Home theatres have become the new billiard room - that refuge many dream of building but few achieve.
Thankfully these days building a great home entertainment system doesn't mean sacrificing a room in your home. Today many people are integrating home theatres into their living area, with gear that can be hidden away with the push of a button.
The TV lift
If you're prepared to spend some serious money, a TV lift is the perfect way to hide your television. Screen Technics' Interfit Plasma Lift comes in options of Vertical Up ($3199) and Vertical Down ($5269), allowing you to whisk your television away into the ceiling or sink it into a cabinet.
|The Screen Technics' Interfit Plasma Lift: whisk your television away into the ceiling or sink it into a cabinet
An adjustable motorised lift handles 32 to 55 inch panels, allowing you to raise or lower the television to the optimum height and angle.
If you don't have the room to retract your television into the ceiling or the floor, Screen Technics' Interfit Plasma Lift Swing Down ($6259) could be the best way to hide your panel.
It handles 32 to 55 inch panels and features "gas lift assistance" to ensure a controlled decent from the ceiling. It is able to swing 20 degrees past vertical, ensuring you can achieve the best viewing angle.
When you're installing such a device, make sure it stores the panel face up so the weight of the electronics isn't pressing down on the panel.
Buying a flat screen TV? Have a question you'd like us to answer? Add your comments or questions about flat screen TV issues to the discussion below.
Also in this series, How to Pick a Great Flat Screen TV, And Not Get Sucked In By Marketing Hype:
Part 11: calibrating your television
Part 10: those pesky upscaling issues explained
Part 9: video inputs and future proofing
Part 8: Logitech Harmony vs AV Link remote controls
Part 7: Should you upgrade your TV for DLNA?
Part 6: TV tuners and "Digital Capable"
Part 5: HDMI and component ports
Part 4: LED and backlighting
Part 3: Screen size
Part 2: Refresh rates
Part 1: Brightness and contrast ratios
Also see our 5 tips for buying a digital TV set top box
And also see the lowdown on Freeview, and whether you should care
If you're new to Digital TV, or have yet to make the leap, start by reading Prepare yourself for Digital TV