Title:
TV stand
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A TV stand includes first and second vertically oriented front pillars configured for an integrated look with a TV, and a rear support. A top horizontal plate rests on the supports and the supports rest on a bottom horizontal plate. Respective tie bolts extend from the top plate, through the supports, and engage the bottom plate to minimize exposed fasteners and facilitate ease of assembling the TV stand, in that inversion of the TV stand to assemble it is not necessary.



Inventors:
Smith, Gordon Wayne (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/985404
Publication Date:
05/11/2006
Filing Date:
11/09/2004
Assignee:
Sony Corporation
Sony Electronics Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B37/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KUHN, MART K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROGITZ & ASSOCIATES (750 B STREET, SUITE 3120, SAN DIEGO, CA, 92101, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A TV stand, comprising: at least first and second vertically oriented front supports configured for an integrated look with a TV; at least one rear support; a top horizontal plate and a bottom horizontal plate sandwiching the supports; and respective tie bolts extending from the top plate, through the supports, and engaging the bottom plate to minimize exposed fasteners and facilitate ease of assembling the TV stand, whereby inversion of the TV stand to assemble it is not necessary.

2. The TV stand of claim 1, wherein at least the rear support is formed with at least one transverse opening establishing a cable opening into the TV stand.

3. The TV stand of claim 1, wherein each front support defines a top surface, at least a portion of which protrudes laterally beyond the top plate, at least one of the portions being formed with a protrusion configured for engaging a complementarily-configured cavity in a TV.

4. The TV stand of claim 1, wherein the rear support is a two-piece support including a rear plate detachably engaged with a support column.

5. The TV stand of claim 1, wherein each front support includes: at least one front column internally formed with plural first interlocking elements; and at least one rear column internally formed with at least plural second interlocking elements complementarily configured to the first interlocking elements for engagement therewith, wherein no threaded fastener is exposed when the supports are assembled.

6. The TV stand of claim 1, further comprising a TV disposed on the stand.

7. A kit configured for being assembled into a TV stand, comprising: at least first and second front pillars; at least one rear support; at least a top plate and a bottom plate; and plural tie bolts each having a length longer than the pillars, whereby a tie bolt can extend through the top plate, a pillar or support, and engage the bottom plate to render vertical pillars and support and horizontal top and bottom plate for supporting a TV.

8. The kit of claim 7, wherein at least the rear support is formed with at least one transverse opening establishing a cable opening into the TV stand.

9. The kit of claim 7, wherein each pillar defines a top surface, at least a portion of which protrudes laterally beyond the top plate, at least one of the portions being formed with a protrusion configured for engaging a complementarily-configured cavity in a TV.

10. The kit of claim 7, wherein the rear support is a two-piece support including a rear plate detachably engaged with a support column.

11. The kit of claim 7, wherein each pillar includes: at least one front column internally formed with plural first interlocking elements; and at least one rear column internally formed with at least plural second interlocking elements complementarily configured to the first interlocking elements for engagement therewith, wherein no threaded fastener is exposed when the pillars are assembled.

12. An assembly, comprising: a TV; and a TV stand supporting the TV, the TV stand comprising: a top plate on which the TV rests; and a three-point support system supporting the top plate, at least a portion of the three-point support system presenting an integrated visual appearance with the TV.

13. The assembly of claim 12, wherein the three-point support system comprises: at least first and second front pillars; at least one rear support; at least a bottom plate; and plural tie bolts each having a length longer than the pillars, whereby a tie bolt can extend through the top plate, a pillar or support, and engage the bottom plate to render vertical pillars and support and horizontal top and bottom plate for supporting a TV.

14. The assembly of claim 13, wherein at least the rear support is formed with at least one transverse opening establishing a cable opening into the TV stand.

15. The assembly of claim 13, wherein each pillar defines a top surface, at least a portion of which protrudes laterally beyond the top plate, at least one of the portions being formed with a protrusion configured for engaging a complementarily-configured cavity in the TV.

16. The assembly of claim 13, wherein the rear support is a two-piece support including a rear plate detachably engaged with a support column.

17. The assembly of claim 13, wherein each pillar includes: at least one front column internally formed with plural first interlocking elements; and at least one rear column internally formed with at least plural second interlocking elements complementarily configured to the first interlocking elements for engagement therewith, wherein no threaded fastener is exposed when the pillars are assembled.

