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Under Cabinet LCD TV's

If you, like most people, want to be entertained by TV or radio while you cook, then you should consider adding an under cabinet LCD TV to your kitchen. As an all-in-one media center (most also play CDs, DVDs, MP3 discs, and even cable TV), under cabinet LCD TVs are an ideal addition to any kitchen, and their out-of-the-way mounting preserves counter space while freeing up space previously occupied by a separate TV and radio.

Before buying an under cabinet LCD TV, consider these points:

  • In general, since you'll be busy working in the kitchen, the TV's sound is more important than the video (you'll need a larger set for family viewing during meals unless you're a small family that eats from the kitchen counter). Most units deliver sound through small speakers that are usually adequate, but if sound quality is important, look for units that have bass boosting.
  • Choose a unit with commonly used functions accessible via buttons on the front (power, volume, play, stop, eject). This saves you from having to hunt for the remote control when your hands are wet or covered in flour. Expect to find the more esoteric functions (like navigating DVD menus) exclusively on the remote control.
  • LCD pictures are bright and sharp and most units feature a 7 to 9-inch screen that folds up when not in use. Most also have an HDTV-sized 16:9 screen ratio stretches standard 4:3 programming lengthwise; if true of the unit you want, see if it has a setting to compensate for this.
  • Other features that may be important to you include an oven timer, digital clock, and AM/FM radio. Many units support plugging in other players via rear jacks, so you can play your iPod through it.

Remember to test the unit before installation in case it is defective or you don't like its operation. Holes must be drilled in the underside of the cabinet for mounting, and you may need to run power for an outlet if there isn't one nearby. Also, cable TV will only work if you have a cable connection accessible.

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