I've come to the somewhat sad conclusion that a media closet just isn't big
enough, especially when Father Time means less agility and willingness to
move around on one's knees or in tight spaces. My next house will need a
whole room devoted to PC's, DVD players, etc, etc.
Since I'm going to be moving soon, I would like to be more proactive in
designing a whole house AV system than in the past, when things just sort of
grew together as I acquired them. I envision starting from scratch. About
the only specification I know about in advance is that it will have to be a
"wheel-friendly" house like a rancher, preferably with a basement, but not
While I realize the end design will be very closely coupled to the space
available, there are certain concerns that are universal. For me, the
primary concern is good access. Has anyone turned a large-walk in closet
into an AV media room? Was it large enough to allow swing-out or roll out
I was also thinking that large "frames" like doors made out of pegboard
could divide a room in half so that I could swing them open and access the
back panels of the AV gear and provide storage for cables, adapters and
other gear. A normal bedroom split in half would work, with the second half
of the room a place for an exercise bike or something that could be easily
moved to one side of the room to allow a panel to swing open. The biggest
problem I see is that a room that had good access to the front and back of
the equipment stack would really have to have two doors.
Another consideration for me is that my dad (who helps with setting up on
occasion) is in a powerchair, and although it's got a pretty narrow turning
circle, it needs room. My dad's chair and my new Roomba's gotten me
thinking about how important unimpeded access for wheeled devices will be in
my future. I'll have to measure the height, but I think the wheelchair arms
I hate the idea of having to give up a whole bedroom-sized room for AV gear
but there seems to have been a never-ending parade of new formats and
advances that overloaded the garden variety stereo "console" a long, long
time ago. I've got CCTV and other AV related gear dispersed throughout the
house and when I move I'd like to centralize them.
I'll be looking at houses today and I thought I'd pick everyone's brain as
to how best design an accessible AV center.
Any input would be appreciated.