AV Equipment Racks
Updated: December 17, 2012

Guide to AV Equipment Racks

More than just a storage space for your gear!

Audio Video rack enclosures come in all shapes and sizes, and are great to help you keep your gear well organized and safe - essential for long-term trouble-free operation.

However, there is a lot more to AV racks than just a simple storage space for home theater system components. In particular, more elaborate racks used in advanced home theater installations often form a complete system - providing added enhancements such as accessories for power distribution, thermal protection, and cable management support. Others come in an attractive finish that often provides a unique attraction in the home entertainment room.

Discover more in this series of informative guides on AV rack systems. 

Salamander Synergy 329 A/V CabinetSalamander Synergy 329 A/V Cabinet
(available from amazon)

A versatile AV cabinet in a nice hardwood finish complemented by matching metal trims and optional aluminum castors or polished aluminum feet instead of the leveling feet included with the cabinet.

An Introduction to AV Equipment Racks

While you can place your AV system components almost anywhere, the ideal approach is to install your gear in a fixed dedicated enclosure. Keeping system components in an appropriate equipment rack or component stand will ensure the safety of your expensive equipment while giving you easy access to system components for service and future growth.

It is true that in its simplest form, inexpensive rack systems are merely a cabinet with shelves to take your AV equipment. Yet today's rack solutions have evolved far beyond the simple enclosure designed to stack your gear.

Rather, more elaborate racks found in advanced home theater installations form a complete system in itself; these include accessories for power distribution, system thermal protection, and extensive cable management.

What's more, many manufactures have started to offer affordable stylish rack options that complement any room decor. These designer component stands are a far cry from the industrial look of the traditional standard 19-inch rack. A case in point is the Salamander Synergy 329 A/V Cabinet featured above; it is a heavy-built cabinet that comes in various nice hardwood finishes and includes special features like adjustable height shelves, removable metal back panels for easy equipment access and precision leveling feet.

The Salamander AV rack is just one of a never-ending list of rack designs that come in all shapes and sizes. Some of these racks are designed for use in media-closets, while others come in an attractive finish to better complement your home theater decor when used on their own, or embedded within some piece of furniture, cabinet, or built-in wall enclosure for that unique approach.

And there is more...

You can find AV rack systems that come with support shelves on rails that can be pulled out for ease of equipment handling and maintenance. Others would even allow you to pull out the whole shelving assembly complete with the installed gear and rotate it a full 180 degrees for ease of access to the back panel of your system components.

One such fine example is the range of Pullout/Swivel Audio Video Rack solutions by Middle Atlantic shown here.

The pull-out Middle Atlantic AV rack system mounted in a wooden cabinetThe AV rack shown here may be mounted direct in a wooden cabinet as shown in this insert here to integrate better with the rest of the home theater room decor; alternatively, it can be floor standing and rolled on castors. Similar pullout rotating AV racks are also available from AVRAK as further featured on our site. AVRAK has a full innovative line of rotating AV racks - from stationary, rotating, pullout and rotating, freestanding with rotation - of outstanding quality.

A unique rack solution within the full AVRAK line is a double-width rotating equipment rack as part of their Fatrak series; this would definitely come in handy when available height for your equipment rack is an issue.

Middle Atlantic ASR-48 Rotating Slide-Out Shelving System
Middle Atlantic ASR-48

Rotating Slide-out Component Shelving System

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AV Equipment Racks - All You Need to Know
Detailed Section Index:

This Guide to AV Racks is divided into a series of short articles, starting with the basics of standard 19-inch equipment racks. In the process, we present a list of tips on how best to select and install equipment racks. We also discuss the important subject of thermal management in rack enclosures. We conclude this series of guides by looking at some of the most interesting audio video rack options presently available for home theater use.

Standard 19-inch Rack Enclosures - The Basics

In this first part of our rack guide, we discuss the basics of rack enclosures for a better understanding of standard rack solutions.

Selecting and Mounting Audio Video Rack Enclosures

Selecting a suitable rack enclosure may turn out to be a tedious and time-consuming process. However, this does not have to be so!

In this second part of our guide, we cover the subject of rack selection and equipment mounting in rack enclosures. We also discuss the important issue of thermal management and see how to keep your equipment cool.

Available Rack Solutions for the Home Theater

AV racks range from industrial style EIA 310-D compliant 19-inch rack enclosures to the more decor friendly rack solutions available specifically for home theater use. More in this info guide.

AVRAK - The Rotating AV Rack System

Avrak extensive range of rotating AV racks is based on the simple concept of reaching the back of your gear from the front - simply by giving your gear a spin! These AV racks are relatively expensive but in return, you get a stylish heavy-duty rack of exceptional standard and high degree of adaptability.

Home Media Cabinets for that Unique Finishing Touch

Maria Yee Line of Luxury™ Home Theater Furniture represents an exclusive three-piece collection of AV cabinets that offer more than just style and functionality. Read here to discover more.

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 Article Content

Issues discussed in this article

Blue bullet  Introduction to AV Racks:
Use of AV racks in the home theater

Blue bullet  Equipment Racks Guide Section Index:
Detailed index of articles appearing under this section - covering topics ranging from 19" rack basics, to  thermal management in AV racks, rack selection, and available rack solutions