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Old 09-08-2019, 10:29 PM   #1
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TV in lift box - modification

I've got a built-in cabinet with a lift for a TV. The old TV is being replaced but it's nigh-on impossible to find anything that'll fit exactly into the old box. The old TV was a 4:3 squarish-26" unit. A new 24" looks awkwardly small. There are a rare few 28" 16:9 wide units that alllllmost fit. To that end I've managed to find one that's just shy of 1/4" larger than opening in the existing box (which has 3/8" wood sides).

There's no option to modify the lift itself, at least not without spending a considerable amount of money to have a whole new cabinet made for the space.

My question here is if I'm going to modify the box, which of these two options should I consider (rendering attached).

Note, my question here isn't about the TV or whether having one on-board is necessary, useful or whatever. Just some thoughts on modifying the box itself.

I either go with option (B) and notch in the front use some stand-offs to get the TV pushed forward from the back panel (not shown in this rendering). Or option (A) where I route out a keyhole of sorts in the side to allow the TV to fit.

The upside to option B (the notch) is it'd potentially allow using an articulating mount that could let me pull the TV forward and tilt it side-to-side to better aid viewing from elsewhere in the salon. But, honestly, there's not a large enough area to make this a likely scenario. The lift is old-school, chain-driven, all metal and has absolutely no safety features. It'll gladly roll down onto fingers without stopping. So a notch would potentially present some added possible pinch points on the way down. Option A would at least leave a smooth edge along the sides. But there'd still be the top piece coming down (and it's already claimed an errant coax cable I mistakenly left too close).

I get it, not everyone wants/needs a TV on-board. Frankly, we've gone without it for two seasons and it's really not been missed save for a few excessively rainy stretches and low wifi/cell connectivity. Which probably wouldn't have offered much in the way over over-the-air TV either, but... whatever.

Right now there's a spot where the lid the box is missing and the wife is nagging me. So, option A or B?
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:44 PM   #2
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I like B with the swing mount simply for easy access to the back panel connections.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:24 PM   #3
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I would use B but cut the corners in curves so it looks like it is supposed to be that way.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:05 AM   #4
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Good point about access, never fun trying to get to those connections after it's mounted.

The downside, though, is finding a mount that stays tight against boat motion. I don't want to have a scenario of the TV coming loose while it's in the lowered position and have a disaster when it's raised the next time. The lift has enough torque to wreck both the TV and the cabinet if it somehow got caught.

I'd very likely use some sort of bolt from the back of the box to make a mechanical connection. In a previous boat I used some anti-tip straps to hold one in place. It was on an arm mount (to allow for access under the hinged forward berth. The anti-tip straps have a levered clamp that allowed reasonably easy release on the rare occasion of needing to move the TV mount arm.

I was planning on easing the edges of the notch with a round-over. I didn't attempt that in the render, as my 3D modeling skills aren't that great.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:28 AM   #5
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Another option might be to not use the cabinet at all.

Our original drop-down cabinet was over the pilothouse. It was HUGE (thickness) due to the TV technology at the time of the boat's build. It was almost blocking forward visibility.

TV's have gotten so thin these days, I was able to put a massive 40" screen inside a cabinet that only sticks down 5-6" from the cabintop.

You could put an overhead drop-down for any size TV you want and then free up your bottom cabinet for storage --- I have seen several boats with overhead TV's in that location on the side of the salon.

Anyway, just a thought. Here's a writeup I did for ours:

TV Cabinet
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:09 AM   #6
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Nice write up, the finished install looks great!

Our boat has the factory cavity molded into the ceiling for a hinge-down TV box. I'm betting that cavity would have the same size hassles, or worse. I've never measured it.

My wife has mentioned not liking the look of those. Thus we'll probably be sticking with the pop-up.

I am thinking that, at some point, it'd be worth investigating the replacement of that entire cabinet. Make it slightly wider, to accommodate more sizes and bring it inward to offer storage.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:22 AM   #7
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If the new TV is only 1/4” too wide and the sides are 3/8” then I would break out a router and rout the sides each about 3/16” deep where the TV would hit. If you can’t get the router in far enough then a rotozip may fit or a dremel tool with the flexible extension will go into tight areas. That way the sides will be solid when looking at them. I have a palm router that fits into tight areas. Also if you rout it so that the TV is a tight fit the routed area will help support the TV.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Good point about access, never fun trying to get to those connections after it's mounted.

The downside, though, is finding a mount that stays tight against boat motion. .
I recently changed out the TV in the Master Stateroom. I found a TV at best Buy (Vizio) that the width fit exactly the opening but the height was way off. Wanting to be able to pull the set out for connecting, etc, it was back to Best Buy for the smallest, telescoping wall mount I could find. I mounted it to the back wall and connected it to the TV. The are three pivot points on the wall mounted bracket which when tightened, allowed me to pull the set out when needed. The pivot points are friction controlled, not hard locks which was perfect for my project. Conclusion: The TV looks great and is connected to a Glomex antenna OTA (over the air) on top of my hard topped flybridge which serves both the salon and the master stateroom TVs. I no longer need Direct TV as the New TV is smart and the Glomex provides full HD broadcasts. (Actually it's the smart TV that makes the whole project possible because of their new sophisticated tuners.) Total cost? $110 for the TV and & $85 for the wall mounted bracket. Time spent was 1 full day which included two trips to Best Buy.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:52 AM   #9
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Nice rendering skill Bill.

