How can I affordably conceal cables/cords/devices after I mount my TV?
September 19, 2016 1:42 PM   Subscribe

I just bought a condo and need to mount my TV to the wall. I’d like to conceal as many of the other external parts and devices (TV power cord, cables, cable box, and Roku) as possible once the TV is mounted. My brother-in-law mentioned infrared repeaters and RF remotes as possible solutions, but I am overwhelmed by the options and their mechanics, which products are compatible with my TV, etc.

My TV is an older model, Emerson LC320EM1. It’s not digital and it’s not great but I don’t watch a lot of TV and therefore prefer not to invest much in a new one at the moment. I bought the right mount and have a handyman experienced in these things coming over next week to do the job. The TV is connected to a cable box via coaxial cable, which is in turn connected to my Internet modem and router (I think). I also have a Roku player that connects to the TV via USB.

The modem and router could be tucked away behind my couch as is, but I’d need to staple an approx. 40 foot long coax cable if the handyman were to route it along the baseboards between the TV and the cable jack wall plate. Second to concealing all hardware, my next priority is not to spend more than $200 on all parts and labor (labor estimated at $60/hr). I live on the ground floor and so routing a cable through the floor is probably a viable option though sounds like a lot of work/$ and in principle I prefer not to make holes where they aren’t already. My living room walls are a darker shade of gray.

Any recommendations out there for which approach to take and what hardware I will need? Details down to recommendations for specific devices that are compatible with my Emerson TV, cord covers, or other small parts I need at the hardware store are very much welcomed and appreciated. The handyman has a drill and level for mounting the TV itself.
posted by AlmondEyes to Technology (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
The handyman can likely pull off the baseboard trim, tuck the coax away and then remount the baseboards. He can also build you a small cable channel out of trim wood for the cords that run down the wall from the tv to the receiver, outlet, roku. Just paint it to match the wall.
posted by 26.2 at 2:02 PM on September 19, 2016


So, just to clarify, the cable jack is on the opposite side of the room from where you want the TV? Obviously that makes things a lot more complicated. If there's any way to rearrange the room, I'd recommend that as the first choice. I realize that's often not an option, but I just thought I'd throw it out there...

I have three TVs mounted in my house, with all of the cables run through the walls. It's great, but it can get expensive depending on the setup and how cleanly you want it done.
posted by primethyme at 2:16 PM on September 19, 2016


That's right, primethyme: the cable jack is on the opposite side of the room from where I want the TV and it's really not possible to rearrange the layout unfortunately.
posted by AlmondEyes at 2:21 PM on September 19, 2016


I had to conceal some cables recently and bought a 20-foot length of this stuff, which is super-cheap and found at any hardware store. I just sort of nestled it into the "seam" along the floor and it has become quite unobtrusive. My wife keeps saying she's going to wrap some colored yarn around it but I don't think she will get around to it. But you could do that if you wanted to turn a "can't look at this" into a design element.
posted by Dr. Wu at 2:40 PM on September 19, 2016


If you want to hide the cables coming down the wall from your tv, you could get one of these in-wall cabling kits.

Combining that with the tubing linked by Dr. Wu or concealing the cables in the baseboard may be a cheaper/easier solution than running the full length of all your cables within your walls.
posted by praiseb at 3:08 PM on September 19, 2016


Do you have access to the attic space? I'm betting the cable comes into the condo up there, and then drops down into the wall. If need be, you could have a splitter installed and run a new cable line down into the wall the tv hangs on.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:16 PM on September 19, 2016


If you don't watch a lot of TV, then ditch your cable subscription and watch what's available on your Roku. Or keep your cable subscription, ditch the cable box and 40 feet of coax cable, and use the subscription to sign into the cable channel apps on the Roku. Mount the Roku on the back of the TV (depending on how flush your mount is). There's really no need for a cable box if you're not an avid channel surfer, and you'll save enough money to buy a new TV besides.
posted by ejs at 7:58 PM on September 19, 2016


Similar to Dr. Wu's suggestion above, a couple bucks of spiral cable wrap will bundle the wires together into one thick black line that will probably look Good Enough for now, at least until you take care of everything else. Buy some at the hardware store, spend 10 minutes making it look good, move on.
posted by intermod at 8:14 PM on September 19, 2016


There is also something called cable cover strip that can be installed and painted, quite inexpensive and unobtrusively.

Previous owners had used it, now the TV is gone but the strip us still there, blends in like moulding.
posted by chapps at 11:19 PM on September 19, 2016


I have used the stuff that chapps mentioned and it works well (example, but some brand is available at any big-box hardware store). Sticks to the wall with its own adhesive back and all sorts of joints and 90 degree bends are available. if you have the same paint as is on the wall it is relatively unobtrusive.
posted by rtimmel at 9:31 AM on September 20, 2016


What do you have on your flooring?
posted by Static Vagabond at 2:19 PM on September 20, 2016


For the Roku or other devices, I just use double-sided adhesive roll - 3M I think. Find a flat area on the back of the TV that is not a ventilation point and stick the device there. Make sure the IR receiver is as close to the edge of the TV as possible so it can pick up the signal from the remote. If you're having trouble with that, use aluminium foil to create a mirror that pokes out to the side a little and reflects the IR signal to the box. _______/ Simple, cheap solution, and it doesn't notice at all.
posted by guy72277 at 12:26 AM on September 21, 2016


Thanks, All! Considered ditching cable, but it's more expensive to have Internet w/o cable than w/, turns out. My Roku broke so I'll replace with am Amazon Fire Stick, which is more discrete. I think I'll buy an infrared repeater and remote and hire someone (cheaper than Best Buy/Geek Squad) to install or just get a cable cover strip and route the coax along the baseboard. Removing the baseboard or going through the basement is a more expensive job, per my carpenter.
posted by AlmondEyes at 7:57 AM on September 28, 2016


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