Filed under: Home Theater, Power and Data Distribution
When you hear the word “squid,” what do you think of? A tentacled creature drifting through the deep? A plate of delicious fried calamari? Or maybe SpongeBob Squarepants’ cranky neighbor in Bikini Bottom? Any of these word-associations would be right on the money, but let me tell you what I think of: home theater power. If you’re scratching you head and thinking “???????!!!!!,” allow me to explain – there’s an extremely cool, mollusk-like surge suppressor on the market, aptly named the PowerSquid® for its unique and unmistakably tentacled design.
And I guess that would beg another question: why on Earth would you want a surge protector that closely resembles one of the odder-looking sea creatures out there? The first, but less significant, reason is because the PowerSquid looks fun and different – it’s the kind of thing that you don’t run across every day. But far more importantly, it’s very practically designed, especially in terms of home theater setups that are chock full of equipment with bulky plugs and connectors.
If you’ve ever tried to plug multiple bulky adapters into a standard power strip, you probably found that it was impossible to make use of all the outlets because of the way those chunky plugs tend to invade the neighboring outlet’s space. In situations like this, you generally have to skip over the infringed-upon outlets, using just every other receptacle. It’s a real waste considering that you paid for all those outlets but are limited because of unimaginative product design. This is the part where tentacles come in handy. The PowerSquid’s® “arms” are actually short power extensions, each of which has an individual outlet at the end.
Since the tentacles can bend and move in any direction, they not only give each plug or adapter plenty of breathing room, but can be routed in the general direction of the device they need to power, so cords stay a lot more organized. And, of course, there’s the surge suppression factor – with a 3,240 Joule rating, the Home Theater Power Squid protects attached home electronics from destructive power surges . As a matter of fact, this PowerSquid® comes with a $500,000 connected equipment warranty to keep you covered.
Want to get a terrible HDMI connection? First, make sure that your home theater components are squeezed into a very tight space; the closer to the wall or the back of your entertainment center, the better. Next, twist and bend your HDMI cable into tight angles to get it plugged into your DVD or Blu-Ray™ player. And finally, start your movie or video game and wait for the signal to eventually cut out on you – it’s inevitable after all, since you’ve done everything in your power to damage your HDMI cable’s conductor. There you have it, folks: the perfect recipe for home theater disaster.
Okay, I’m being facetious here – first of all, no one wants a failed high-def connection, and secondly, I would never encourage you to make that happen. The main idea here was to point out a common practice that can have you burning through an unending succession of HDMI cables. While you can’t always avoid positioning A/V equipment against the wall or in the close quarters of an entertainment center, you can take steps to ensure that tight spaces don’t become the death of your HDMI connection. Meet the VANCO Swivel HDMI Cable.
Perfect for plugging into a wall-mounted Plasma or LCD screen or home theater components stored in the aforementioned short-on-space cabinet, this HDMI cable is equipped with a 180° swiveling connector at each end, which means that the cable can flex and bend to make just about any difficult connection without putting undue stress on the conductor. This design feature lets the conductor do its job (transmitting clear signals) instead of squishing it into oblivion and rendering it useless. Can you see how this unique cable can save you both money and frustration?
Filed under: Home Theater, Power and Data Distribution
If you’ve ever tried running home theater cables behind your wall to keep them out of sight, you probably know that while the resulting cable-free appearance is great, cable penetrations often have a nasty habit of looking disorganized and unattractive.That’s why Arlington Industries designed Scoop cable entrance plates, which are basically wallplates with hooded openings that allow A/V cable to transition smoothly through your wall.
Not only do Scoop reversible entrance plates give cable penetrations a neat and clean look, they also protect cables from abrasion and compression, which will ensure that you’re getting a clear, uninterrupted signal. And due to the fact that it’s reversible (that is, it can be installed facing either in or out), the Scoop simplifies cabling projects by eliminating the need for you to track down matching “in” and “out” routing plates – just pick up two Scoops, and you’re ready to go.
The Scoop is made of plastic (so you never have to worry about corrosion), are available in single and dual-gang styles (in non-technical speak, that means standard or double-wide versions), and can even be painted to match the rest of your room.
For all of you who have ever suffered sticker shock at the sight of an HDMI cable price tag, there’s good news: you don’t have to pay that much for a fantastic high-definition connection. Society has become superficial in so many ways, and now we’re actually letting it spill over into the realm of cables – can you believe it? Well, I think it’s time to restore a little common sense to the electronics-buying experience, and one of the best ways to do that is to say NO to boutique cables in fancy packaging.
I’ll admit that some things are worth paying more for; for instance, a Lamborghini will justifiably run you more than a Hyundai. Both vehicles will get you from Point A to Point B, but one’s going to do the job with infinitely more power and style than the other ever could. But here’s the catch: the same rules don’t apply to HDMI cables. They’re first and foremost a utilitarian product. While in the automotive world it’s not unusual for the hottest cars to also perform the best, cables just don’t work that way. When you’re shopping for an HDMI cable, always remember that looks have nothing to do with performance.
The key to a quality HDMI connection doesn’t lie in great style or expensive-looking packaging. Rather, it all has to do with certification. As long as a cable is HDMI certified, it doesn’t matter if it costs $15 or $150 – it’s going to do the job. Who cares if it doesn’t have a brand name? The only thing that matters is that the cable effectively transports high definition signals from your A/V equipment to your high-def screen.
If you’re ready to jump off the brand-name bandwagon and find happiness with an HDMI cable that won’t drain your bank account, you’ll find ATC certified HDMI 1.3a (the latest standard) cables, complete with 24K gold-plated connectors, at CableOrganizer.com. Get ready for a new, improved, and much happier version of sticker shock: they start at around $6.99!
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Filed under: Home Theater, Raceway, Duct and Conduit
So, you’ve just wall mounted your new flat-screen TV, and everything looks perfect…. except for those cables trailing down the wall below it. Just because you didn’t run in-wall cables, that doesn’t mean you have to live with messy-looking exposed home theater wires. Meet the Wiring Solution, a unique home theater cable concealer that is designed specifically to hide cords that run between wall mounted HDTVs and the entertainment centers stationed below them.
The home theater Wiring Solution is a conduit-like cord organizer that holds up to 10 cables, and only requires two small screws for installation. It’s also very low-profile; because it protrudes only 1 inch from the wall, it doesn’t attract much attention. Best of all, the Wiring Solution is built to blend in: it’s available in two finishes, smooth and textured, to match the surfaces of either flat or knockdown/stucco finished walls, and comes pre-primed so you can paint it the same color as your walls (a foam paintbrush is even included in the kit).
Made from ultra light medium density fiber board, the Wiring Solution is available in 3 different lengths to span any TV-to-entertainment-center distance: 12, 20 or 30 inches.