DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

Running Wires Behind Moldings

As a part of our new super awesome, super overkill audio-video setup in the den, we routed a bunch of wires from the “couch” side to the “TV” side. The idea is to keep all the gizmos next to the couch but the tv on the far side of the room. This means we need to run audio and video from one side of the room to the other.

To see what all we’re running, go ahead and check out part one of this post.

To accomplish this feat of cable pulling, I had a moment of inspiration. We ran a whole bundle of wires around the top of the room to tuck neatly behind the molding once it goes up. The corners would be a bit tricky but we are putting a built-in along one wall so the tricky bends will just sit above the bookshelves.

 

To start out, we glued this single audio wire.  This is a short one just going to the right rear speaker.  It was a nice, lightweight, easy one to glue so it made sense to start with it.

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It was just a matter of using the glue-gun to affix the wire in the corner.  It’s important that you keep every wire as strait as possible.  We are running all this behind molding so neatness is key to keeping it tight and small.

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After the easy audio, we ran the two “white” cables, the shielded audio for the center channel and the coax.  After those came big mambo.  You can see just how big that cable is.  I really had to hold the cable up until the hot glue dried or it would fall creating a big sticky hot-glue mess.  It helped to have a second person holding most of the weight of the cable.  Once the cable is up, each glue glob can hold the few inches of cable up but a single glob can’t hold up all 10 feet of length before the cable reaches the ground.

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After big mambo, we ran the three ethernet cables.  Initially we taped them together since it helped us keep them the same length when we were measuring them.  The tape got in the way of the glueing and we should have separated them and glued them each individually instead of trying to do all three at once.  Cat-6 is very twisty and it took a lot of finagleing to get them to lay strait and even.

 

 

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After the ethernet, we had a little pocket to tuck the redmere hdmi into so it went up really quickly.  The toslink optical audio is all that’s left but it’s in the mail.

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You can see the turns are even but it would be tricky to get crown molding over that.  If you were adapting this method just to run audio for surround sound and you were just using audio cable, this would definitely work but for these big hdmi cables, the corners aren’t tight enough.  Luckily for us, the built-ins will get the job done just fine.

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We cut a hole with the milwaukee 48-11-1890 and dropped the cables down to where a box will sit next to the TV mount.  Yes, our hole is a bit big but it’s really hard to find studs in a plaster and lath wall and we cut the whole wrong the first time!  More patching is more mess but it can’t be helped.

The den is really coming along well.  I’ve got a rug to show you, a new couch on it’s way, and hopefully a giant, not ugly, cat climbing pole soon.

Sarah

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The Roku

This week is all about the Den A/V system here on DIYSarah.com. To start out, I want to show you a product I love that just works and does 90% of the heavy lifting in our A/V system.

We have 2 of these and they are AWESOME!  We started with an Apple TV but after switching from Netflix to Amazon Prime for our streaming source, we needed a data streaming device that would work with Amazon Prime.


The roku is $100 and basically turns your TV into a smart-tv. You connect either to ethernet or to your wifi network and the roku handles all the content streaming. We upgraded from the Roku 2 to the Roku 3 because the 2 didn’t have youtube and we watch a couple youtube channels regularly, namely Crash Course which airs 10-15 min history and science videos weekly. They are VERY well done, funny, cute, and interesting. We also like CGP Gray whose videos are well-researched factoid type videos that focus on european geography and geopolitics. Zefrank1 makes funny animal videos and just has a great brand of humor. My absolute favorite video by him and maybe of all time is this one.

I mentioned the Roku does Amazon Prime streaming but don’t worry, it also does Netflix and a host of other streaming applications including Crackle and Pandora. It’s great to be able to turn on the TV and stream pandora without waiting for a computer to load or setting up any speakers loud enough to hear. The TV has all of that and the Roku makes it possible.

My most favorite feature of the roku is the remote. It isn’t some outdated IR remote, it is bluetooth so it works no matter what direction you are pointing it. It even works under the covers if it is too cold to un-snuggle to change the channel. This is an actual problem I deal with so bluetooth – yes. Let me just take a moment to rant about IR remotes. Um, hello…it’s 2014…IR remotes have been around longer than I have. IR remotes have been around longer than TI-84 graphing calculators and lets talk about outdated hardware! If you need to send data from object A to object B there are about a million ways to do it that don’t require you to line up a narrow beam of light with a narrow sensor angle. Why, WHY!! do 99% of the DVD players I can buy on amazon right now use an IR remote. Ok, rant over but really, why?

So the point of all this is that a Roku is quite a bit cheaper than upgrading to a smart-tv, it streams amazon prime which the appleTV does not, and it has a bluetooth remote (the apple TV does as well). For $100 you can have it in 2 days and be streaming in no time. Awesome!

Sarah

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