How to hide your TV attached devices
In today’s world TVs continue to get thinner and more beautiful and sound bars are making surround sound more discreet. Unfortunately however the components we connect to them; Blu-ray players, game consoles have mostly gone unchanged and are still dull black or silver boxes, with those ugly wires to manage.
There are easy solutions, that don’t require an electrical engineering degree, drilling into walls or any other costly or messy tasks.
If you’re looking for a way to control your devices whilst they’re behind closed doors of your media cabinet, an inexpensive IR blaster will relay your remote’s commands while your gear stays out of sight.
Since IR is the De facto standard when it comes to home theater control, we’ll start there. Like most things HT related, to relay the IR signals you can spend as much or as little as you want. But no matter what equipment you use, you’re going to need some wires and IR repeaters only need three conductors (ground, +12, and signal).
Other than the wire itself, you need at least four pieces of hardware to relay IR; the receiver, an emitter, a connecting block and a power supply.
We surfed around a bit to find the least expensive quality option, and found this.
Connecting things up is pretty simple, the blaster plugs into the block like a pair of headphones. Once you power it up, you should see the LED indicator on the receiver light up when you use a remote and the emitter will usually flash too, but you can buy ones that don’t if you prefer.
Mounting the emitters can be tricky on some equipment. We find that a flashlight makes it easy to see where the equipment’s IR receiver is located. You can also try different emitters and even blaster type emitters depending on the application.
IR HDMI Repeater
Very similar to a standard IR repeater however it leverages your existing cabling the HDMI repeater (as the name suggests) piggybacks off existing HDMI cables so all you have to do it plug an adapter in between the HDMI cable and the device and then plug in either the emitter or receiver and you are ready to go.
The one drawback however is that they usually only support one device, unlike multiple with a standard IR repeater, the plus on the other hand is that you do no need to run any new cable between your device and your TV.