Difference Between a Media Center and TV Stand

Posted In Knowledge - 09/18/2017

When decorating their living room or home theater, people often wonder if there is a difference between a media center and a TV stand. Although many use the terms interchangeably, there are a few key distinctions. If you spend a lot of time in this room, it's important to choose the one that will work best for your space and lifestyle.

Media centers, also known as wall units or entertainment centers:

  • Are often very large, occupying significant wall space.
  • Surround the television on each side and sometimes above.
  • Offer plenty of storage and display options via shelves, drawers and cabinets.

TV stands:

  • Are simpler and more streamlined in design.
  • Provide a surface for the television to rest on with nothing surrounding it.
  • Offer minimal storage below for essential items.

Both pieces can typically hold cable boxes, DVD or Blu-ray players, and game consoles. However, the extensive storage of a media center can also house movies, games, CDs and other types of media, hence the name.

Choosing What's Best for You

Because of the differences between a media center and TV stand, one may be a better fit for your needs. If you have a large collection of decorative accessories that you would like to display or need room to store games and media, a media center may be the ideal choice. They offer a variety of layouts with options for complex designs. However, you need room on a sizable open wall to accommodate one of these pieces. Be sure to take precise measurements and realize that they can be cumbersome to set up.

If space is limited, a TV stand might work better. These tend to fit in a room more easily and leave the walls open. It is always good to measure the space in your home and the size of the television, but TV stands offer a bit more wiggle room. Shelving can always be added nearby to store movies, books, and other media.

Similar to TV stands are media consoles, which can be ideal if your needs fall somewhere in between these two options. These tend to have more storage than a TV stand while taking up much less space than a media center.

Decorating with a TV Stand or Media Center

Televisions often become the focal point of a living room. Deciding where the TV will go in relation to furniture, line of sight and viewing distance is crucial to keep in mind when choosing the perfect piece.

Read additional ideas on how to fit a TV into your living room.