18. The assembly of claim 13, further comprising at least one connector affixed to the TV and to the TV stand.

19. The assembly of claim 13, wherein the TV stand further comprises at least one horizontally oriented tempered glass shelf.

20. The assembly of claim 13, wherein the top plate is formed with countersunk holes, and each tie bolt includes a head resting in a respective countersunk hole and a shank extending through the hole, the top of the head being substantially flush with the top plate.

Description:

I. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to furniture, and more particularly to television (TV) stands.

II. BACKGROUND

TV stands are ubiquitous in supporting TVs. The present invention makes the following critical observations about TV stands. TV stands typically are not designed with a TV shape in mind, and as a consequence do not present an aesthetically pleasing appearance when a TV sits atop one. Also, assembly of TV stands tends to be rather complicated, requiring the end user to spend considerable time assembling a stand, or else requiring a vendor to assemble the stand, increasing costs to the end user. Further, the present invention recognizes that many TV stands do not provide as much safety and stability in supporting a TV as they otherwise might. With these critical observations in mind, the invention herein is provided.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A TV stand includes first and second vertically oriented front pillars configured for an integrated look with a TV. The TV stand also has a rear support, and a top horizontal plate rests on the pillars and support. Also, the pillars and support in turn rest on a bottom horizontal plate, with the plates thus sandwiching the supports between them. Respective tie bolts extend from the top plate, through the supports, and engage the bottom plate to minimize exposed fasteners and to facilitate ease of assembling the TV stand. Inversion of the TV stand to assemble it is not necessary.

The rear support may be formed with at least one transverse opening for cable ingress/egress into the TV stand. Each front support can define a top surface, a portion of which protrudes laterally beyond the top plate, and the portions are formed with TV foot locators such as respective protrusions that are configured for engaging complementarily-configured cavities in a TV.

In some embodiments, the rear support can be a two-piece support including a rear plate detachably engaged with a support column. Also, if desired each front support may include a front column internally formed with first interlocking elements, and a rear column internally formed with second interlocking elements that are complementarily configured to the first interlocking elements for engaging the first elements. With this structure, no threaded fastener is exposed when the supports are assembled.

In another aspect, a kit that is configured for being assembled into a TV stand includes first and second front pillars, a rear support, and a top plate and a bottom plate. The kit also includes plural tie bolts each having a length longer than the pillars. A tie bolt can extend through the top plate, a pillar or support, and engage the bottom plate to render vertical pillars and support and horizontal top and bottom plates for supporting a TV.

In yet another aspect, an assembly has a TV and a TV stand supporting the TV. The TV stand includes a top plate on which the TV rests, and a three-point support system supporting the top plate. At least a portion of the three-point support system presents an integrated visual appearance with the TV.

The details of the present invention, both as to its structure and operation, can best be understood in reference to the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts, and in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the present TV stand, with a TV on top of the stand;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the TV with TV stand of FIG. 1, from a rear perspective;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the TV stand; and

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of one of the front pillars.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring initially to FIGS. 1-3, a TV stand 10 is shown that is configured to support a TV 12. It can be appreciated in reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 in particular that the TV stand 10 establishes an integrated look in combination with the TV 12, with no fasteners exposed to view particularly from the front. Specifically, the TV stand includes at least two front supports, referred to herein a “pillars” 14, 16, that may have widths “w” that can approximate the width “w1” of the chassis frame of the TV 12 and that can appear to be extensions of the vertical portions of the frame as shown best in FIG. 1. Also, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 the vertical front surfaces of the pillars 14, 16 appear to fair into the chassis of the TV 12, presenting an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Cross-referencing FIGS. 1-3, in addition to the front pillars 14, 16, the TV stand 10 includes a rear vertically-oriented support 18. Together, the pillars 14, 16 and rear support 18 support a horizontally-oriented top board or plate 20, and are sandwiched between the top plate 20 and a horizontally-oriented bottom board or plate 22 as set forth more fully below. Accordingly, in the embodiment shown the TV stand 10 establishes a stable three-point support for the top plate 20, with the TV 12 resting on the stably supported top plate 20. While the pillars 14, 16 and support 18 are shown to be longer in the vertical dimension than they are wide in the horizontal dimension, it is to be understood that they can be shorter than they are wide.

