A projector can revolutionize your home theater experience, adding a new dimension to your gaming and movie watching, and often at a surprisingly affordable price. As much as you like the picture from your projector, though, the wires that power it are less appealing to look at. They’re also harder to tuck out of sight than the wires on your TV, especially if you use a ceiling-mounted set-up. This can leave you wondering how to hide projector wires effectively and affordably.
The good news is, you don’t have to keep looking at those annoying wires forever. There are a lot of creative ways to hide them from sight, no matter what kind of projector you use or how you have it set up. We’ll walk you through our 5 favorite ways below!
Method 1: Use cord covers
A cord cover is a simple piece of plastic or metal that attaches directly to your wall or ceiling. You can either buy one that matches your décor or paint it the same color as the wall. Even if you leave it a different color, though, it has a much neater look than a tangle of cords. Using multiple cord covers with labels can also help you keep all your cords organized.
Cord covers are affordable and easy to install. The only downside is that you’ll always be able to see them—even if they’re the same color as your wall, they won’t be completely invisible. It’ll integrate your cords into your room’s décor, though, which is what most people want when they want to hide their projector wires.
Method 2: Eliminate the cords
You don’t have to hide the cords if they’re not there. Turning your projector wireless is as simple as buying a USB or HDMI dongle, which you can get for right around $50. You can then plug the other end into your receiver, gaming system, or any other content source to send it directly to the projector, no cords required. You can even use Bluetooth-enabled speakers for wireless sound.
The only cord that isn’t easy to eliminate is the power cord for the projector itself. This tends to be a fairly slim and unobtrusive cord, however, and you can reduce the amount of it you have to see by carefully positioning your projector near an outlet.
Method 3: Run the cord through the wall
This is the most permanent and labor-intensive of the methods, but it’s also arguably the most effective. Now we wouldn’t recommend taking this step on your own unless you have experience with electrical systems. You can’t just drill a hole in the wall and run your usual wires down inside since the heat they generate poses a fire risk. Which wires to use and how to safely install them goes beyond the knowledge of the typical DIY-er.
You will probably have to spend a couple hundred bucks for professional installation, making this the most expensive method, as well. If you want completely invisible wires, though, it will give you the cleanest look.
Method 4: Use your furniture wisely
When you set up a traditional flat screen TV, the TV stand or entertainment center makes a convenient place to stash the cables from your television, cable box, and other peripheral devices. There’s no reason you can’t do the same thing with your projector.
Rather than mounting your projector on the ceiling, you can put it on a tall shelf or cabinet and run the wires behind or through it. You can use the shelf for your Blu-ray collection or to display knick-knacks—whatever works best with your home décor.
Method 5: Have your soundproofing materials serve double-duty
Sound is just as important as sight for getting an immersive home theater experience. Most rooms need some help to reach their full aesthetic potential, and this often means putting absorbent materials on the walls and ceiling to redirect the sound waves. You can install these in such a way the cables from your projector go underneath them.
This doesn’t have to mean putting up unattractive egg crate-style material, either. Colorful tapestries, curtains, and rugs on the walls and ceilings can be a great way to dampen sound without making your TV room look like a recording studio.
Hiding your projector’s wires: a few general tips
As you can see, there are a lot of ways you can hide the cables from your projector, and these certainly aren’t your only options. If you think creatively, there are endless ways to integrate the projector cords into your room’s décor—and since every space is unique, there’s no one way that will work best for everyone.
The size, space, and configuration of your viewing room are important considerations. You should ask yourself a few questions about your life and home when you’re deciding on your approach, including:
What is your budget? Including labor and equipment, an in-wall cord can cost hundreds of dollars. Cord covers, on the other hand, are around twenty bucks a set. Think about how much you can (and want to) spend on this project before you decide.
Can you make better use of your outlets? If your projector’s current set-up has cords running all over the ceiling, take a good look at your space and consider whether another layout might be more efficient. The placement flexibility of a projector is one of its greatest advantages if you know how to take advantage of it.
What modifications are you allowed and able to make? If you’re renting an apartment, you may not be allowed to drill into the walls. Even if you own the home, the materials used in the walls could make modifications costly or difficult. Think about whether it’s really worth it to launch into a major home improvement project for the sake of aesthetics.
How hidden do you need your cables to be? Some people really don’t want to see their wires at all. For others, though, it’s good enough if they’re kept out of your line of sight when you’re watching. Depending on your needs, something as simple as a piece of white electrical tape might fill your needs.
What’s the bottom line?
It’s definitely possible to have a projector-based home theater without those pesky cords and cables. Hopefully, this article has helped give you a better idea which one’s right for your space and budget!