Stand and deliver: BDI home theater furniture

If you're looking for beautifully built and intelligently designed stands, BDI's furniture should be on your short list.

The BDI Ola 8137 stand can accommodate up to 75-inch displays. BDI

I bought a BDI stand for my TV 10 years ago, and it still looks great. That says a lot about BDI's quality -- I'm constantly swapping out gear, and the stand is good as new. They no longer make the mostly glass unit I own, but their range of new models is huge.

Most of BDI's current designs feature medium-density fiberboard (MDF) construction, with gorgeous, real hardwood veneers. MDF is better than solid wood in these types of cabinets, real wood shelves bow or warp when heavy gear is placed on them for long periods of time. Cable management and routing are integral to the designs.

A BDI Mirage 8227 stand BDI

The cabinets have adjustable shelves, gray-tinted glass doors that let IR remote signals pass through, concealed wheels that allow you to easily move the cabinet, and removable back panels that don't compromise structural stability. That last one sounds like a great feature; you can more easily rewire or make connections with the panels out of the way, then reinstall the panels to hide the wires. Some cabinets allow for easy installation of cooling fans.

It's also worth noting that most BDI cabinets are shipped assembled, though you may have to attach the legs or bits of hardware. It's not like building a piece of Ikea furniture.

BDI's most popular line of TV stands, the Avion Series II, have prices starting at $1,655 for the Model 8925. It can accommodate up to 55-inch displays, the top shelf can support as much as 175 pounds, and inside there's room for four to six components.

The Ola 8137 ($1,775) is curvier, low and sleek, just 19 inches high and 69 inches wide, so it's ideal for really big displays up to 73 inches. The 8137 can support TVs of up to 150 pound, no problem. And it's one of the few BDI stands available in gloss white (as well as chocolate stained walnut).

The Novia collection's look is a little more conservative, but still quite handsome. The Model 8424 ($1,375) handles up to 50-inch TVs and comes in natural stained or cocoa cherry wood.

The Mirage 8222 ($1,275) is a 40.25-inch tall audio cabinet for your hi-fi, and you can put a turntable on top. It's 22 inches wide and deep, large enough to house high-end amplifiers. Each adjustable shelf can support up to 50 pounds, and the bottom shelf up to 75 pounds.

BDI doesn't sell direct from its Web site; it has a number of brick-and-mortar and online retailers, including Amazon.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

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