If you were lucky enough to score an amazing deal on an OLED TV for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you may have a dilemma; where to mount it or where to place it? The slickest flat panel TV installs are mounted, but that doesn’t mean the space below the TV should stay unfurnished.
If you purchased a soundbar or speaker system to accompany your TV, where will that go? What about hiding all the wires? Ultimately, solutions boil down to ingenuity, design and craftsmanship. Luckily, BDI media consoles can check all of those boxes.
BDI is a company located in Chantilly, Virginia, that’s been specializing in modern A/V furniture since 1984. Over many years of reviewing BDI media consoles, I’ve come to learn that not only is their build quality top-notch, their designs are stunning, and they are built to last — something that one should expect at these price levels.
BDI’s furniture is better than anything you’ll find at West Elm, Room & Board, or Pottery Barn when it comes to A/V systems.
Previously, I’ve reviewed the BDI Octave, BDI Elements 8779, and BDI Sector 7527. Each will appeal to customers for different reasons, but the BDI Corridor 8173 has become my new favorite. Although the Corridor line has been around for eight years, two things are different about the Corridor 8173. It has a low profile (shorter) design and new natural walnut finish that is really quite stunning when you unpack it.
The original Corridor 8179 is the taller version of the Corridor 8173 console. All functions are identical except for height. It stands 7.25-inches taller (28.25″ vs 21″). Why you would choose one over the other may depend on your TV’s size and whether it’s to be mounted our placed atop the console. Your couch seating height should be another consideration.
In our loft we have a modern Crate & Barrel leather couch that sits low to the ground with a seat height of 16-inches (from floor to couch seat). So choosing what media cabinet would fit best turned into a simple math calculation. Since I had already mounted a 65-inch Sony OLED TV that was vertically centered to my eye-line while seated, I knew how much room there was below the TV.
Although both the Corridor 8173 and 8179 could fit under the mounted TV, the low profile 8173 provided 13-inches of room between console and TV versus 6-inches with the taller 8179. The extra space greatly expands options for soundbars or center channel speakers and potentially can look less cramped. That’s not to say you can’t mount a TV above a regular (taller) console. It’s that it could shift your viewing angle up accordingly.
But if your intention is to just place a flat panel TV atop the stand, then the standard sized 8179 model is more likely to vertically align at eye-level. Either console can support TVs up to 85-inches. However, if you’re planing to place an ultra-short throw projector atop the console, like the Samsung LSP9T that I just reviewed, then I’d suggest the lower profile 8173 for slightly more flexibility.
The BDI 8173 arrives nearly fully assembled like all BDI cabinets. This particular style requires slightly more work than other BDI consoles, but truly not that much. As expected the rollable base needs to be screwed into place while the unit is turned on its side. Next each of the four black door handles need to be screwed into each door. To ensure the doors (and handles) align evenly, a few more screw-type adjustments on the interior hinges made that happen. Lastly, prepare to install the glass top by equally spacing rubber bumpers around the cabinet’s top edges. Then you’ll need an extra person to help gently place the black satin-etched glass atop the cabinet to complete the setup.
Like all BDI consoles, some of my favorite features are included:
- Rear access panels
- Adjustable shelves
- Cable management channels
- Adjustable feet levers
- Hidden wheels
- TV safety strap
- Soundbar shelf (double-wide)
- Remote-friendly doors
- Flow-through ventilation
There are a few subtle details I didn’t realize from just viewing photos on the BDI website. One such feature that surprised me was its soft-close doors. It may not seem like much, but I can assure you it’s something you don’t want to live without once you have it. Why? No more doors slamming. No more clicking to open magnetically push-to-open doors. Just silence whether you open or close a door, and only a gentle nudge is enough force to get the door to effortlessly close on its own, somewhat magically.
Adding to the subtlety and design is how the top glass shelf appears to float above the cabinet, while extending the louvered appearance upward. Interestingly, that’s both pleasing to the eye and functional as it provides extra ventilation through the top of the cabinet. Finally, the black door handles nearly disappear by blending inline with the gap in wood panels.
Upon receiving the BDI 8173 shipment, I noticed the box arrived with a hole in it. Although the console was double boxed and protected with styrofoam, somehow there was nick in the left door just large enough to be noticeable.
Once BDI was informed, a replacement door was shipped out. All that was required were photos of the console, so BDI could match the stained natural walnut finish.
Replacing the door proved quick and easy, and something you’re unlikely to ever do. Upon installation, the replacement door looked and fit perfectly as if nothing was ever an issue.
Thank you BDI for correcting an unfortunate situation that was certainly damaged during shipment.
Because the base of cabinet is on wheels, it’s easy to manuever to get components connected to those hard to reach inputs. Like all BDI 4-door cabinets, the two middle doors open outward which enables room to conceal a wide sound bar within the cabinet. Although BDI offers other door styles that are acoustically transparent, this one technically isn’t. The louvered wood doors do provide plenty of ventilation for components and the slots are wide enough to let remote control signals reach interior components. Although in some circumstances, the angle the remote is pointed can prevent it from hitting the sensor.
Ultimately, before any media cabinet is purchased, it has to look appealing, match the style of your decor, and fit into your space. BDI has really thought through the Corridor 8173, leaving me with almost nothing I wish was different.
When you want to put the finishing touch on your home entertainment system, take a hard look at BDI’s entire lineup. The Corridor Series comes highly recommended in any configuration — BDI 8173 (4-door, low-profile), 8179 (4-door, standard height), or even the 8177 (3-door, standard height). The natural walnut finish is gorgeous, although all three models also come in charcoal stained ash (nearly black) and chocolate stained walnut (dark brown).
Not only did the BDI Corridor 8173 exceed my expectations, but everyone else in my family gave it huge stamp of approval. Not always an easy task.
Where to buy:
Check for BDI retailers near you.
Visit the BDI Corridor 8173 product page at BDI’s website.
Learn more about other BDI media consoles in our BDI Home Entertainment Furniture Buying Guide.