Behind every television lurks everyone’s secret shame for tangled cables and assorted dust bunnies, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Sorting the cables behind hermakes it not only more attractive to look at, but also easier to use and maintain. I’ve written about the other ways that you can But ordering cables can have one of the biggest impacts.
You don’t need to be aso your cables are neater, and you don’t need a big budget either. All it takes is a little time and a couple of inexpensive items. If you want to give your TV that showroom finish you’ve been craving, here are five easy tips.
1. Fix your cables with cable ties
Of all the solutions here, the cheapest and easiest way to order your system is to use cable ties. They allow you to create order out of the chaos behind it, and it’s easy to go back and change if you add new components. There are a couple of options when it comes to the ties you can wear. Forget the single-use plastic ones though – choose reusable hook and loop straps or wire ties.
When laying cables together, try to keep the AV interconnects and electrical cables separate. This electrical current interferes with particular analog signals, such as those that travel along speaker cables. Use cable ties to secure cables along the natural boundaries of AV furniture and walls.
2. Label your cables
If you want to go a step further in organizing, you can buy printable labels so you can know which power cord is which, for example. This is especially useful if, like me, you are constantly connecting a lot of new equipment. Some receivers, like those from Denon, come with stickers that can help you determine what is what.
3. Buy new (shorter) cables
Do you end up twisting the cables too long and tucking them under the unit or through the back of the TV? You may need to buy shorter runs. You can buy power, HDMI, RCA, and speaker cables that are as short or as long as you need. If you are shopping for new HDMI cables, you may want to invest in ultra high speed (certificates) for future testing for standards such as , but they are not required for most devices. You can also get white wires, which will be better able to hide against your off-white walls.
4. Install new outlets or HDMI ports behind the TV.
If you decide to mount your TV on the wall, the hanging wires will be obvious from the start. If you are lucky enough to have your own home and drywall, you can pay an electrician to install a wall outlet or HDMI ports for you. But that’s expensive, and if renting or mounting the TV on a brick or concrete wall is not an option. An outdoor solution, namely a cable trunking, is a more economical option.
5. Hide the TV cables in a cable duct
A cable or cable duct is basically a flat PVC tube that is attached to the wall and can be cut to size and painted to match your interior. The front of the “tube” turns on and off with a click, making it easy to add or move cables if necessary. Complete cable concealment kits are available in a variety of colors.
Two years agoIt came with a single semi-translucent cable that was harder to detect on the wall, but newer Samsung TVs no longer have that option.
6. Hide the surround speaker cords by skirting the floor trim or laying down a rug
While cable ties and electrical conduit are great for keeping cables organized behind your TV, what happens when you have to run cables elsewhere in the room? Surroundcables are probably the most common example.
For my own system, I use 16 gauge Monster XP speaker cable to connect my surround speakers to my receiver. Monster tends to get a bad rap for being too expensive, but I like the XP range because it is inexpensive, well built, and available in white as well.
Regardless of which brand you choose, you can run the cables along the baseboards and door frames and fasten them with inexpensive nail cable clips.
If you have a large, cathedral-like room, it may not be possible to run wires along the walls, so invest in a good rug. While it’s not safe to run power cords under carpets, it’s okay to cover things like speaker or Ethernet cords, but try to do it in the less-traveled area if you can. For maximum strength, you can run a single rubber tread on the floor if necessary.
7. Mount your power strip to remove the wires from the floor
For someone who deals with tech all day, I was unreasonably excited to buy myself a clamp-on power strip for my desk. The main thing it did, and what it can do for your TV unit as well, is lift the connections off the ground and carefully place them out of sight. The Tripp Lite model I chose it only has six plugs, and you will probably need more than that. For example, my (admittedly large) TV system uses two eight-socket power strips.
If you want a larger selection of plugs, you can go for a clamp that will stick to your existing strip, or you can go all out and grab a component-level power conditioner.