Hopefully you’ve seen my recent Entertainment Unit build guide. One of my key objectives in that build was to create a fully functional entertainment unit with as little clutter as humanly possible. And when I say fully functional, I mean fully functional. I wanted to have a Playstation, an Android TV box, a Google Home and all of the accessories that come along with those things. I just didn’t want to see them. It took a bit of planning, but I think I nailed it in the end.
Let me show you how I did it.
Here’s my home theater setup from before I upgraded:
Not bad, but c’mon that’s a pretty cluttered home theater. All of the books and useless nick-nacks really detract from Netflix binging and late night gaming sessions, not to mention how disorganized it made the whole room feel. Don’t even get me started on the spaghetti of cords and cables that was concealed behind all of those books.
The first step was to relocate my library to a more suitable location (this will be a future blog post and build guide) and get rid of those old Ikea Kallax bookcases. Those things sold really quickly on Craiglist. After that was done I was was free to bring in the new entertainment unit.
I still had a few things to do before it would look like this:
In order to get the look I wanted I had to order a few things off of Amazon.
First was a sleeker power bar that had a USB charging hub built into so that I could eliminate all of the power bricks that come with USB powered devices (like my Google Home, Nintendo Switch and etc). Next was a PS4 wall mounting bracket from Hideit, normally these allow you to mount your PS4 to the wall so you can proudly display them, but I had a slightly different plan for it. Finally I added a PS4 Controller Charging hub to my order. This gave me a dedicated place to store and charge my controllers, and reduced the number of micro usb charging cables I had to have laying around by 2.
The last item in the picture is a YEELIGHT RGB LED strip light, and while it didn’t help to reduce the clutter in my living room it does provide some cool background lighting as you can see in the picture above.
Now that I had all of my new toys and a place to put them it was just a matter of laying it all out to maximize functionality and installing them.
I flipped the entertainment unit onto it’s face, so that it’s back side was facing upwards, to make it as easy as possible to work.
I wanted to have the power bar dead center because it has the most cables and cords running to it. The PlayStation is on the right side (if you’re looking at the entertainment unit from head on) because this allowed me to easily access the PlayStation DVD/Bluray drive whenever I needed it while still keeping it out of sight. My Nvidia Shield is on the left side, because frankly that was the only space left after the other stuff went on.
This is basically the layout I wanted:
I started with the Nvidia shield because it’s light and I won’t ever really need to mess with it once it’s installed and setup. My mounting system of choice was 3Ms double sided tape. I decided on 3Ms outdoor double sided tape because I already had some and it seems to be stronger than the indoor double sided tape they also sell.
Installation was as easy as attaching a couple strips to the shield and firmly pushing it against the entertainment unit.
Then I moved onto the power bar, I was a little worried that the double sided tape wouldn’t be strong enough to hold the power bar, but so far so good. It’s been a month and I still haven’t had any issues. I was worried the extra weight of all the attached cables would be too much for the simple tape, but it’s really stuck on there. As you can see from the picture I didn’t skimp on the double sided tape here. I needed all the stick I could get.
Now I wasn’t going to entrust the safety of my PlayStation to 63 cents worth of double sided tape. No, no, for that job I had a much more purpose built solution. The HideIT wall mounting bracket is a custom formed piece of steel that you can screw to any flat surface and then slot your PlayStation into.
Like I said before I think the idea is that you’re supposed to display you PlayStation to all of your friends and family by mounting it dead center of you living room wall, but I choose to take a more subtle approach.
A couple of measurements later and I had the ideal location for the bracket. Locating the PlayStation off to the right side meant that I could still get at it without moving the whole entertainment unit away from the wall, but you wouldn’t be able to see it 99% of the time.
Using a couple of supplied screws I fixed the bracket in place in less than a minute.
Once the bracket was installed I grabbed my PlayStation and slotted it into the bracket. The bracket is strong and secure, and snugly holds my PlayStation without any rattles of shakes.
Lastly I still had to route all of cords and cables that come along with a home theater. Various HDMI cables and power cords got tied together using velcro cable ties and then attached to the back of the entertainment unit using adhesive cable clips. This process was a bit labor intensive, taking the better part of an hour, but really was an important step. If I had skipped it all of the cables would’ve hung down at the back of the unit and created a big eyesore.
Time to flip the TV stand back up to its normal position and reconnect my TV and all of the HDMI cables leading to it.
Just look at all of that mess! All of that normally would’ve been out for everyone to see, but thanks to about an hour of work and some clever shopping I was able to clean it all up and have a nice sleek home theater.
Now when people come over I can pretend that I’m a simple person who has avoided all the entrapments of materialism, while really all of my precious material possessions remain carefully out of sight and I remain deeply entrenched in materialism! Take that enlightened people!
But seriously I think the aesthetic of this entertainment unit would’ve been ruined by a bunch of cables and clutter. I’m very happy that I took the time to clean it all up.
Hopefully you guys have enjoyed this little article and it’s given you some inspiration to go clean up your own home theater setups. Let me know if you have any comments or questions.
Your entertainment center looks awesome. Very clean, great job.