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Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, United States
A guy finding out if life really does begin at 50.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Again with the Cables

Hello and Happy New Year!
For Christmas I got myself and new Blu-Ray DVD player with internet video streaming (aka Netflix). Beside watching Blu-Ray and regular DVDs I can also watch movies streamed 'on demand' from the internet. The Blu-Ray player is connected to the internet using the the Wired Ethernet port I installed next to my 'media cabinet.' But to hook up to the plasma I needed to run a second HDMI cable from the Blu-Ray in the media cabinet to the plasma.

The media cabinet is actually in a closet that shares a wall with the den. In the den my plasma is mounted on the fire place hearth. The picture shows the plasma just after I hung it a couple years ago. If you look closely you'll notice there are no cables connected to it in that picture. Sort of reminds you of those commercials where a handsome couple sit watching their flat screen hanging cable free on a perfectly clean wall. If you read the disclaimer that flashes up during the commercial it says 'simulated picture shown' - most people believe they say that to make an excuse for why their super HD picture looks so bad on your crappy TV. But I know different. They 'simulate' the picture because you can't get a real picture on a flat panel without running lots of cables to it! And cables showing can really spoil the picture - which I'm sure some readers know too well.

Well over the last couple years as I hooked up various devices to my flat screen plasma and cable (mis) management got to be a real problem. No perfect picture here.

On the lower left you can see the hole in the wall the cables use to pass through to the closet on other side. I never finished the opening. I have enlarged the hole as I ran more cables through it.

The Blu-Ray used the last remaining connection on the plasma's input panel, so with no more cables possible I decided it was time to finish off 'the hole.' I also wanted to hide the cables. The next picture shows the finish outlets with the new connectors. 2 HDMI, 2 component video, 1 video, external antenna, 3 speakers cables, sub-woofer, and power cords.

Not bad. Much neater for sure. I ended up adding a 2nd opening for speaker wires for the surround sound. The black bundle of (13) cables snakes up the side of the bricks. Way better than it was, but I was still not happy.

While staying with Dexter and Jan in Atlanta for the Peachtree Road Race I noticed Jan had put their cables inside of a tube she made out of fabric. It was gathered fabric and I thought it looked nice and did a good job of hiding the cables. I don't have access to a sewing machine, so Gale suggested I just make the hem using glue. Then use hook-and-loop along the edges of the fabric so when fasten it would form a tube. So I took a shot at it and made my own cable tube!

I don't have Jan's sewing skills so it does not gather as nice as hers. My fabric also does not match the wall paper like hers (Wall paper? What wall paper? I anit got no wall paper in my house!). But, I think it turned out pretty good. Doesn't look like a snake crawling up the wall now.

So after about $150 in cables and connectors, a bit of fabric and glue I'm having a Happy New Year!