Why would you need a special shelf dedicated solely to holding a simple cable box? Before the advent of thin LCD and plasma televisions, it was quite common to place one’s cable box on top of the TV set. This is no longer possible due to the thinness of current flat screen TV’s, and this is why you might find yourself needing to mount a small shelf to the wall, just below the spot where you have mounted your flat screen TV.
I like the black glass of this model, but I’m not crazy about the brace under it:
Wall mount cable box shelf pictured: Mount World 1431 Glass Component Shelf for DVD player, VCR, cable box, satellite, PS3, XBox, Wii and Video Accessories
If you are going for a minimalist look, you may want to pick a shelf that will be only slightly wider than the cable box. Or you could go for a wider shelf – one on which you would have the potential to place more components, if the case ever arose. Don’t forget that there will be wires dangling from the cable box.
If your cable box is big enough, it may be possible to rest your TV on top of it. However, this is not recommended. For one thing cable boxes are notorious for getting very hot. The heat emanating from it could rise and end up overheating the TV. It is better to put some distance between the two, and a shelf that simply rests on a TV stand, desk, or table, is a great solution.
Here’s one in black. Not much to look at, but it’s practical:
Under TV shelf for cable box pictured: OFC Express TV Stand 25 x 11 x 5.25
Of course all of this also applies to DVD players, DVR’s and VCR’s. None of them are designed to act as any type of stand. Another place people used to put their cable box was on the TV itself. In the days of cathode ray tube TV’s – the big ones – this was possible because they were several inches deep. But flat screen are, by definition, very thin, and it’s impossible to put a cable box or anything else on top of them.
I think this version is a bit nicer, if only because of the lighter color:
Under TV shelf for cable box pictured: OFC Express TV Stand 42 x 14 x 5.25, Shaker Cherry
A shelf made to rest on a desk, table or a bookcase is not a very difficult thing to construct, and so if you are handy with wood, screws, and nails, then it’s shouldn’t be too hard to build one yourself. Just make sure your shelf is sturdy, since it is going to hold an expensive piece of fairly fragile electronic equipment. If you choose to buy one pre-made, you’ll have a few things to keep in mind before buying. The most obvious consideration is dimensions.The shelf has to be wide enough for the pedestal of the TV, and it has to be high enough for you to place your cable box under it, with some room to spare, so that any heat that rises from the box has room to dissipate.You may be tempted to stack DVD boxes in that space between the box and the shelf, but this is not a good idea. Let the hot air flow freely so that it is not trapped within the cable box, causing it to overheat. These types of shelves can also be used on your office desk, in order to raise the monitor to a comfortable eye level. It could also be used to rest your keyboard on, if you find your desk is just too low.
Thanks to the fact that LCD and LED TV’s are thin and light, we now no longer need a stand for our television sets. We can now mount them directly to the wall fairly easily, and this has the added bonus of clearing up floor space. However this convenience also poses a problem: Where to put the DVD player, game console and cable box. The answer may be a single shelf that can be mounted on the wall, below, over or next to the TV.
I like this one – very basic and sleek – not too noticeable:
Floating shelf for cable box pictured: Master Mounts Glass Entertainment Shelves for Home Electronic Components, DVD Player, Cable Boxes, Game Consoles, set of 2 shelves
There is no doubt that LCD, plasma and LED TV’s look great when mounted on a wall, rather than sitting on a shelf. There is an often overlooked advantage to shelves and bookcases though: they are great for hiding wires. One thing you’ll notice about advertisements for flat screens: they never show the multiple wires running down and across to components and speakers. With all the components that can be hooked up to the back and side of the set, these wires really add up, and they look kind of bad hanging out of your components. So if you are in the market for a floating shelf, you may also want to get yourself a cord cover kit. These screw onto your wall and cover your wires, so that everything looks much neater.