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Jack Up Your Wall

March 22, 2011

For anyone that isn’t looking for the full movie theater effect such as having a room dedicated to screening a movie and just wants an above average den with a sweet system, there’s one thing I can’t stress enough: wall jacks. The worst thing you can do, in my opinion, is have speaker, video, power, and any other kind of cords strewn throughout the room you’re setting up. The biggest violator of this is speaker wires and for a good reason (I guess.) If you have surround sound (which, if you don’t, you need to sit down and have a talk with yourself about it), there will naturally be two speakers on the opposite end of the TV and Audio/Video receiver. That is, if it’s set up properly that’s where two of the speakers should be, but we won’t get into that here today. Since these speakers are in a remote location in relation to the receiver, it is only natural that people do their best to hide these wires which doesn’t usually work out. So, you’re left with a couple options: 1) Get wireless speakers, 2) Get in-wall speakers, or 3) Jack up your wall!

I don’t advise taking the first option because while it may be cool to have wireless speakers, they still need a power source (aka – they need to be plugged in), and aren’t as good as wired speakers performance-wise. Option two is one that is becoming more popular, but it limits how the room can be setup and can hinder the full effect the sound system can have. Then there’s option three. By “Jack up your wall” I mean put lots of jacks for things such as speaker wire, HDMI, Power sockets, etc. If you have lots of options in lots of places, it makes it much easier to rearrange the room furniture-wise without the experience the system gives suffering. There are many options out there for wall plates and custom combinations to fit your needs. In my opinion this is the best way to go and allows the most flexibility for future arrangements of furniture as well as new audio/video equipment.

In case you were wondering what I’ve been talking about, it’s things like these:
Extron Wall Plate

This particular Extron wallplate combines multiple interfaces into one for easy switching options and provides for hidden, in-wall cabling.

There are a zillion places to buy cabling and wall plates and stuff like that, but the place I usually get that kind of stuff from is CablesForLess.com. They have awesome prices and a great selection, more than what you will need for an in-home setup while Extron equipment is geared more toward the commercial setting.

Image credit: Extron.com

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