The Never Ending TV & Electronics Wiring Project

One of our new house projects from the last few weeks has been related to electronics.  We are geeks; the internet, our video game systems, and our television need to be networked together nicely and logically.  For my husband, this means he wants to be able to connect all the important systems and potentially our laptops to the internet via wire.  Our router is wireless and contains some wired ports as well, but it will be a challenge trying to connect all the rooms of the house to the one live wall port.  And hiding the wires in a way that is acceptable to me.  Wires are his condition, neatness of the final product is mine. Furthermore, we are finding that the wireless signal doesn’t cover as much of the house as we had wished, and still isn’t great for streaming Netflix or other online tv.  Did I mention that his man cave is on the 3rd floor?  That is a LOT of ethernet wire.

Thus far, we have only been really dealing with the main level of the house.  We have our router stationed in the living room, which is several rooms away from the active internet wall jack (would you believe of all the rooms on the first floor there is no available internet jack in the LIVING room??  It wasn’t even an option for us to start from here…).  So we have a very long ethernet cable running from the wall jack in the study, through the foyer, dining room, and into the living room, all along the walls.

It’s driving me crazy because I have no wire hiders for it yet.  Someday.

All this internet wiring is ultimately pertinent to our entertainment system in the living room, which consists of the TV, some of our consoles, our Xbox Media Center, and our NAS backup device.

However, the immediate project that we have been working on has been hanging our flat panel TV on the living room wall above the fireplace.

First, I selected a nice, well-priced wall mount for the 47″ tv that was appropriately sized and provided tilt and turning capability for the TV screen.  This mount held the tv up fine, but when we pulled it away from the wall an tilted it, and centered it, we found that some of the metal pieces were bending, causing the tv to lean to one side.  So we decided to not bother with the turning motion, and situated the tv flat against the wall.  Due to the size of the wall mount and the location of the studs, we wound up with this.

Trial1

The turning motion is what would have allowed us to center the tv above the fireplace.  /grumble.  I can’t be the only person who was bothered by the non-symmetrical nature of this, right?

We purchased a different wall mount – man these are more expensive than they should be (we’ll use the original for a different smaller tv somewhere in the house).  After a few more tries and placing at least 4 more holes in the wall, we got it so that it was high enough not to rest on top of the power outlet (which prevented centering).  We plugged cords into the back and placed it back on the wall, nicely centered.  Sadly I did not take a picture of this.

The house was built with an electric outlet above the fireplace, prepared for wiring flat panel TVs to this particular spot.  There is also a wall panel above the fireplace that provides access to a tube through which homeowners can run various cables so you don’t have the unsightly wires dangling.  Even though the TV was centered nicely now, the wires dangling bugged me.  And because the tv was leaning against the wall so heavily, it wasn’t possible to actually use the electrical outlet behind the television.  Plus the tv power cord did not reach the next nearest outlet.  Ugh.

So we took the tv down again, and opened the wall port with the one end of the in-wall tube.

However, we could not find the other end of the in-wall tube system.  We had the builder come by to show us where it was.  He claimed it was behind one of the cable outlets, but when we opened it, no tube.  He came by a second time, we showed him the lack of tube, and he poked several holes in our drywall and found the other end of the tube.  They are fixing it up for us, and then I will repaint the section around the holes.

EndOfTube

Then we spent some time running a 25′ HDMI cable ($10 at Amazon!) through the tube in the wall, and replacing the string in case we ever need to do this trick again.   Pretend you don’t see all the extra holes in the wall or the tiny bit of paint near the electrical outlet that the TV’s power cord removed from the wall for us when we took it down this last time.

BeginningOfTube

 

Finally, we replaced the blank wall cover where the tube began with one that allowed the HDMI cord to pass through it.

FinishedWall

As of right now, the tv is still on the floor.  It’s going to require two people to put it back on the wall, and at least one additional person to hook in the HDMI and power cables as the tv is being raised.  I never ever imagined that a TV could be so much trouble.

Sometime this week, I will be painting my study yellow.   And shortly thereafter moving the furniture into it from the garage.  And by furniture, I mean really old, cheap ass bookshelves.  From Target, or Walmart.  There are multiple holes in the backs of them, and some shelves are missing.  But they will still function for holding or board game collection until we can afford new bookshelves.  Pictures of the study, and possibly the coral guest bedroom to come.  Even if you’ll probably judge me for how long it will take me to actually complete these two rooms the way I want them …

Though you are certainly bored by now, I do have to say that if you enjoyed last year’s Christmas crafting antics, I am certain that they will be in full swing again this year!  My parents are coming down for the holidays, and I can’t wait to decorate and do fun little crafts projects for gifts and around the house.  I will wait until Halloween is over, but probably will start before turkey day.  Hey, I wont decorate, I just need the time for making all of the things!!

 

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