Besides the tremendous advances in image and sound quality that have come with the HDTV revolution, one of the biggest advantages of hanging up a brand new plasma or LCD television in your home is how much better it looks than an old-style CRT. Suddenly, you have something that looks straight out of a sci-fi movie instead of the old box that’s been around since the advent of television itself. Unfortunately, those clean, sharp, modern lines can be ruined if your TV cable is entangled with cords and connections, running down your wall like a mess of black snakes. You don’t want to be staring at this conglomeration of cords while you’re trying to enjoy a movie. Here are some things you can do to clean up the mess.
Creative Furniture Placement
You don’t have to have an amateur degree in home renovation to hide your TV cable mess. Sometimes all it takes is a shelf to hide away all of those cords. Most people will need a box from their cable company, a Blu-Ray player, and a video game system to go along with their new HDTV. Since those things will need to be placed somewhere, you can use the entertainment center to block the cords coming from the bottom of your television. It isn’t going to create that clean, flat look you might see in commercials, but it works.
Fortunately, you aren’t the first person to struggle with TV cable management. In fact, there are many products for sale which are specifically designed to address this issue. Rubber and plastic covers can mount easily to the wall, hiding your cords from view. Not only will this create a much more aesthetically pleasing presentation, it will keep children and pets from reaching your cords. You can either choose a cover that matches your wall’s paint or you can paint them yourself if you are concerned about the contrast. The one disadvantage of doing it this way? Your cords are not easily accessible should you need to unplug something, change a connection, or move your television.
Going Through the Wall
The most extensive option you have—but also the most effective—going through the wall behind the television can give you the clean, modern look you dreamed of. Granted, you’re going to have a TV cable snarl somewhere, but at least it will be hidden away in another room. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to control a cable box or a Blu-Ray player through a wall. Most remote controls aren’t going to work like that. If you don’t mind manually controlling these devices, it could work, but for most people this is going to be a last-resort kind of solution.
Picture and Sound Quality
Of course, hiding your cords and cables is second to making sure you have the right ones. For many new TV buyers, this is a point of confusion and there’s little wonder why. You have S-video, component cords, composite cables, and of course the mighty HDMI. S-Video cords and composite cables are best left behind with standard definition programming, but HD content can play well through both HDMI cables and components. So which should you use when you’re hooking up your cable box and accessories? Experts recommend sticking with an HDMI cable when hooking up a Blu-Ray player, as it is the only connection capable of delivering 1080p image quality. Component cords are ready for 1080i and 720p programming, however, so if your source is only that good (or your television is only capable of those specs), you can use these cables for your connections.