A TV will go above the fireplace. I was concerned that building out the wall to accommodate running electric and communication lines into the center of the wall would take up too much space on the mantel. I also was not sure in this old house, if a TV over the mantel was appropriate. It was now or never to make up mind, since we were in the midst of the electrical rough-in, so I decided to go for it.
My father had me purchase 12, 2×2 beams and in less than an hour we had the fireplace strapped and wires pulled for the electrical outlets. We even added support boards for the future TV mount. I will only loose 2″ of the 12″ mantel. Once covered in drywall it won’t be noticed.
Now the question is will my budget allow for a new TV.