An entertainment center (or center), also known as an entertainment complex, is a piece of furniture designed to house consumer electronics and components such as televisions.
The evolution of home television and stereo
A stereo console (or “console stereo” as it was sometimes called) is a stereo system containing audio components (such as a stereo record changer, tape deck, and stereo FM radio) housed in a separate cabinet. popular in the 1960s and into the 1970s. A stereo console (as identified by one of its manufacturers at the time, Delmonico/Nivico) is a smaller, more compact stereo console that often stands on angled legs. The equivalent term for console in British English is radiogram.
During the 1970s, some stereo manufacturers began to design flashier and flashier systems to coincide with the psychedelic and disco eras of the decade. As was the case when New York stereo manufacturer Morse-Electro Products produced some of its units with a built-in light organ display. The multi-colored lights on the display would flash in time with the music played on the system.
Stereo consoles would eventually replace high-fidelity component stereo systems with separate speakers (sometimes called “rack systems”) in the late 1970s, which offered much higher performance without being attached to furniture or tied to one brand of equipment. Some of these systems had speakers with removable covers that revealed the woofer and tweeter. Production of these systems continued through the 1980s and well into the 1990s, until smaller, tabletop or counter units (such as the Bose Wave system) began to dominate.
A console TV is a TV placed in a cabinet in the same way as a stereo console. Console TVs took much longer to produce than stereo consoles, with units being produced throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s before being replaced by flat screen TVs.
Home entertainment centers
Home entertainment centers can be connected to high-fidelity stereo or quadraphonic speakers. By 2000, the best sound systems were designed for home theater and movie sound. It usually contains more than just left and right stereo channels. Televisions and VHS typically encode additional channels into the two main channels, while digital modes encode this information into the source data of a digital DVD with center, two rear, and subwoofer speakers. The difficulty is usually in the cabling and placement of the rear speakers and the need to buy a receiver that can decode the sound. As video monitors have increased in size, it is common to have a very large flat or projection screen with a small and integrated DVD player/receiver and satellite or digital cable box instead of a 20-inch TV surrounded by massive stereo equipment. below with small remote speakers and a mid-sized subwoofer.
Audio and video components have special connectors that are often attached to a dedicated box. The items are then plugged into an electrical outlet, which should have surge protection. Each component usually has its own remote, although expensive universal remotes are available that can learn or are programmed using most common devices.
The term “home entertainment center” can also refer to the complete package – the electronic components and the unit that houses them. The unit is often either a cabinet or a stand-alone unit (usually wood and glass); they often include dedicated spaces (either drawers or other spaces) for storing records, videotapes, CDs, and/or DVDs.
In many homes, the entertainment center is often located in the living room, family room, recreation room or bedroom. Perhaps the first example of a built-in entertainment center was created by Frank Lloyd Wright in his 1917 Hollyhock House in Los Angeles, California. Custom cabinets and speakers can be built into or added to an existing home at some cost using free-standing furniture and video and/or audio signals wired or wirelessly sent to other rooms in the home using dedicated cables or through a local area network.
The term “home entertainment center” was widely used in the 1980s. For large rooms, it is replaced by a home theater system. While high fidelity previously required large turntables, tape decks and speakers, changing music format technologies have created small bookshelf systems, Bose table radios and iPod-based speaker systems that can also produce high quality music and serve as music entertainment systems by creating large component systems again form a niche in the market for high-end products.