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Guide to Organising HDMI Cable, Cat 5 Cable, Audio and Computer Cabling

Aug 11, 2008
We have all been there (Or at least the gadget lovers amongst us have!). Waiting anxiously by the doormat to hear that friendly ring from the postman that means our shiny new gadget has finally arrived. Exciting stuff.

Now, if it is something small and self contained like an iPhone or an iPod then all is well with the world. You can generally just take it out of the box and figure it it out as you go along. There will be no trailing wires or cabling to mess up your tidy rooms, because thankfully, those gadgets are portable and so don't infringe on anything much (apart from your enjoyment levels, which they will hopefully infringe on quite a lot!)

But if it is a bigger gadget purchase like a computer, a home theater system, or a new audio system then you are going to be in for much more of a shock. Because the simple fact is that these devices haven't evolved nearly as much as you might have expected on the cabling side. You see, 10 years ago everyone was touting the potential for a 'wireless' age (actually at much the same time that a 'paperless' age was being touted, and look how far we have come with that ten years down the line!)

And in some respects strides have been made. The fact that there are now wireless networks, and that gadgets like the iPhone are actually sneaking out of the development hatches and onto the high street are certainly big steps forward. But, in reality, in many areas of gadgetry, when it comes to connecting you new, freshly delivered toy, you will find that you will be buried up to your armpits in cables.

This is especially true of home theater systems, audio systems and computers (laptops are a lot better these days, because wireless networks are becoming easier to use in that arena). And it is really an area that you need to give separate thought to, BEFORE you take delivery of your new system. Or, at the very least at the same time. Because it is very common for gadgets to be delivered WITHOUT all the cables that are required for their operation.

For example, I recently took delivery of a swanky, new DVD Player. All good so far. Equipped for the digital age this baby had hdmi connectors. The works. So it was all setup for the high definition age. Apart from one thing...

No cables!!

Now, as it happened I planned ahead, and bought a beautiful gold, connector hdmi cable at the same time as I bought the dvd player. So all was right with the world. And I was able to get playing immediately, because they were delivered at the same time. But, my point is that planning ahead really is a necessity, not a luxury these days. Gadgets used to ship without plugs! Now they ship without cables. Go figure!

So, step one, figure out what cables you need. And my advice here is to buy the very best you can afford. There is no point spending $2000 on a fab new tv, and then skimping on a $5 cable to carry the signal to it! That's like having a Porsche to drive, but then only bothering to put three tyres on it! So, upgrade the cables to something decent. This need not cost fortunes. But spending $50 can improve the picture quality (speaking of high definition tvs here) much more then you would think. The picture will be smoother, and the sound better. So, a worthwhile investment.

Secondly, take a look at the layout of your room, and consider where cables would be least obtrusive. This is a bigger factor with audio systems, where you may need trailing wires to four corners of a room to get quadrophonic sound. But consider whether you can put the wires under carpets, or whether you can get trunking fitted, or even (for the very committed!) sink the wires in the walls, so they don't show at all.

Thirdly, get some cable tags. These are dirt cheap, but will tidy up your workspace like you can't believe. A $5 dollar investment in a bag of cable tags will provide dividends for your sanity down the road!

So, put these suggestions into action and start to enjoy your new gadget, without having to dwell on the cables!
About the Author
For all your computer, audio and home theater cables visit http://www.cablesadvice.com which specialises in providing the very latest cable tips, information and products to get your system setup properly!
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