Cord Free Mantel: How To Hide Your Cable Box System

So we over here at Dream Book Design have a TV above our fireplace, which we installed {here}.  I know that some people disagree with TVs above fireplaces but with our layout it was the only logical place to place a TV, plus we love it.  One thing we were worried about when we decided to mount the TV on the wall is what to do with all of the cords, wires, cable box, and other system components.  Originally we hid some of the components and the Xbox 360 inside the fireplace mantel, but one day J had an idea to move all of the components into the hall closet which is just around the corner from the TV.

The wall behind the TV is the office closet which also backs the hall closet, so J cut a small hole in the closet wall behind the TV and another one at the back of the closet, ran an extension cord to the hall closet for power and BOOM! a new set up.

We have 4 main pieces that are attached to our TV that we use to watch TV and movies.

  • Cable Box {Hall Closet}
  • VIZIO Sound Bar {Mantel}
  • iMac {Office}
  • PS3 {Hall Closet}
  • Wireless Modem {Hall Closet}

First is our cable box.  Our cable box is stored in our hall closet and connected to the TV by a 10 ft HDMI cord.  This cord is attached to the back of our TV and runs on the inside of our office closet to hall closet.

The sound for the cable is sent to our VIZIO sound bar and is connected by a Y adapter to RCA cables.  We purchased the sound bar at Costco but is available on Amazon for the same price, for those who dont have Costco memberships.  It is a simple way to have surround{ish} sound without having all the extra speakers.

The Cable box, which also is in the hall closet, is connected to the VIZIO sound bar by running the RCA cords from the sound bar down into the mantel through a hole we cut in the top- and then through the office closet and to the hall closet.  The sound bar is also connected to the PS3 by optical cord as well as being connected to the iMac through RCA cables.  This allows us to play music or movies on our computer and the sound can be played through the sound bar.

The iMac is connected to the TV by using a Mini Display Port converter cable-which connects to an HDMI cord which is connected to the HDMI switch box.  Then an HDMI cord runs to the TV.   All of the cords are run in the office closet, so they are concealed.

Lastly the PS3, which we use to play blue rays and dvds is connected to the TV by the HDMI switcher and HDMI cords.  As stated earlier the sound is transferred via the infrared optical cord.

Now you may be saying yeah this is all great but how does your remote work through walls.  Well here was the expensive part of the setup.  We had to purchase an expensive {but SO worth it} universal remote. We purchased the Harmony 900 from Amazon.  This remote uses infared signals and receivers, which transfers the signal to the corresponding devices.  Each component that is hidden has a receiver that is attached to it, this receiver is placed in front of the component and the signal is bounced from the remote to the receiver, delivering the remote instructions, even if there are walls.  We had to buy a special receiver for the PS3, available here.

This post is a little more techie than I am used to so am probably not explaining it the best, but hey it works.

So there you have it, how we have successfully combined our office computer, cable box, sound bar and PS3 to our TV without any wires or boxes being displayed.  This would work in other houses by running cords up into the attic and to specific rooms or closets down the hall.  I believe the remote has a limit of 25 feet, so it has a large radius of coverage.  Hope this helps explain a little of the techiness going on over here at Dream Book.

After all that is said and done we probably spent around $320 {most of which on the remote} to buy the remote and all the cords and adapters, so much more economical then setting up a professional system.  One thing that we have learned and been told by others is that cheap HDMI cords are the same as the expensive ones.  So the ones we get on Amazon work just as well as the expensive ones sold at Best Buy or other stores…you’re welcome- we just saved you from waisting money:) Hope this motivates some of you to get rid of all the ugly cords that are all over you mantels, cabinets, etc. It seems super tricky, but its really not that bad!

After all that is said and done we probably spent around $320 {most of which on the remote} to buy the remote and all the cords and adapters, so much more economical then setting up a professional system.  One thing that we have learned and been told by others is that cheap HDMI cords are the same as the expensive ones.  So the ones we get on Amazon work just as well as the expensive ones sold at Best Buy or other stores…you’re welcome- we just saved you from waisting money:) Hope this motivates some of you to get rid of all the ugly cords that are all over you mantels, cabinets, etc. It seems super tricky, but its really not that bad!

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    I have a few concerns about that hall closet…..<3
    Maybe when you are nesting you could organize it before my grandson arrives….(I know I should talk )

  2. Vanessa W. says

    My brother did something similar to this for his setup in the loft/den area. He put all his devices in a closet across the hall from his TV. But he used something called a “remote eye” it’s about the size of a quarter and works as the receiver for the remote to all the devices. Pretty cool setup!
    We sure have come a long way in terms of technology :)

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