With advances in home automation and entertainment, many people find technology leaving an ever-expanding footprint inside their home. They aren’t just interested in how to hide TV wires. They also want to know how to hide everything those wires connect to – receivers, Blu-ray players, game consoles and even the TV itself.
“Nobody wants that stuff out in plain sight, “ says Gary Jefferies of SYNC Technology Integration in Fishers, Ind.
Design considerations play a factor, as cables can be unsightly and devices can be visually disrupting. There are safety reasons, too. Jefferies says hiding technology decreases the opportunity for theft.
Hiring an audiovisual pro to hide TV wires isn’t always practical. Budget can be a constraint. You might be renting. You may also be considering a large renovation in the future, and want to avoid big changes right now.
In such cases, consider these ideas for hiding wires:
Think of raceways as customizable cable covers. Many come in kits that include tracks, elbows and T-joints to guide and hide wires on walls, such as the power and HDMI cables of a wall-mounted TV. You can paint or stain most raceways to blend in.
Raceways can cost less than $10 for individual pieces, and kits start around $20.
Similar to raceways, hollow or concave crown molding and baseboards hide cables running along the wall. They’re particularly helpful for those wondering how to hide speaker wires when setting up a home theater system with surround sound speakers.
You still have to get the cable behind the molding, which might require running it behind the wall if you want a seamless look.
Note that only low-voltage wires should run behind a wall. Always check state and local electrical codes – or contact a pro for advice – before running cables through a wall.
Like raceways, hollow molding is inexpensive. It can, however, be more expensive than raceways depending on factors such as how much coverage you need, material and look.
With a wireless HDMI transmitter and receiver, you can enjoy your Blu-ray player, game console, home theater receiver and more without seeing the equipment.
Jefferies puts the cost for a quality wireless HDMI kit between $400 and $500. That’s not cheap, but he says it’s “probably the most cost-effective way “ to hide entertainment components without exploring a custom solution.
There are cheaper models, but Jefferies advises against them. “If someone walks in front of it, it’s going to lose signal, “ he says.
When shopping for a wireless HDMI kit, make sure it works in the area where you plan to hide your devices. Some kits need a clear line of sight, and others work in a bubble-like range, similar to a TV remote.
Want to make your home as design-friendly as possible? Replace your HDTV with a
HDTVs often occupy a prime focal point. That works great when the TV is on, but when turned off, its blank screen becomes a black hole that breaks up the look of the room.
Mirror TVs solve that by turning the screen into a mirror when the TV is off. “When you turn the TV on, it demagnetizes the mirror, “ Jefferies explains.
Of course, Jefferies notes a mirrored TV is “not the cheapest thing the world. “ A 32-inch TV may run several thousand dollars. A 60-inch set may exceed $10,000.
Still, if you prize the interior design of your home, a TV mirror offers one of the most elegant ways to hide your HDTV – and wow your guests.
By Patrick Doolin, Angie’s List (TNS)
Patrick Doolin is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit AngiesList.com.