Instructables

Disappearing TV with Pop Up TV Lift Mounted Behind Furniture

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This is a cool home improvement project that only took us about 30 minutes to do.

The situation:
The owner of this home had a flat panel TV in the room, sitting on top of a rustic wood cabinet. He only watched it occasionally, so most of the time it was just an eyesore to him that was blocking part of his window view. He thought about getting (or making) a Pop Up TV cabinet to hide the TV, but he did not want to replace or modify the furniture he already had in the room.

The challenge:
Find a way to hide a 42" TV behind the existing cabinet, even though the cabinet and the window sill are only 24" tall!
We solved the problem by using a TV lIft system to mount the television BEHIND the existing cabinet. The lift system is made by Nexus 21, and is only 23" tall. It could also have been mounted behind a sofa or other piece of furniture. This model comes with a remote control and a universal mount for TV's as large as 42".

The Result:
Our installation involved no carpentry work and no need to buy a special pop up TV cabinet. Now, instead of a "TV Room", the home owner enjoys his "Living Room", with nothing to block the view outside his windows. He also got a cool new automation feature. When he pushes the remote control button, the TV quietly raises up from behind his cabinet. Another button-press and the TV completely disappears behind the cabinet.

Cost of the project:
The TV Lift System used for this project costs $1,350. There are less expensive lifts on the market but, surprisingly, there are also a number of MORE expensive ones as well (prices range anywhere from $500 to $3,500). The home owner specifically chose this television lift system because of its strong warranty and because it was the least expensive of the high quality lifts that are made in America. He considered a few systems that had prices of $500 to $700, but found that they were all imported from Asia, and did not carry a strong warranty.

If you want to check it out, the Nexus 21 website is: http://www.TVLift.com.
 
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lovat1 year ago
I wonder if there is a solution that involves attaching the TV to the furniture, so the room can be re-arranged easily?

Just an idea.
nice instructable!
hiddentvguy (author)  lovat1 year ago
Hi lovat - that's a good thought. With this particular lifting system, the main mounting point is behind the TV, so in order to have it raise and still be facing forward we would need to build an enclosure on the back of the furniture piece, to house the lift and the TV, providing a surface on which to mount the back support for the lifting unit. I think that would work, as long as you don't mind affixing the enclosure to your furniture... I'll have to play around with that idea. Happy Holidays!
morton_5002 years ago
Pfft, $1,300! I found a much cheaper way of accomplishing the same thing using my neighbour's old garage door opening system. It's kind of loud but then again so are my kids.
im37333 years ago
I would take it a step further and install a "door" in the top of the cabinet that opens while the tv is moving, and have the area around the tv's down position to be padded. This prevents the tv from being damaged while its lowered if someone (like me) ends up falling into the cabinet, by being in the cabinet, instead of behind it.
zack2474 years ago
really cool! too bad us 'iblers haven't figured out how to make our own yet...
im3733 zack2473 years ago
figuring it out is the easy part. someone just needs to build and post it.
frydaddy4 years ago
This was a fine instructable. I've been looking for this type of installation where the furnature didnt have to be modified. thanks.
pop up tv4 years ago
This project really saves space especially at homes with limited space. it shows the step by step procedure on how to build a TV lift. It also demonstrates how to combine the materials with the piece of furniture to create a good TV lift.
gewthen5 years ago
Not really a do it yourself job since your using a complete kt without any real work. I'd like to see a version where the lift is constructed.
hiddentvguy (author)  gewthen5 years ago
Of course you are right - in this case I was excited to show how easy it was to do something without having to modify the furniture, which is how it is usually done. We used the existing lifting kit and focused more on the simplicity of the idea, showing-off the concept of hiding a TV "behind" instead of "inside". My next project shows more on how to convert existing cabinetry to hide the TV, so it is a little more hands-on and creative - coming soon!
Ahh. Didn't know one had to modify the furniture, which really won't work for antiques. I can understand how some people would need a more detailed step by step guide, but when I think of DIYs, I think of from scratch or mostly from scratch jobs. Your next Instructable, would probably require cutting into cabinets, which is getter closer to the ideal "from scratch" Instructable. It could be valuable to anyone concerned about installing a lift and messing up their cabinets.
i could defintely designone of the se for under 30 dollars depending on how heavy the tv is all u need is a guide sytem locking mechanism and 1 actuator to be the lift scrw psyin 1326 or whatever
I'm looking for that instructable now! My TV is about 6" deep and weighs about 35lbs.
xerxesx205 years ago
Bloody hell that's a lot of money, what's wrong with using a strong linear actuator or a small rack and pinion?!
Chicken22095 years ago
SAM!!!!!!! i miss sam but that was a good movie I give this project 5*
hiddentvguy (author)  Chicken22095 years ago
Sam??? Lol - it took me a few minutes to figure out what you were talking about. It's the dog, right? The dog in that scene from the movie "I Am Legend", which appears on the TV screen in one of my photos... Were you as surprised as I was that she turned out to be "Samantha", and not just "Sam"? On a related note, did you read the book "I Am Legend"? The movie actually ended up changing a lot of the story line, so the book was a very different experience, but it was a great read if you ever want to check it out.
i am reading it...
i love that movie
Yes No No I'm kinda mad where the kid gives him the dog It just seems so unrealistic, I mean hes like daddy cant take the puppy but he doesnt try to resist Sam
Pretty cool and saved sometime having to alter the furniture. Another way is to build a simple box and cover it in fabric or leather as we do on our site. Your welcome to look. If anyone has custom cabinet questions where you need our advice, happy to lend my 10+ years of experience! Rob www.ImportAdvantage.com
This project would be cooler if it showed how to mod an old treadmill or garage door opener to do this or something.
Um, this is cool. If you want to spend a $1400 bucks to hide a TV. Also, all you did was show us how to install it. Is that not in the instruction book? I was didipointed to find out that you did not make it, you just ordered it and hooked it up.
hiddentvguy (author)  beauwalker235 years ago
I can understand why you say that, but for this particular project that was kind of the whole point - that it is surprisingly easy to create this effect, without many of the complications associated with creating or modifying a piece of furniture for it. The installation instructions for the lift system don't currently talk about using the lift in this way at all (it's all about cabinet dimensions, lifting the cabinet lid with the TV, space restraints, etc), so this was a custom modification for us, albeit a very simple one! Also, I have not seen too much info online about this specific type of application, so I put this up. Even if it just opens people's eyes to the idea that it can be done in this way, then it will have value to someone. The next Instructable I do will include more hands-on creating, so you'll like that one better!
phapboy5 years ago
this is awesome! I want one!
Tysto5 years ago
Nicely done, but shouldn't this be pretty well covered by TV lift kit instruction manual?
hiddentvguy (author)  Tysto5 years ago
Hi Tysto - yes, the TV lift instructions covered some of this, but they are really focused more on mounting the system inside a cabinet and dealing with all the space constraints, etc. This project ended up being such a cool transformation (which took so little time and effort) that I thought it would have value for others to see it in this simplified way. Thinking of this application literally "outside the box" (mounted outside the furniture instead of inside) adds a lot of versatility to how it can be done, and may open up the idea up to more people. Also I think my write-up is a lot more interesting and personal than the instruction manual :)
lemonie5 years ago
It's good, did you see this one? Different job but yours reminded me of it.

L
hiddentvguy (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Hey Lemonie - yes I saw that one - what a cool idea! This project was a bit simpler, and did not require any carpentry work, so I thought there would be value in sharing it. Thanks for checking it out.