Television screens have gotten larger and flatter over the last few years. That's great news for movie and sports buffs, but finding the right angle to view your screen from is still as much of an issue as it was in the past. Unless you have only one chair in the room and only one person watching at a time, you either have to compromise on your view or shift the television to adjust for circumstances. A swivel base for your set can make adjustment much easier and save wear and tear on the top of your entertainment center.
Swivel bases for televisions are commercially available. Prices depend upon size and weight rating. Bases for sets smaller than 21 inches can be purchased for less than $50. Weight ratings vary between 250 and 300 pounds. If you are looking for a manufactured base, pay attention to the weight rating and smoothness of operation. Design options include slide-out shelves that attach to entertainment centers, adjustable wall-mounts and tabletop bases.
If you are the do-it-yourself type, you can make a swivel base for your television. Options range from a lazy susan mechanism and two pieces of plywood to a custom swivel and exotic hardwood. Whichever path you choose, keep in mind the weight of your television and its center of gravity. Just because your set fits on top of a swivel base doesn't mean that it is safe to use. The bulk of the weight in most cathode ray television sets is toward the back. This means that if the swivel mechanism is smaller than 8 inches and the base of the television is 24 inches, centering the set on the platform may not be a good idea. For a larger cathode-ray picture-tube set, a 12-inch swivel mechanism would offer more stability and smoother adjustment.
Also keep in mind skid resistance. Putting a smooth finish on your project will give it a professional appearance. However, it will also make it easier for the set to slip on the platform. A sheet of craft foam, glued to the top and bottom of the swivel, will keep the television from sliding out of position on the base and protect the top of your entertainment center as well.
Regardless of the type of base you choose, be sure to use care when placing your set on it for the first time. Test the full range of motion available to the set before using it. An unstable base could cause damage to the set or even injury if it fell during adjustment.
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