I like B, just in case you can find a swing out mount that would fit. I would bet you could find some type of small metal clips that would attach to the box and swing down to secure the front of the TV so that when the box is retracted it wouldn’t swing out. The clip is something that I’ve a recollection of seeing in different cabinets.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:43 PM   #10
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If the new TV is only 1/4” too wide and the sides are 3/8” then I would break out a router and rout the sides each about 3/16” deep where the TV would hit. If you can’t get the router in far enough then a rotozip may fit or a dremel tool with the flexible extension will go into tight areas. That way the sides will be solid when looking at them. I have a palm router that fits into tight areas. Also if you rout it so that the TV is a tight fit the routed area will help support the TV.
Yeah, it's tight but could be done. There'd still be just shy 3/8" of wood left on the sides.

Realizing, of course, that the router would undoubtedly go astray just enough to turn it into a notch-out-out-anyway job. I'd also be faced with the potentially really tedious task of making sure the indent was deep enough, that the mounting screws/shims from behind extended far enough and the TV was recessed deep enough to not risk getting caught on the cabinet when going up/down.

The box is too shallow to get a regular router in there to use a cove bit to scoop it out. But this inspires me to check and see if I have the right bits and if my trim router might be up to the task... stay tuned on that idea.

It'd be easier if I could easily disassemble the box, but in typical Grand Banks style all the screws are hidden with bungs and everything's under mega layers of varnish.

One other factor to consider is the sound. Most modern TVs don't have the speakers on the front. They're on the sides/back and depend on having the area behind/beside them open 'enough' to allow sound to propagate. I'm guessing the side hole and a carved-out section would present problems with that. The notch would probably be "less worse" and could be made deeper, if necessary.

I've also been looking into soundbars and that's a whole other areas were size is tricky. Where this cabinet is situated does not lend itself to being used for coasters/drinks. So I'm thinking a soundbar mounted on the top of the box would work. The trick being finding one that fits within the width of cabinet, to avoid hanging over.

At a certain point, yeah, it reaches an "ahhhh, f' it, start over with a new cabinet" moment. I'm not quite there yet... At least I'm not quite to the point to have a cogent argument prepared for justifying the expenditure to the wife. I get a lot of slack when it comes to most boat stuff but a couple of grand for a new cabinet... that will take some negotiating...
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:18 AM   #11
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If you haven't already, you might want look for a 4:3 monitor and then just add a TV tuner box to it or AppleTV or Chromcast, or whatever your pleasures.

If you don't find anything domestically that matches what you are looking for, you might want to try Alibaba.com or Aliexpress.com. 4:3 is still popular in many industrial/commercial applications. There are an amazing variety available for sale.

I've ordered a lot of stuff directly from China over the years. W.r.t. quality, I've mostly gotten what I've paid for. If I was having something custom configured or built, and I didn't spec it, it wasn't there -- things as simple as a brightness adjustment!

I haven't really looked at the detailed specs, but on a 10 second search, this comes up as 26", 4:3, 500nits of brightness:
-- https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...557e3664uGS7Xm

Or this:
-- https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...557e3664uGS7Xm

You get the idea...and, again, I didn't really look at these for more than 2 sec each. So, they might not be right. But, I bet that something that will work will be there.

Personally, I'd try to source the right size TV in creative ways before I turned to carpentry.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:32 AM   #12
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I've scoured more sources than you could shake a keyboard at. Including the sources you mention. Note the lack of exterior dimensions on the spec sheet pages, kinda the key issue here. Quite a few turn out to be larger than will fit. Honestly, I've reeeeeeeally searched to find a suitable replacement.

A 4:3 display is unsuitable for anything that'd likely be watched on this TV. Oh, sure, it'd fit and cropping/letterboxing 'would work' but I've no desire to throwback to the last century's display format. That and 1024x768 is a pretty low resolution display. No need for 4k but it has to at least be 1080p.

Using monitors and TV tuner boxes is a clusterf*ck of hassles best avoided for what's supposed to be recreationa timel. Yet another remote? No thanks, and universal ones bring along their own added layers of hassles.

One thing that does matter, more than might think, is the side viewing angle. Some displays are terrible at viewing from anyting other than absolutely straight-on. I've seen specs that claim near 180... but aren't. The hassle of returning inferior displays is not fun or easy. I've enough to do without adding fighting for refunds.

