Cable Management (Home Theater, TV Computer Xbox Organization)

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Introduction: Cable Management (Home Theater, TV Computer Xbox Organization)

This is an istructable to organize the mess of cables, cords and wires in my living room. There is only a few step and the planning and research will go a long way.  My main purpose was to get the clutter away from the thing I stare at most in my house, the TV.  

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Pegboard
Drill – drill bits – screws
Saw
Dremel, miter or scroll saw
Wood file
Zip ties
Clamps and saw horses

Step 2: 1. Disconnect All the Electronics

This is pretty self explanatory, take all of your equipment and disconnect it and place it to the side.  Do a mental inventory of where everything goes before you take it apart.  If you're comfortable with A/V equipment this should be no problem.

Step 3: 2. Measure the Space

This is important.  Measure the space twice and cut once.  I made three pieces out of one sheet of pegboard.  Be sure to measure before you head out to the hardware store. No pictures here, my space was 26 inches high and the one main panel was two feet and the sides were 7 and a half inches.

Step 4: 4. Cut the Pegboard to Length

After measuring and marking the pegboard, I ripped it to the right height then into three pieces.  I used a circular saw.  These are dangerous, be careful, read all the directions and wear safety goggles.  

Step 5: 5. Fit the Pegboard to Mark the Spots for Holes

Dry fit the cut pegboard in the TV stand and mark and place you need a hole to snake the cables through.  I chose to make two holes, one on the left for the computer and one on the bottom right for the Xbox.  The one for the Xbox is very low because I keep it horizontal.  

Step 6: 6. Connect the Pegboard to the TV Stand

I did this with some scrap wood on the bottom back of the TV stand.  Its there just to keep the bottom of the board from kicking out, or in.  The top of the board was pre-drilled and screwed in.

Step 7: 8. Plan Where the Cables Need to Hang for Organization

This step is done by using those zip ties.  Its fun and easy.  Gather the cables in a organized bundle and slide a zip tie in one of the holes and back through a hole above the first one.

Step 8: 9. Connect One Device at a Time. It Can Be Overwhelming Deciding Where to Start. the Order Doesn’t Matter.

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    10 Discussions

    It is for sure a large improvement, but I would have to call that more of putting up a partition to hide cables then managing them.

    First thing to do for actually managing this mess is fix that abomination of coax cable.
    You can get 3 way and 4 way splitters, and as a bonus you will only degrade signal once instead of twice like you currently doing by daisy chaining them.
    Then get shorter cables, you don't need 15 ft of cable for the 3 ft b/t the splitter and the component.

    Then have grouped cable paths, one path for power, one path for video/data.
    You can reduce the bulk of the cable by making it longer instead of wider. Instead of making a wad of cable that is 4" long and 3" around, make it 8" long and then it will only 1-1.5" wide.

    instead of zip tying the cables, you can zip tie a velcro strap to the back and that will allow easier changing of cables

    You should have labeled each end of each cable since you can't see where they go when they go thru the peg board. You need to know what they are to know where they need to be connected.

    The 'side' pieces aren't needed with most TV stands / media centers.

    Your last picture shows that you painted the visible side of the pegboard - that's not in your steps.

    I saw the first picture and almost cried.

    Thanks for a great idea. I was inspired by your instructable, I immediately went to Lowes, bought 1/2 a sheet of peg board and then got them to cut it to my stand's exact size. Now I'm all organized and no more "disconnects" when I vacuum.

    the one thing I would advice if the person is using a different style media stand is fans or ways to cool the devices.

    What a really great idea. I know all about the "wiring nightmare".
    The only suggestion I would add is maybe two more panels (on the outer edges, attached to the smaller peg boards) either angled straight back to the wall or at a 90 degree angle to the smaller pegboards. This will help hide the wires from the sides.

    Velcro ties are great, but honestly, I have found competitive if not better use of beaded elastic pony tail ties.

    Thanks for the comments. I will try the velcro for sure because this issue came up when I wanted to move the Xbox. As far as shorter cables i have few options with the video and power cables, but the coaxial is definitely an option. I should buy a cable crimper and shorten those for sure.

    Entertainment centers always tend to be a rats nest no matter what you do to them. Try this too to help keep the clutter down...
    1 - Use shorter cables, this way you will not have to wrap or coil them up
    2 - Never use tie wraps. They are meant for permanent installations that you will never take apart. Use Velcro ties instead. This way when you want to make changes or upgrades it's tool-less.