To hold the supports and plates together and to facilitate ease of assembly by the end user, respective tie bolts 24 extend through the top plate 20 and each pillar 14, 16 and rear support 18 and engage the bottom plate 22. As shown, one tie bolt 24 can be used for each respective pillar 14, 16 and two tie bolts 24 can extend through the rear support 18. The tie bolts 24 can threadably engage respective bosses 26 that are disposed in the bottom plate 22, or they can tightly fit into recesses that are formed in the bottom plate 22. If desired, each tie bolt 24 can be formed with a head 28 and shank 30, with the shank 30 extending through a respective hole 32 in the top plate 20 and with each head 28 being wider than the narrowest portion of the hole 32. Each hole 32 may be countersunk (i.e., can include a larger diameter cavity and a smaller diameter cavity) so that, while the heads 28 cannot pass completely through the holes 32, the tops of the heads 28 may be flush with the top surface of the top plate 20. In this way, a user need not invert the TV stand 10 to assemble it, but need only place the pillars 14, 16 and support 18 vertically between the plates 20, 22, then advance the tie bolts 24 through the top plate 20, pillars 14, 16 and support 18, and into engagement with the bottom plate 22 to sandwich the vertical supports between the plates 20, 22.

In some embodiments the rear support 18 may be a two-piece support having a flat rear cover 34 that can be snapped onto a U-shaped support column 36 to establish a hollow rear support 18. The pillars 14, 16 may also be hollow, and with the exceptions noted below the TV stand 10 may be made of plastic. At least one and preferably more transverse openings 38 may be formed in the rear cover 34 and support column 36 to permit egress and ingress of cables into and out of the interior of the TV stand 10. It is to be understood that the openings 38 in the rear cover 34 are vertically registered with those of the support column 36.

FIG. 3 best shows that each front pillar 14, 16 defines a respective top surface 40 at least a portion of which protrudes laterally beyond the top plate 22. Respective TV foot locators 42, which may be cylindrical or hemispherical protrusions or other appropriate configuration, extend above the top 40 of the respective pillar 14, 16 and are configured for engaging a complementarily-configured cavity in the TV 12. This precisely positions the TV 12 on the TV stand 10, and lends even further stability to the TV stand 10 with TV 12 assembly.

If desired, two horizontally-oriented, vertically staggered sway bars 44 can extend from pillar 14 to pillar 16 as shown best in FIG. 3. In cross-reference to FIGS. 1 and 3, respective tempered glass shelves 46 can rest in front on the sway bars 44 and be supported in the rear on the rear support 18 by means of respective brackets 48 that may be screwed into the rear support 18.

Now referring to FIG. 4, in some embodiments each front pillar 14, 16 can include a hollow front column 50 that is internally formed with plural receptacles 52. It may be appreciated that the column 50 can be formed with three vertically staggered flanges 54 with plural receptacles 52 in each flange 54. Respective bolts 56 can extend through each receptacle 52 of the top and bottom flange.

Each front pillar 14, 16 also has a rear column 57 that is internally formed with vertically-staggered flanges 58 one or more of which can support female threaded fasteners 60. The bolts 56 engage the fasteners 60 in an interlocking manner, with the flanges 54 of the front column 50 abutting the edges of the respective flanges 58 of the rear column 57. The middle flange 54 of the front column 50 can be formed with a detent (not shown) that fits within detent receptacles 62 of the middle flange 58 of the rear support 57 to provide further interlocking engagement.

If desired, a connector 64 (FIG. 2) such as a bracket or other structure may be affixed, as by threaded fasteners, to the chassis of the TV 12 and to the TV stand 10, e.g., to the top plate 20 or rear support 18 thereof.

While the particular TV STAND as herein shown and described in detail is fully capable of attaining the above-described objects of the invention, it is to be understood that it is the presently preferred embodiment of the present invention and is thus representative of the subject matter which is broadly contemplated by the present invention, that the scope of the present invention fully encompasses other embodiments which may become obvious to those skilled in the art, and that the scope of the present invention is accordingly to be limited by nothing other than the appended claims, in which reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless explicitly so stated, but rather “one or more”. It is not necessary for a device or method to address each and every problem sought to be solved by the present invention, for it to be encompassed by the present claims. Furthermore, no element, component, or method step in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited in the claims. Absent express definitions herein, claim terms are to be given all ordinary and accustomed meanings that are not irreconcilable with the present specification and file history.