So mixing all those variables together... making a relatively simple alteration to the cabinet should handle it.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:28 PM   #13
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you're probably on the right track Bill, we did a similar TV update just a few weeks ago, though we had a fixed cabinet, not the electric raising situation you have. but a couple things I'd mention: I totally agree get a newer smart TV (i think we also got a Vizio, ours from Target) that already has Wi-Fi and all the apps built in to it. some of the Rokus and other devices require their own power source and even if they don't its one more thing dangling around you don't need with a smart TV. Same thing with a sound bar; be careful because some of those also need a power source if you're rationing power as we often do on boats.
Finally, yes we did have the hinged articulating arm on our old TV but we ended up ditching it for a fixed mount. the reasoning that mount was heavy, took up too much space and allowed too much TV bouncing around when under way. we also didn't need it to articulate when we went with a slightly bigger size.
Some of the universal fixed mounts now are just hooked at the top but allow the bottom of TV to swing out for wire access. maybe (if you haven't already) go ahead and get a mount or two first and make sure what you have space for...
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:53 PM   #14
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Well, a smartTV does offer some benefits, you're right. But there's also the downside of them not getting proper updates for the embedded apps. But, as you point out the external player sticks and boxes add to the complexity.

Agreed, power management is never something to ignore. But, at a certain point, you have to trade off between getting the feature set you want and suffering other issues trying to work around it. Like finding 12vdc TVs, they're mostly crap. We've got a generator and an inverter on board so I'd be covered either way.

The old mount is V-shaped to allow the TV to slide up and then out. The idea is there are retaining screws inserted from the bottom that hold the V-wedge down into it. I'd likely look to either re-use it (moved to a better location, taking into account the upward slot removal distance needed) or get something new.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:21 PM   #15
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In all honesty I think you should do a new cabinet. I'll come down and take the old one to save you some grief.

The smaller tvs I have are all 110v Ac stepped down to 12v dc.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:54 AM   #16
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I like option A. I think it leaves a bit more strength in the upper structure. And it prevents any sort of swing out, which I think would inevitably be "swung out" when trying to lower the lift and smash everything up. We had a book or magazine that got bumped into the line of travel when the TV was up, and when the TV was lowered it tore to top off the lift box.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:07 AM   #17
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I like option A. I think it leaves a bit more strength in the upper structure. And it prevents any sort of swing out, which I think would inevitably be "swung out" when trying to lower the lift and smash everything up. We had a book or magazine that got bumped into the line of travel when the TV was up, and when the TV was lowered it tore to top off the lift box.
That is indeed a risk. The mechanism is pretty simple, just a motor attached via chain. There's no discernible safety features at all. It'll clamp down on anything that gets stuck in the path. The good part is the lift has it's own breaker, so I can keep it off until it's needed. That saves me from anyone accidentally using it.

If I were building something new I'd be looking at the kind that just hinge the top door and move the TV alone. But you work with what you've got.
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Old Yesterday, 01:06 PM   #18
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I've got a built-in cabinet with a lift for a TV. The old TV is being replaced but it's nigh-on impossible to find anything that'll fit exactly into the old box. The old TV was a 4:3 squarish-26" unit. A new 24" looks awkwardly small. There are a rare few 28" 16:9 wide units that alllllmost fit. To that end I've managed to find one that's just shy of 1/4" larger than opening in the existing box (which has 3/8" wood sides).

There's no option to modify the lift itself, at least not without spending a considerable amount of money to have a whole new cabinet made for the space.

My question here is if I'm going to modify the box, which of these two options should I consider (rendering attached).

Note, my question here isn't about the TV or whether having one on-board is necessary, useful or whatever. Just some thoughts on modifying the box itself.

I either go with option (B) and notch in the front use some stand-offs to get the TV pushed forward from the back panel (not shown in this rendering). Or option (A) where I route out a keyhole of sorts in the side to allow the TV to fit.

The upside to option B (the notch) is it'd potentially allow using an articulating mount that could let me pull the TV forward and tilt it side-to-side to better aid viewing from elsewhere in the salon. But, honestly, there's not a large enough area to make this a likely scenario. The lift is old-school, chain-driven, all metal and has absolutely no safety features. It'll gladly roll down onto fingers without stopping. So a notch would potentially present some added possible pinch points on the way down. Option A would at least leave a smooth edge along the sides. But there'd still be the top piece coming down (and it's already claimed an errant coax cable I mistakenly left too close).

I get it, not everyone wants/needs a TV on-board. Frankly, we've gone without it for two seasons and it's really not been missed save for a few excessively rainy stretches and low wifi/cell connectivity. Which probably wouldn't have offered much in the way over over-the-air TV either, but... whatever.

Right now there's a spot where the lid the box is missing and the wife is nagging me. So, option A or B?
As someone that has designed many AV systems, command centers and theaters - considering sight lines, go with plan B. New flatscreens have very thin edges and you will most likely cover or impend the view of the screen. If you use A, you'll regret it in the long run.
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Old Yesterday, 06:51 PM   #19
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Check the depth of the new TV you choose carefully. I have a TV lift and the original LCD flatscreen TV fitted perfectly. A yard accident left it with a hole in the screen so I thought “no worries a newer TV will be thinner. Nope, all the new Flat Screen TV’s of that size are an inch thicker. It had a swing mount as well so I had to throw it and design and build a new mount one that was thinner to make it work.
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