This guest post was contributed by Eric Halberg.
You just got a new entertainment system – it’s a multi-component system. All you need now is a clever way to put it together and make everything look like it was built with the house. That’s easier said than done. Every new system that you buy has wires – wires that you don’t want showing, but that are necessary to make your system work. Here’s how you get your service set up and running smoothly.
Choose Your Service Provider
The most important thing for your home entertainment system is a good service provider. What good is the gear if you don’t have anything to display on the TV screen? Buy the fastest Internet connection you can afford. Companies, like Frontier.com, often allow you to unbundle your services so you can just buy Internet service if you want.
This is a good idea if you plan to make use of online streaming services instead of traditional cable service.
Choose The Right Cables
First things first – you need the right cables. If you have a new TV, you probably would be best off getting HDMI cables. They transfer high-quality video and audio. Older sets might not have HDMI, but you can still get DVI with optical audio most of the time. It’s not as good as HDMI, but it’s close.
Choose the right length of cable. Usually, cables are sold in three, six, and 10 feet, with some cables stretching out to 20 feet or more. Try to keep all of your electronic devices close together since the longer cables tend to be pretty pricey.
Measure the distance between your components and your AV receiver (or the TV if you don’t have a receiver). Next, measure the distance from your TV to the AV receiver (if you have one). Always round up when you go to buy the cable. So, if the distance between your components is 5 and a half feet, buy a 6-foot cable.
If you have a Blu-Ray player, make sure you’re buying speed-verified cables that can handle full HD resolution.
Once you’ve purchased everything you need, it’s time to connect everything. Locate the HDMI connectors on your components. They should be pretty obvious. Next, connect everything together. HMDI inputs go to the outputs on your devices. If you don’t have a receiver, you’ll be connecting your Blu-Ray, and any other electronics, directly to your TV.
Now that everything is hooked up, it’s time to hide everything. There’s nothing like dangling and tangled cords to make your home theater look, well, amateurish. Buy cable wraps and some electrical tape. Wrap everything. If you want to really hide your cables, tear up the baseboard hide the cables down under the drywall. Then, replace the molding.
If the cables need to travel across a room, you can consider tearing up the floor, but it might be easier to just run the cables under the carpet, lay down a giant area rug (if you have hard wood flooring), or run everything along the baseboard. When it all comes together, you shouldn’t see anything but the TV and the speakers.
Gary Munoz is an in-home repair specialist. He frequently shares his best tips with homeowners on family blogs.
Image Credit: William Hook (Flickr)