Feature Friday: Cords Away

Posted By: Team XBMC on Mar 14, 2011 in Site News

Perhaps the single most popular picture ever posted to the XBMC Facebook Fanpage (‘like’ us, if you haven’t already) had almost nothing at all to do with XBMC. Palle Olsen was tired of trying to hide his cords. All the usual methods didn’t work or ended up even more cluttery than just letting the cords dangle. So, rather than accept messy cords as part of life, Palle got creative.

Awesome Wiring

Palle's Wiring Works

His old school Xbox running XBMC had relatively few cords. Likewise, the wiring for his speaker system and television weren’t presenting very many problems, and those few problems that did exist had previously been solved. The major issues were the four cords sticking out of the PS3.

Palle, being a creative guy, had an idea. To deal with the problem, he was going to hang his PS3 on the wall and then prominently display his cords for all the world to see.  Now most people would say that’s a terrible solution to a cord problem.

Most people aren’t Palle Olsen.

He bought some cheap super glue and – to protect the walls from the glue – some equally inexpensive double-sided adhesive mounting tape.  He hung the PS3 on the wall.  Then Palle snapped a photo of his television, PS3, and wall, threw that photo onto Adobe Illustrator, and got to designing.

Double Sided Tape and Super glue

Double Sided Tape and Super glue

Once he had put something together that he thought looked good, Palle traced the design on the wall using a pencil and a very light touch. He was able to minimize line tracings by only drawing out the terminal points of straight lines and the appropriate bend for the line.

After tracing, Palle cut thin, long strips of double sided tape just slightly wider than his cords and placed those on the straight portions of the wall design. He didn’t bother laying tape on the portions of the wall where the cord was going to bend, figuring that the straight line sections would adequately hold the wires in place.

In his first attempt to mount the wire to the tape, Palle skipped the glue and discovered that double-sided tape simply isn’t strong enough to hold the cords in place when running with such a reduced surface area. So he ran a thin line of super glue down the length of the tape, and held each wire carefully along the tape until the cord was firmly affixed to the wall.

Gluing cord to tape

Gluing cord to tape

After each cord was placed, Palle would move onto the next one. Soon enough he was finished, and, as you can see, the results have been truly stunning to behold.

Don't Hide the Wire

Don't Hide the Wire

Good job, Palle. That’s a fantastic setup you’ve got there!

This post isn’t over though, because it isn’t fully XBMC-centric. As such, if anyone wants to try something similar using a box that’s actually running XBMC, we’ll update the post to show your room or create a new post specifically for that purpose. Send your submissions to natethomas AT xbmc DOT org. Have a great weekend, and we’ll look forward to seeing what you’ve got.  And, as always, send some pics of a room or project you are particularly proud of to the email address above, and your submission too can be featured on Friday.

Update: As many of you surmised, the actual cables being run are HDMI, Toslink optical for audio, power, and ethernet.

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Discussion - 35 Comments

  • Michael Wedin May 14, 2011 

    If you can´t beat them, “join” them. Nice!

  • Blackbolt May 14, 2011 

    I love this. I like being surprised by the solutions others come up with to problems, I’m totally copying this idea, it looks so cool!

  • bleze May 14, 2011 

    I’m totally doing this with my Onkyo AV receiver! Mounting it to the wall and having 76 wires come out of it :)

  • toxicious May 14, 2011 

    Cool, but not something I would do in my living room though, maybe in a super geeky gaming room, but not beside my TV in my living room.

  • h.udo May 14, 2011 

    This is me most cool way to arrange cables I’ve ever seen! I immediately associated the layout of the cables to the tracks one can see on a PCB.

    Way to go! Don’t hide! Show it and make art! Congrats on the idea. Very out-of-box!

  • Lukas May 14, 2011 

    Wow, love it! I looks very impressive. Don’t Hide the Wire :)

  • Anonymous May 14, 2011 

    Nice. Man the internet rules so many good ideas

  • Jon May 14, 2011 

    What an ingenious and creative solution. Love it!

