Monday, October 18, 2010

Home Improvement

It was a busy time at home this past weekend. After Comcast decided to more than double my rate for cable (and then add insult to injury by sending me a letter telling me that I had been charged less than I should have been for years and my bill would be going up again next month) I decided to dump them.

The installation of my new DirecTV was part of the reason behind my deciding to pull the Television in the living room down off the wall and run some more cables. The other reason was that I was tired of having to swap the cables available between the various devices I have.

When the television was installed a couple years ago, I asked that the installers run a cable for every connection on the back while they were doing the set-up. I cannot remember what the winning argument was (it was possibly the expense of the cables - they were horribly expensive at the time, it was possible that they claimed not to have enough cabling with them…) but for some reason, they installed only a few of the connections; just what I needed at the time. It was okay back then, but as I have bought more A/V Equipment, I have noticed the fact that I don't have enough cables run!

Therefore, I decided to go out and get all the cables to connect all the terminals on the back of the set and run them while I had the set off the wall anyway. Whatever the proffered excuse for not running all the cables at the time of the install, I have the feeling that part of the reason they weren't run was that it was a pain to do! There are more than a dozen different connections on the back of the TV, component, composite, HDMI, Network Cables, etc.

I had thought the problem was going to be getting all the cables through the small hole in the junction box, but that was the easy part; getting them back out of the wall at the bottom of the drop was the hard part. Well…

The first few went relatively easily, you drop them and they slither down between the drywall - gravity does most of the work. The problem is the conduits that run horizontally thought the wall between where the cables enter and where they emerge. When the first few cables go through, they go through fairly easily. The later cables have less clear space to go through. By the last couple, I had to bounce the cable until it hit a clear spot. I found that cursing at the cables as I jiggered them helped. Well, it helped me!

I did have the help of a friend from next-door who came over to help me lift the TV off the wall and back onto its mounting bracket. I could not have accomplished it alone! I told her yesterday that I was glad that I installed more cables than I needed - all the cables I could. When telling her what I needed, I had missed one of my video recorders. Installing more than I needed was definitely the right way to go!

Wherever you are, I hope you had a productive weekend!

Don Bergquist - October 19, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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