Cable organization behind the living room entertainment center is something that millions of people struggle with every day. All of those fancy gadgets look amazing from the front, but take a quick look behind the cabinet and it looks more like a nightmare. It doesn’t matter how many electronic devices you are using, it’s easy for those cords and cables to become a tangled mess especially in a confined space. Not only do unorganized cables and cords look bad but they also prevent us from cleaning the entertainment area properly and they can detract from sufficient air flow. Here’s how you can clean up and organize your entertainment center.
Time To Unplug
First thing is to get it all out of the way. Unplug all your devices and pull everything out. Make sure you make a note of which cables plug into which devices. After you have everything untangled and the dust cleaned up you’re ready to put it all back.
Plan Your Layout
Start putting your devices back into your entertainment center. At this point, you are not hooking anything together, in fact, you shouldn’t even have the cables plugged into the devices at all. All you’re doing is deciding how the devices will be arranged in your entertainment center.
Measure Your Cables
Now that you know where everything goes, you can measure the distance required for each cable. For example, if the power cord of your DVD player is only 6 feet long, locating it 12 inches from the power strip is going to a problem. Conversely, if you have devices mounted closely to one another and their power source, chances are you will end up with lots of extra cabling (aka ‘slack’) that needs to be controlled and managed.
Using SPEEDWRAP® and VELCRO® Brand Cable Ties
You can easily manage the slack of any cable by using hook and loop cable ties. Simply wrap the cable around your hand, forming a loop, until you have reached the desired length for that device. Next secure the cable loop by attaching either a SPEEDWRAP® or VELCRO® Brand cable tie. If you decide to move the device later, this method will allow you to quickly modify the length of the cable. These fasteners come in many color options so A/V enthusiasts tend to use certain colors per audio source and as a way of identifying the cables later. For example, red hook and loop cable ties for the DVD player, Yellow for the TV’s HDMI cable and so on. We also like the SPEEDWRAP® Writable Surface Tie, featuring white space printed on the tie itself allowing users to write the name of the audio or video device on the strap itself.
We also recommend ‘mounting’ and ‘routing’ these cables and cords inside and around your entertainment system. In the hook and loop fastener arena, specially designed mounting solutions exist just for these types of fasteners. Two of the most popular solutions are hook and loop ‘tie mounts’ and screw mountable cinch straps. Tie mounts are separate pieces made of plastic that are mounted to a entertainment system’s shelf or a wall using the mount’s adhesive (sticky-back) material or with a standard screw. Screw mountable cinch straps, are just as they sound; self-contained cinch straps that bundle wires and are then screw mounted to a surface. These mounting and routing solutions not only keep an entertainment system or A/V closet clean, but they also help improve air flow in and around equipment like your amplifier.
Hook It Up
Now that your cables have all been shortened, organized and possibly identified using hook and loop fasteners, you can begin connecting them to your devices. The result will be a neatly organized entertainment center with cables that can no longer become entangled, wires are identified, where dust bunnies won’t go to die and where amplifiers only burn out because they are weak or you turned up the ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ movie to 11.
Speedtech International has a large selection of SPEEDWRAP® products and VELCRO® brand hook & loop for all of your DIY needs. Give us a call today at (866) 427-1456.