  • Rob May 14, 2011 

    Bit harder to unplug your PS3 and take it over to a mates.

  • Dan May 14, 2011 

    Isn’t anyone else thinking “Ugh, is he actually running that composite?”

    Maybe i’m the only one….

  • Bri May 15, 2011 

    Looks nice… I see lots of expensive stuff in that room (chair, remote). Makes me wonder why he choose such a cheap tv :D

  • natethomas May 15, 2011 

    @Rob
    I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.

  • ZzZzZ May 16, 2011 

    It’s a shame it is a “old” PS3. He must be going insane with the noise… But then again that is probably how he got this crazy but fantastic idea in the first place….

  • waldo22 May 16, 2011 

    Wait, does XBMC run on the PS3 now? (kidding, kidding)

  • Mitch May 16, 2011 

    That looks so epic. Good work

  • Allen May 17, 2011 

    @Dan

    He is using a component cable, not composite, for video, which is able to handle 1080p, and using the optical-out for the surround sound.

  • Joe J. May 18, 2011 

    You sure he’s not using a HDMI, an ethernet, an optical and a power lead? Doesn’t look like composite or component to me.

    And @ZzZzZ, I’ve got both types of PS3. The fat isn’t loud (or indeed audible) at all…

  • qlum May 18, 2011 

    saw a ps3 on the xbmc main page, got my hopes up read the article got dissapointed
    still nice way of solving the cable problems and really why would I need xbmc on my ps3 while my pc is right next to it

  • Kirk May 19, 2011 

    What’d he use to mount the actual PS3 to the wall? I’m hoping it’s not just superglued… ha ha.

  • rw May 19, 2011 

    I guess you had to do something to pass the time during the PSN outage.

  • Harry Fear May 19, 2011 

    Nice idea, shame it’s ugly in practice :P

  • Ted May 19, 2011 

    @Allen
    thats hdmi. it goes cat5, hdmi, optical.

  • AndyC. May 19, 2011 

    @Allen
    Okay, so component + power + optical-out = 3 cables. There’s four. Is he really using a wired Internet connection?

  • b May 19, 2011 

    +1 props. Reminds me of a Circuit Board.

    I like it, i love your room as well – very nice colors and blends in well.

  • lol May 20, 2011 

    wait until he gets to repair the plaster, thats going to look awesome

  • Joe May 20, 2011 

    @Allen

    That’s not component. The fourth cable is a power cable. He’s definitely using composite.

  • Thomas Harborg May 20, 2011 

    how did he mount the ps3?

  • Sojourn May 20, 2011 

    The cables are the following from bottom to top.

    POWER, ETHERNET, HDMI and….the long one is at the top is a USB cable from the modded addon rear port to charge his controller :)

  • milton May 20, 2011 

    Kirk :
    What’d he use to mount the actual PS3 to the wall? I’m hoping it’s not just superglued… ha ha.

    Yeah i wonder what he used. Anyone have ideas on how to mount the ps3 to the wall?

  • lenin perez May 22, 2011 

    Very creative, off the hook

  • Alex May 22, 2011 

    WONDERFUL!!! Great idea and Great Work!!!

  • GH057 May 22, 2011 

    How about L-Shaped brackets on the wall and some double-sided tape, so that it doesn’t tip off? They’d be invisible unless you look from under the console -plus you could paint them black.

    There are some commercial wall mounts for the PS3 aswell if you google them.

  • Triggerinco May 22, 2011 

    NICE! So simple but looks cool. I wanna do this with mine but I like my ps3 being mobile mine does thing my mates dont (there Sony 3.61 bum boys) am guessing you have to drill 4 holes in the bottom part of the case mount the case then rebuild the ps3 on to it?.

  • Xcr0n May 22, 2011 

    damn thats nice, well done.

  • bionicgeekgrrl May 26, 2011 

    Nice, rather artistic in a modernistic sense, I like :)

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XBMC is a free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. XBMC is available for multiple operating-systems and hardware platforms, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.