Read these 17 Home Theater Cable Management Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wire Management tips and hundreds of other topics.
The home theater experience is all about getting as close to a cinema experience as you can -- all without leaving your living room. And that means setting up surround sound. Surround sound means you are setting up speakers that go beyond the ones simply built into your TV. A typical surround sound system has a speaker above your TV, a speaker on either side of it, two more stationed behind where you sit and a subwoofer. More advanced systems have even more speakers in the mix. All this means a lot of home theater speaker wires to contend with. You can buy cable organizational tubing for less than $10 made especially for home theater systems. The tubing will clean up home theater speaker wires and cable clutter behind your home theater system by consolidating it all into one tube. Some products come with numbered stickers to help you ensure proper connection between your technology. There are also speaker wire adapter kits on the market made to accommodate specific systems. You can buy such kits at your local technology store.
According to Home Theater Magazine, you will spend about 5 to 10 percent of your home theater budget on cables. So how do you know which ones to buy? Did you know many cable dealers allow an at-home trial period for the brands they carry? Then you can see if the expensive brands are really worth the money. But a good rule of thumb is trust your eyes and ears. If you don't hear or see a difference, try to keep your costs down by buying less expensive cables.
Three things to consider when buying and trying home theater video cables:
We see cables running from technology all the time. But do we really understand what is going on inside? Here is a breakdown of the three components of a cable, courtesy of crutchfield.com:
Confused about how to attach your home cable wires? Here are some tips courtesy of Audioholic, an online A/V magazine and crutchfield.com, a company that sells home entertainment products:
So you are finally getting around to setting up the home theater system you've always wanted. You've bought the DVD player and the plasma TV and are wondering how to wire it all together. Here is some guidance on setting up and wiring a home theater system, courtesy of Audioholics, an online A/V magazine:
While you are thinking of eliminating cable clutter, you might want to consider eliminating remote control clutter, too. There's nothing more daunting than a coffee table full of remote controls.
A universal remote control controls all of your electronics. It replaces all the factory-issued remotes that come with your technology and gives you the convenience of controlling them all with one device. However, not all wireless systems may be compatible with a universal remote control. Manufacturers know this and often provide a list of brand names and models which can be programmed.
However, there are some drawbacks to the universal remote. A universal remote may only offer you basic functions for each technology, as opposed to the more complex functions individual remotes can offer. Also, if you lose battery power and you have, say, four different technologies programmed into your remote, you may have to reprogram them all.
Think about your dream home theater system and visions of DVD players and high definition plasma TVs likely dance in your head. However, we rarely think about the cables that make all the flashy technology work in harmony with each other. Cables have many different sizes, shapes, lengths and connection types. First, you need to decide whether you need an analog or digital cable. Then you must decide between the four types of cables on the market -- coaxial, composite, component and S-Video. Chances are, your home theater system needs at least two of those four types of cables. Here is a breakdown of the four:
There are cable management solutions for making your home theater system look as sharp as your new high definition plasma TV. Here are some cable management products for your home theater, courtesy of cableorganizer.com.
One way to help keep track of the cables behind your home entertainment equipment is to color code your wires with wire loom, a perfect organizational tool for home environments. Pick a color for your DVD cables, your television and your video game console so when you are ready to swap out a component you won't have to worry about disconnecting the wrong piece of home theater equipment!
If you live in an apartment, your landlord might not like it if you want to drill holes in the wall and install new cables. Condo dwellers might face similar problems with their neighbors. One solution to running cables around the house are Corner Duct Raceways. These cable raceways are wire molding designed to blend in, but not only will they work along the baseboard, they will also work vertically in corners or along the ceiling mimicking crown molding. The snap-on cover makes it easy to change and adapt your wiring setup, and no untidy cables.
Do you need to know how many Amps you are drawing? Be wary of power supply when you are putting your home theater together. Power distribution panels may be an option for your business to consider. BRC/SPC power distribution panels feature Current Monitoring with a real-time digital readout. These systems are available for both AC and DC configurations to meet your home theater cable and power needs.
Are you an AV professional on the move?
A sales rep traveling all over the country and lugging around fragile projectors and laptops for highly technical demonstrations?
If you are, you have probably arrived at a client site only to discover that your projector, laptop or other high tech device was damaged in transit. After all, we all know that your luggage is not handled gently in the airport!
If you are looking for a simple and highly effective travel solution for your expensive equipment you should consider a pelican case. These cases, made of a polymer material, are incredibly strong and water tight to boot. The next time you get on a plane, think about a pelican case to protect your valuable equipment - or better yet - convince your boss to buy one for you!
We all know how important the home theater sound system is to creating the perfect environment. Running speaker wire or some other form of cable around your house is easier with wire organizers like cable clips, cable saddles and cable clamps. For example, clips can hold one or two wires and guide them along a desired route unobtrusively, and keep your wires neat and tidy. They have an adhesive backing which means you can mount the cable clips on walls, baseboards, ceilings, desks or any other surface. By organizing your speaker wire and protecting it from foot traffic, you keep your wires in top condition and you don't risk yanking wires out of your speakers every time you cross the room.
The problem with most houses is that once the wiring is installed, that's it. You can't make serious changes without tearing up the place. The good news is that there are several solutions out there, from inexpensive simple cord covers to more advanced products that can mimic your baseboard. A great example of this is the WireTracks cable raceway This unique cable solution looks just like normal baseboard, except it carries wires. Best of all, you can change wires by opening up the WireTracks and adding or removing wires as needed. This is perfect for the home theater enthusiast who wants the best sound system and wiring options out there to ensure that their high tech playroom works as well as possible!
Sometimes you have to run stereo, TV, DVD, and other cables across halls, floors, or other areas with foot traffic when you are putting together your home theater wire management system. You risk damage to your cables, your floor, and you risk creating a very real tripping hazard. You need to consider your cable management options. You can look at light capacity cable covers or consider a faux baseboard in which you can run your wires.
A rack mount LCD panel is new technology at its finest. Not only is a mounted LCD screen a great space-saving tool, the picture quality is excellent. Plus, the power used by a rack mount LCD screen is less than a regular monitor or television. LCD panels are available for mounting flush against a wall or on a movable hinge. Wire management is a breeze with rack mounted LCD panels, as the cords are easier to conceal and there aren't any wires routed across desks or tables.
Were you jealous of the homeowners on TLC's Trading Spaces when Doug created that crazy home theater with stadium seating and those fancy running lights on the floor?
Have you always wanted those cool running lights you see on the floors of movie theaters?
Bet you didn't know you could get something going like that, for one tenth of the price and the work?
Don't be afraid to have a little fun when you are designing your home theater. Consider transparent cord covers for the floor on either side of your home theater chairs or couch. Just get some simple christmas or holiday lights, and insert them into these nifty cord covers. The light shines through and the cords and mini lightbulbs are protected from walking feet! How cool will you be next movie night? You decide.