services. Also, you need to make sure that the TV has inputs for external audio and video that will come from the converter box.
Other features include:
Built In DVD/CD player: If you have a DVD player, you may even decide that you don't need or want the TV signals. Many units have a built in DVD player, which will usually also function as a CD player. An AM/FM radio is included in many as well, be sure to check the feature list if this is important. Other features you may want to consider include a digital cooking timer, audio and/or video output jacks, or prominent clock display.
Screen Size: With the ever decreasing cost of LCD displays, the available size of the screens on these units is approaching 12 inches, but you can find them as small as 7 inches or so for use in tight spaces. LCD's are the primary screen type you will find on under cabinet TV's these days, which has the advantage of a very thin screen.
One limitation of LCD displays is that they aren't as bright and high a contrast when you are not looking directly at them (this is known as the viewing angle) so to compensate most units have a screen that swivels. You can even find a few that allow you to change the screen orientation from landscape to portrait, but since all TV (or movies for that matter) have a landscape orientation the portrait mode may fit better where you want to use it, but the screen will not be filled. And when you aren't watching it, the screen usually will swing up and store out of the way.
Remote control: Make sure the remote control unit has the control functions you will actually use. Conversely, too many controls can just be distracting. Many remote controllers will stow on the unit, but some use a magnet to stow and so can also be put on a refrigerator or other appliance.
Location: Pay attention to the need to keep any electronic unit away from destructive elements like heat from the stove, steam from a cooktop, or just he possiblity of spilled liquids on a countertop. Also be sure to put it close to a power outlet and make it easy to route either the antenna cable of the satellite or cable wires to the unit as well.
And there are other miscellaneous features like cooking timers and large clock displays.
Manufacturers: Companies who offer under cabinet televisions include Coby, Sony, Audiovox, and Phillips. If you find a model that's attractive to you, be sure to check the comments and ratings on Amazon to see what other buyers experience might be.
If none of these appeal to you, you can always buy one of the brackets that's made to mount a regular TV under the cabinet.