So it’s been around a month or so since we started setting up our sitting room. We added a couch and finished hiding the HDMI cable now we’ve just finished up the work on the power cables for our flat screen TV. We really enjoy the space so far. It’s nice to have a place to hang out upstairs without being in bed.
Last time we left off on this project, I had run a power cable to the new outlet location.
Since then, I’ve had my work inspected and was cleared to device out the box. Instead of installing a typical outlet, I added a receptacle designed to accommodate the TV plug.
The recessed outlet permits the plug end to avoid hitting the back of the TV. Here’s what the wall looks like now..
Once the TV was back on the mount, I used a simple zip tie to keep the long TV power cord up and out of the way.
Before I started this little cable hiding project, I thought I could pull it off for around $30 as compared to the Powerbridge install we did at a neighbor’s house for $90.
Here are the rough material costs. I didn’t keep receipts.
-HDMI Cable boxes (the orange ones in the wall) $8
-HDMI Cover plate $14
-Outlet box $4
-Recessed outlet $13
That’s a total of about $39. Close. Now I didn’t include any tools or cable since I already owned them nor did I include the permit cost. The permit for the dining room outlet was only about $20. For some reason, the township charged me $60 for this one. I was expecting to pay $20. So, all told, I spent about as much as the Powerbridge. Oh well. In any case, this dual box approach is a little more flexible for smaller TVs compared to the one larger Powerbridge box.
So now we have to add some furniture. More on that next time
So on Monday we shared our experience mounting a flat screen TV to a wall. Today, we’re going to show you how to hide the TV’s cables to get a totally sleek look. This is the second TV we’ve done this procedure to at Mike and Dana’s house and this version seemed to work better than the first, which used a slightly different product. In my opinion, this modification isn’t very difficult to do and can probably be done by anyone with a little bit of DIY experience.
We last left off with the TV hanging on the wall to test the bracket out. It had to come down in order to hide the wires. To hide these cables, Mike bought a Powerbridge from Best Buy. (This current model is no longer available from Amazon, but you can try Option 1 or Option 2 as they are essentially equivalent). This device consists of two plastic boxes that get inserted into the wall. One will be located behind the TV and the other will go behind the TV stand. Between the two, the wires will be run in the wall for the power and whatever audio or visual cables are required.
In order to install these two Powerbridge boxes so you don’t see them, we need to make sure we’re putting it behind the footprint of the TV. Before we took the TV off the wall, we marked the perimeter of the TV with a couple of post-it notes. The boxes will need to stay within that area AND since the Powerbridge box is fairly large, it will need to sit roughly in the middle of the area between two wall studs.
We used those magnetic wall stud locators we discussed in our last post and then marked our wall with the wall template that was provided with the Powerbridge. We needed to mark the wall for both the top box and the bottom. The bottom was pretty much directly below the top box and low enough to be out of view behind the TV stand.
With the templates marked, Mike used a drywall saw to cut the openings for the boxes. You need to be careful whenever cutting into a wall so you don’t actually cut into a gas line or a power cable.
After the holes were cut, Mike inserted the top Powerbridge cable and fished it through the wall. This was apparently an exciting moment for him. The boxes stay in place by pop out wings that are tightened with screws. Very simple. Before we connected the bottom box, Mike pulled through a couple HDMI cables.
The power cable that comes with the Powerbridge is connected with a unique click together fastener. We actually needed to fix it before we made that connection as one of the wires was visibly detached, but that wasn’t very hard. After you snap the connector together, the cable slack gets stuffed into the wall and the bottom plate gets tightened to the drywall.
The photo above shows it all completed. The Powerbridge comes with an additional cable to plug into a nearby outlet that gets run to the bottom box.
All told, it took a little over an hour to get this project done. Mike and Dana really like the new look and Lisa and I are considering it for our family room at some point.
Any upgrades coming to your TV? Cut any holes in your walls lately?
***Full disclosure: Lisa and I are members of Amazon.com associates. If you purchase a Powerbridge, we get a small kickback. If you’re interested in joining Amazon Associates, go to Affiliate-Program.Amazon.com ***