Let's Talk About Audio Video Racks

Audio and video equipment can be expensive. So once we've bought it we like to keep it safe. For a lot of enthusiasts, this means placing the individual components together in a dedicated rack. Audio Video racks come in all sizes and shapes, with different designs and surface finishes, but they all have one thing in common: they're ideal for keeping your costly equipment secure and organized and can be crucial for problem-free operation in the years ahead.


But modern AV racks are more than just a home theatre storage system. Advanced racks will often form a complete system with added features such as cable management, thermal insulation and options for distributing electrical power. Others create an attractive, eye-catching furniture piece designed to enhance the decor of your home.


The origins of rack design

Equipment racks or rack enclosures, equipment stands and equipment cabinets as they are also known, are said to date back to 1890 and the American industrialist and entrepreneur, George Westinghouse. Anecdotal evidence supports the claim that Westinghouse first invented the 19” rack as a housing solution for railroad relay gear. Shortly after, telephone companies borrowed his idea and also began building 19” racks. And it is this width of rack that is still common today.


Modern equipment racks are as diverse and sophisticated as the equipment they are designed to protect. This enormous diversity is largely due to the fact that although AV racks are regulated by international standards, the included components, rack design, covering and content is left entirely to the manufacturer. This allows the manufacturer to cater to the end-user's requirements as he sees fit. And it's exactly this freedom of design that makes the 19” rack one of the most popular and versatile of all rack systems in both the home and in industry.


Designed to protect and serve

Okay, so theoretically speaking, you can place your audio video components anywhere you want. But the most common (and sensible) solution is to keep the equipment in a protective enclosure specifically made for the task. This ensures component safety and stability, allows for ease of access, provides handy cable management and paves the way for further expansion of the AV system.


At their most basic, AV racks are little more than shelves in a cabinet. But more evolved racks offer much more than that. Besides the various stylish options provided by today's manufacturers, often with real, hardwood finishes, up-market racks will come with precision levelling feet, removable panels for easy access and adjustable shelves to perfectly fit the height of individual components.


Still other racks are built to fit inside media-cupboards or can be embedded into a wall enclosure, or even within another piece of furniture. They will have support shelves mounted on sliding rails to simplify the handling of the AV components and some will allow you to extract the entire shelving system and turn it through a full 180 degrees to allow full access to the back of the equipment.


Audio video racks offer an affordable solution to enthusiasts who want to know their expensive, and sometimes sensitive equipment is safe and easily accessible at all times. And with such a wealth of choice, they are an almost unbeatable option and guaranteed to fit well into any home theatre situation.







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