A week ago, I would have thought a subwoofer was part of a dog. Now I know it’s what you need to get the bass notes out of  a sound system.  In addition to this heightened audio wisdom has come a realization that, sometime when I wasn’t paying attention to electronics (which could be at any point in the last 20 or 30 years) they made these televisions HUGE and razor thin. So big, in fact, that setting up a popcorn stand in the foyer seems to be an an appropriate ancillary use.

The contractor brought in an audio-visual consultant to help guide my decision-making process.  I knew immediately that we were coming from different places when he said that,  “I would need at least a 50″ television, given the size of the living room, if I wanted to put it in there.”  I remembered the small black and white, and then color, televisions my parents bought in the 1950’s and ’60’s, where we all assembled to watch “Gunsmoke”, “The $64,000 Question”, and other jewels from those quaint days of early broadcasting.  However, the noun, “television”, and the modifier, “need”, are not, for me, dependent parts of speech.

A bigger challenge was how to be able to integrate a television into the living room, where I hadn’t had one in the 30 years we lived in our Victorian brownstone.  Now that my space was roughly half as big as it once was, the idea of a television in the “living” room didn’t seem like such a terrible idea.  Or did it? Among the keepers from the past that will always remain with me are the wonderful prints my husband and I bought together.  Many are of England, which we both loved, and, more specifically, of Cambridge, where he went for graduate work for two years after college and where we spent our first year after getting married.

How does one of these televisions work in a room with nice, old prints?  The AV consultant suggested a cabinet, from which the TV could magically levitate when it was needed and sink down again when it wasn’t. I thought this James Bond solution only made the elephant in the room seem even bigger, since to conceal the TV, the cabinet needed some heft.  Remember “Le Petit Prince” and the boa that swallowed the hat?

I decided, in the end, to simply coexist with the TV as a 21st century component that will enable me to sit and watch episodes of “Downton Abbey” without squinting from across the room.  And certainly as I get old and decrepit, who knows whether I might need to bring the world into the confines of this apartment instead of going out into it, as I do now.

Popcorn anyone?

The likely solution: a TV* and a media cabinet
*Yes, it seems enormous to me in the 40" range but it's a relative peanut compared to what's out there.