TV Cable Install   2 comments

Today, in my blogging debut [applause], I will show you how I performed an in-wall cable installation for my wall-mounted TV.  I decided to do this so that I would have room to sit any equipment that I might connect to the TV, and so that the area around the TV would have a neat appearance.  While I was working inside the wall, I also ran coax up into the attic to connect to an antenna.  Yes, as attractive as they are, the rabbit ears are only temporary.

Job: Run cables inside wall to relocate TV connections.
Tools: jigsaw, flashlight, 550 cord, tape measure, drywall saw, keyring
Supplies: low-voltage wall boxes (1 single, 1 double), pass-through wall plate, multi wall plate, cables, zip ties
Time: approx. 3 hours
Cost: about $100

After mounting my TV above the fireplace, I quickly realized that placing other equipment on the mantle isn’t an option.  Not only does it look like crap, but when I had all those cables bundled up behind the TV, I got major interference in the picture.

I thought about building a media cabinet into the left side wall, but decided that it would be too costly and time consuming at present.  After dropping that idea, I decided I would just put a wall plate on the left side wall with all the connections I would need, and just sit my equipment on some kind of shelf or stand.

Before I cut any holes in my wall, I wanted to know what was behind it, so I headed up to the attic.  After moving the insulation out of the way, I cut out a small hole so I could see down into the wall cavity.  I had the feeling that the sound of a jigsaw buzzing away in the attic of our new house wouldn’t exactly be music to my wife’s ears, so I performed this step while she wasn’t home.  I was glad to see that it’s a nice, open area, and I shouldn’t have any problems running the cables.

I began work on the box behind the TV, first.  In order to avoid having three plates next to each other and cutting an additional hole in the wall, I replaced the box that was already there with a low-voltage box that is more open so there’s enough room for the cables.  CATV and phone cables were running to this box, but I don’t plan on using them, so I pushed them back into the wall.  I’m using a simple pass-through plate here, instead of another set of connections for several reasons:

1) It’s a lot cheaper.
2) I won’t have to buy an additional set of cables.
3) Any extra cable can be pushed back into the wall.

To install the second wall box, I measured about a dozen times, used a level to make sure it would be straight, and marked the square with a pencil.  After measuring a few more times, I hesitantly jabbed my keyhole saw into the wall of my brand new house and sawed away.  After removing the drywall, I installed the wall box.

Now for the fun part!  It took a bit of brainstorming to figure out the easiest way to fish the cables, but I finally came up with a plan.  I attached a keyring to the end of my tape measure and headed back up to the attic.  Extending the tape measure down to the larger hole, I had my wife tie a length of parachute cord to the keyring.  I then moved the tape measure over to the smaller hole and had her untie the cord, pulling it out a bit so it wouldn’t fall back into the wall.  Now it’s time to pull some cables!

I had 5 cables to pull; component, VGA, RCA audio, and 2 HDMI.  I tied the parachute cord around the end of the first cable at the lower hole and fished it up to the other hole.

Pulling the parachute cord back each time so I wouldn’t run out, I pulled one cable at a time until they were all through.  A few of them wanted to hang on the fireplace inside the wall, but some strategic yanking took care of that.  I put them all through the pass-through plate and screwed it to the wall box.

Now it’s time to install this bad mammajamma.  RCA component, composite, 2 sets of RCA audio, s-video, coax, 2 HDMI’s, and VGA.  Basically, the Arnold Schwarzenegger of wall plates.  I won’t be using s-video, coax, or composite because I don’t need that outdated garbage.

Now, it’s just a matter of plugging the cables into the wall plate…

…and screwing it to the wall.

All done! Here’s the PS3, hooked up and ready to go.

Looks much better now, wouldn’t you say?


Posted July 2, 2009 by i2kdave in Uncategorized

2 responses to “TV Cable Install

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  1. So wait. You start a blog so you will feel compelled to finish your projects? But it’s more work to keep up with the blog. You’re crazy. I can’t get anything done without taking month long breaks at each phase of the project. Which reminds me… I need to go fix my garden fence.

  2. Can I hire you? I don’t have that kind of time!

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