AV racks that are both functional and good-looking seem to be few and far between. Personally, I like the look of carbon fiber and aluminum but my fiancée doesn't, she prefers natural woods and glass. My way around this conundrum has always been tucking a Middle Atlantic rack or two away in a closet then routing the necessary cables from there; however that simply isn't allowed in areas such as the master bedroom.
In our bedroom we have a very simple two channel based system, complete with a 42-inch LCD HDTV. I was going to upgrade the bedroom to a full 5.1 setup but have had a change of heart, opting to keep things simple. That being said my original plans for a tall, multi shelf rack went out the door, changing instead to more of a console or dresser-like cabinet to match the rest of my bedroom's décor. My fiancée and I searched high and low for something that would meet both our needs. That's when we found the Sanus Foundation Component Series CFV47 HDTV Cabinet.
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Retailing for $649.99 the CFV47 is an enclosed, all wood, contemporary styled AV cabinet that features three adjustable shelves as well as built in venting system to keep your equipment cool when the front doors are closed. The CFV47 comes in two wood veneer finishes, espresso and a cherry and black ash combo; both of which look fantastic.
The CFV47 measures in at 47 inches wide by 21 inches tall and 20 inches deep, making it the ideal size to accommodate a medium to large HDTV (I wouldn't go larger than 50-inches) on its top shelf and a bevy of home theater components down below for a simple, clean and elegant look. The CFV47's top shelf can handle weights up to 200 pounds whereas its internal shelves can handle weights up to 100 pounds. The CFV47 features a wire management system allowing for better cable management between components as well as helping provide a cleaner, more professionally installed look.
• The CFV47's build quality is excellent and its veneer finish options aren't too bad looking either. I prefer the Espresso finish to the cherry/black ash combo. However, if you're a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright or mission style architecture and design, the cherry/black ash combo is the way to go.
• The CFV47 is very sturdy even when loaded to capacity with gear.
• The CFV47 is the perfect height for watching late night television or movies from the comfort of your bed.
• The CFV47 can house a pretty sophisticated home theater system provided none of the components are too heavy. If you're rocking a receiver-based home theater with a HD DVR, Blu-ray player, video game consol (or two), DVD player and perhaps even an AppleTV or Mac Mini then the CFV47 should fit the bill perfectly and still give you room up top for a large HDTV and center channel speaker.
• Because the CFV47's front doors are solid you won't be able to use IR remotes with the doors closed. I recommend buying a universal RF capable remote if you're thinking about purchasing the CFV47.
• The CFV47 can't house bigger home theater separates such as mega watt amplifiers or even some of today's larger receivers due to weight and size constraints. If you're building a more upscale or cost no object home theater, I wouldn't recommend trying to shoehorn it into the CFV47 equipment rack.
If you're in the market for an equipment rack that looks more like a piece of fine furniture then a department store display rack then I recommend you take a look at the Foundation Component Series CFV47 HDTV cabinet from Sanus. The CFV47 is both affordable, at $649.99 retail, and functional and should work with all but the craziest home theater systems. Highly recommended.