Organizing A/V Cables

I recently purchased a slick glass 'n chrome TV stand that is backless (not to mention all kinds of see-through with the glass) and the result is that the rat’s nest of cabling which used to be behind all sorts of opaque stuff is now clearly visible. The is unacceptable visual blight that offends my HDTV’s delicate sensibilities.

I have spent quite a bit of time at looking for the right solution. However, I know just enough about cables to hurt myself. What I ultimately want is two things: first, my cables clearly identified so that I don’t have to play the jerk-this-end-see-where-it-leads game when I have to move things around, and second, a lot less clutter. But I’m concerned that if the cables don’t have proper shielding there could be all sorts of interference and noise and whatnot. Is that still a concern in this day 'n age, or have those problems largely been solved. I just don’t know.

So what do the more technically inclined neat freaks recommend for organization and identifying that ugly mass of cables?

You need a lead pipe for each cable. Get about 100’ from Home Depot as well as a hacksaw. You’ll need elbow joints to get around corners, natch.

Cable tags are a must for organizing cables nicely. Colored tape will do for the simplest solution, put a piece of green tape around either end of a cable and then you can identify by looking which end goes with which end no matter how obscured the actual path of the cable. Fancier solutions involve a label maker and assigning each cable a unique name or number.

In terms of cable routing, little strips of velcro can be extremely useful for bundling together cables and tying them up neatly. String or rubber band also works for this if one is less discerning about appearances. I tend to advise avoiding plastic zip ties since they have to be cut off and hence are not suitable except for situations where the cabling is going to be organized once and then remain static for a long long time.

In my experience, cabling is what renders the whole deal of HDTV and Home Theater a stupendous irritant. You can’t get rid of them, and you can only make it tolerable by making is impossible to easily change your setup, e.g. by taping them up or using cable organization systems.

Don’t trust images in ads. Advertising exists in a magical world where all data and power transmission occures wirelessly.

This is what happens when you just give up:

Now I did get a Brother electronic label system which helps a lot on labeling the ends of the cables.

It got to a point if I disconnected a cable I no longer needed it was too much trouble to extract it. I’ve probably got mounds of unused cables buried in there.

They sell these Velcro straps at Home Depot and I use them a lot for work as well as my home AV stuff. Most Velcro products are dreadfully overpriced unless you buy it bulk online but these aren’t too terrible (about $4.75 per pack of 50). Each pack has 25-grey & 25-black straps.

Well short of going all out and making custom length cables for EVERYTHING :)
Just tieing the up into smaller more manageable bundles will help immensely.
Try to group your cables, Keep all the power cords together in one bundle,
Then your Video cables, then your audio.

And like other have said, Velcro works great, or even garbage bag ties, anything you can use will work just fine. I usually use masking tape on each end of each cable with what it goes to written on it.

Thanks for the tips, guys. I’ll start my little project, take some pictures and let you know how it goes.