There are few things as frustrating as trying to untangle or identify your audio-visual cables from the nest of cords lurking behind your entertainment center. This situation not only creates angst and stress, but it could lead to incidental damage when attempting to rewire or reconnect specific cables. The most practical approach is to take some time and effort to keep these cables clear and organized, and to use some strategies to maintain them in orderly condition.
Some tips for keeping these cables straight include:
Tack 'em down
Use specially designed wire tacks and raceways to secure individual cables to the flooring, keeping them isolated and untangled. This also will prevent the common mishap of tripping over cables, potentially causing damage to the device or injury to the homeowner. Be sure not to nick or puncture your cables as this can impede performance!
Use bread ties
Straighten up cables and cords with recycled bread-bag ties. These wired ties are perfect for securing extra length of wire or cable, and to prevent them from becoming tangled up. Use these to secure cords that go to the same device, such as a satellite television cord and an HDMI cord to the TV, so that it is easy to quickly ascertain which cords are running to each device.
Color-code your cables
Invest a few bucks in some color-coded stickers, often sold for tag-sales or pricing events, and use these on the backs of your devices. Match the cable that goes with this device with a drop of nail polish that matches the device along the cord, not near the end or the fixture that goes into your electronics, but in a spot that will make it visible to the eye. This will help clear the confusion of trying to figure out what goes where.
Spend time untangling
The best way to deal with a cable and cord nightmare is to hit it head-on. Pull out your entertainment center and start by identifying which cable goes to which device; take this opportunity to clear and dust away debris that could become trapped in the sensitive headers and adapters of your cables or cords.
Getting your electronic device cords and AV cables organized will provide a feeling of contentment and a sense of order. This will make it easy at any time to connect, disconnect, or re-route your devices without the stress and strain of trying to untangle a jumbled mess. Use these tips to make life a bit easier and to prevent any accidental damage that may occur from tugging on the wrong cable.