- Audio & Video
Creating An Entertainment Center For Gaming: The Best Home Theater Equipment For Gamers On A Budget
It isn't enough to just have a hot new TV when you're putting together you're gaming set up: if you don't have someplace swank to put all your electronics, you're just going to look broke and pathetic. Luckily, there are lots of high quality entertainment centers for gaming available online.
There are lots of different kinds of entertainment centers for gamers. The best, in my opinion, are sleek ones that reflect the high tech nature of your past time. There are lots of antiquated cherry and oak cabinets, but gamers will probably prefer a more modern look. Plus, a more open design will make it easier to plug in different wires. It helps to avoid frustration when you're exchanging your Rock Band instruments for for an Eye Toy or whatever other accessories you plug in and out daily.
Although it might seem obvious, it is also important to keep in mind how your gaming TV will be presented. Will it be hung from a wall or sitting on a stand? A wall mounted television means you won't need a lot of surface space on the top of your gaming entertainment center.
Affordable Multi-Level Gaming Entertainment Centers
The best type of home theater equipment for gamers is able to comfortably hold multiple consoles in one central location without cramping things up. It is also helpful to have lots of space for motion sensors you'd find on the Wii, Microsoft Kinect, or the PlayStation Move.
One of my favorite gaming entertainment centers is this multi-level one from Amazon. You can see there are at least seven nooks for game consoles to fit. A small console like the NES or the Gamecube could also comfortably fit on either side of the top layer. It is a little more expensive than some of the budget gaming centers, but it also does the job better.
It doesn't have a lot of storage space for games or DVDs, so consider buying a few DVD racks or shelves to help accommodate your titles. Check out the link to the right; Amazon usually has the best deals on this product as well as reasonable shipping rates when compared to other retailers like Target.
Budget Gaming Entertainment Center
These are some of the most home theaters for gamers. Most of them are better suited to smaller televisions, but are attractive and should comfortably hold up to 3 or 4 consoles. Even more so than the previous option, these are lacking in storage space for additional accessories and games, so be sure to check out some of the shelving units below.
The first, the 4D Concepts Swivel has a European flair. Shaped like a semi-circle, it is able to move slightly to accommodate viewing. It does include a "hidden" rack for CDs and DVDs, but not enough and they are inconvenient unless you plan to leave a good foot or two between your gaming center and the wall. However, it is very pleasing to the eye and the price is right.
The second options is one of the cheapest entertainment centers available. The Room Essentials TV Stand has plenty of room for consoles as well as a decent sized television. The open design makes it easy to plug in cables and wires as well as lay down items on top. There is no additional storage space however and the faux-wood finish is rather plain. However, it usually retails for around $45, leaving more money to spend on a nice television or sound system when you put together your gaming room.
Speaker Shelving For Home Theaters
If you're interested in quality sound for your gaming room, you'll need to have speakers properly mounted. Don't let them just sit around, put them up and out of the way. Not only will it look better and make the room more comfortable, but the acoustics will be significantly improved.
The OmniMount brand speaker shelves are one of my favorites. This particular selection is modern and works great for a gaming entertainment center. Look at the sleek matte black, doesn't it remind you of a PS3 or the new 250 GB 360? It matches nearly any room design and is fairly affordable as well.
If you've got surround sound for gaming set up, this is a great choice to improve your gaming area. Be sure to buy two or three so all of your speakers can find a home up off the ground.
Shelves for Games And Accessories
Just because you've put together a slick set up for your TV and game consoles doesn't mean you should let all of your discs and other equipment lie around There are two options when choosing gaming storage centers: DVD racks and Book Shelves.
Racks are naturally less versatile but they take up significantly less space. Shelves require some dedicated space but allow for a wider variety of items to be comfortably and attractively placed.
My favorite rack for gaming is the versatile Atlantic 5-Tier Media Rack. It is very basic and incredibly cheap, but for games it is top notch. It is specially designed to house all varieties of media, making it perfect for those who have to have space to hold modern DVD sized game cases, tiny CD sized PS1 discs, and slews of cartridges. Buy three or four and place the comfortably together against a wall for best use.
For bookshelves, I like something a little fancier. If you're going to go that route, you might as well go for the best. The Black Wood Finish Entertainment Center Shelves available from Amazon are a little pricey but they're real eye poppers. They have plenty of room and can comfortably handle anything you place on them. Check 'em out!