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It's Time to Hide Your TV Wires and Wrangle Those Cords for Good

TV wires taking over your living room? We have seven simple ways to hide your cords and cables.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
4 min read
Sarah Tew/CNET

Don't let those unaesthetic, twisted TV cords distract from your latest Netflix binge-watch. We're in the midst of spring, meaning it's time to give your space a good cleaning. Yes, that includes that mess of tangled cords behind your TV or home theater system


Tidying up the cables behind your home theater system makes it not only more attractive to look at, but also easier to use and maintain. I've written about the other ways you can improve your setup here, but tidying cables can have one of the biggest impacts. You don't need to be an IT engineer to make your cables neater, and neither do you need a big budget. All you need is a little time and a couple of inexpensive items. If you want to give your TV that showroom finish you've been craving, here are five simple tips.

1. Wrangle your cords with cable ties


Velcro cable ties are cheap and easy to remove.


Of all of the solutions here, the cheapest and easiest way to tidy your system is to use cable ties. They allow you to create order from the chaos that's behind there, and it's easy to go back and change if you add new components. There's a couple of options as far as the ties you can use. Forget the one-use plastic ones, though: Go for reusable Velcro bands or wire ties.

When running cables together, try to keep AV interconnects and electrical cables separate. This prevents electrical current interfering with analog signals in particular, such as those which travel along speaker wires. Use the ties to fix the cables along the natural boundaries of AV furniture and walls.

2. Label your cables    

If you want to go the extra step in organizing you can buy printable tags so you can tell which power cable is which, for example. This is especially handy if, like me, you're constantly plugging in a lot of new equipment. Some receivers, like those from Denon, come with stickers that can help you sort out what's what. 

3. Buy new (shorter) cables

Sarah Tew/CNET

Do you end up looping your too-long cables and stuffing them under the unit or up the back of the TV? Maybe you need to buy shorter runs. You can buy power, HDMI, RCA and speaker cables that are as short or as long as you need. If you're buying new HDMI cables, you may want to invest in ultra high speed (HDMI 2.1 certified) cables for future proofing for standards like 8K, but they're not necessary for most devices. You can also get white cables, which will be able to hide better against your off-white walls.

Read more: Best HDMI Cables for 2022

4. Install new power sockets or HDMI ports behind the TV

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you decide to wall-mount your TV, then hanging wires are going to be obvious from the get-go. If you're lucky enough to own your own home and have sheetrock walls, you could pay an electrician to install a power socket or HDMI ports in the wall for you. But that's expensive, and if you rent your home or you're mounting the TV on a brick or concrete wall, it's not an option. An exterior solution, namely a cable raceway, is a more economical choice.

5. Conceal TV cords in a cable raceway  

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

A cord or cable raceway is basically a flat PVC tube that attaches to the wall and is able to be both cut to length and painted to match your interior. The front of the "tube" clicks on and off, so it's easy to add or move cables if you need to. Entire cable concealing kits are available in a variety of colors.

A couple of years ago Samsung TVs came with a single, semitranslucent cable which was harder to spot on your wall, but newer Samsung TVs don't have that option anymore.

6. Hide surround speaker wires by skirting the floor molding or laying down a rug

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

While cable ties and raceways are great for keeping cables organized behind your TV, what happens when you have to run cables elsewhere in the room? Surround speaker wires are probably the most common example.

For my own system I use a 16-gauge Monster XP speaker cable to connect my surround speakers to my receiver. Monster tends to get a bad rap for being overpriced, but I like the XP range as it is economical, well-constructed and also available in white. 

Whichever brand you choose, you can run the cables along skirting boards and door frames and attach them using inexpensive, nail-in cable clips.

If you have a large, cathedral-like room it may not be possible to run cables along the walls, so invest in a good rug instead. While it's unsafe to run power cables under rugs it's ok to cover things like speaker cables or Ethernet, but try to run them in the least trafficked area if you can. For maximum hardiness, you could run a rubber raceway by itself on the floor if necessary.

7. Mount your power strip to get cables off the floor

6 products to organize all of your messy cords

See all photos

For someone who deals with tech all day, I was unreasonably excited to buy myself a clamp-on power strip for my desktop. The main thing it did, and which it can do for your TV unit too, is to lift the connections off the ground and tuck them neatly out of sight. The Tripp Lite model I chose only has six outlets, but you'll probably need more than that. For example, my (admittedly large) TV system uses two eight-outlet power strips. 

If you want a larger selection of outlets you can either opt for a clamp that will attach to your existing strip, or you can go the whole hog and grab a component-level power conditioner.

For more, check out 7 quick TV tweaks that will enhance your movie night, 9 TV picture settings to change today and 3 methods to fix muffled dialogue. Plus, why you should buy the biggest TV you can afford and when to upgrade your HDMI cables.