Win A Belkin ScreenCast AV 4

Win A Belkin ScreenCast AV 4

Belkin’s ScreenCast AV 4 eliminates cable hassle by letting you stream AV from up to four devices in your home, giving you high-def entertainment without cable hasle. Lifehacker has four to give away. Want to win one? Read on to find out how.

To be in the running to win one of these four awesome units (valued at $296 each), just post your answer to the following question in the comments:

Tell us your worst ever-experience dealing with cable tangle in your lounge room.

The four entries we judge the most interesting and amusing will win. Full terms and conditions here. Entries close at 5pm on Friday 24 February, so get cracking!


  • I broke my wrist tripping over the cables while trying to sort out the mess behind my home theatre, also will allow me to watch the footy in the lads room instead of paying for a second foxtel box, cheers!

  • My father picked up a new entertainment system, The works, Amps, blue ray surround, media centre, all of it, and he couldn’t be bothered with the Pro Install thinking he would set it up himself. When I got there to have a look, the Cables were so tangled up from him almost randomly plugging everything into everything that not only did it not work, it took me close to 30 min just to untangle and start from scratch. Thankfully my Mother won’t let he ticker like that unless I’m around.

    I also taught him HDMI and USB cables are not interchangeable.

  • When we moved into our new house I was determined to do the geek thing and have every connection possible to play media from things like laptops, xbox, dvd player, etc…

    I had everything setup and when I fired it up NOTHING worked. I must have moved the TV unit back and forward across the floor a hundred times trying to get it right.

    It all went balls up when my wife finally got so annoyed she called our electrician to help me. He took one look and said- let me get the ‘other’ tool bag as this is going to take a while.

    3 hours and a lot of $$$ later he said- look just plug in the xbox and use that to keep it simple 🙁

  • Instead of placing the TV in my bedroom close to where the antenna outlet was on the wall, I had to put the TV where my wife wanted it. This meant running a temporary antenna cable half way across the room. One night I tripped over the cable and the TV fell off the dresser and broke (rather than me thankfully). Now my wife’s new (cheaper) TV is near the antenna socket…. hmmmm husband 1, wife 0.

  • I went to visit my Mum and Dad, as the resident “techno-wiz” in the family I am the first person to get asked to fix things. “The new DVD needs to be hooked up” dad said. After a few years of my Dad tinkering with a few things now and then, the tangled mess from 5.1 surround, a record player, a VCR, the old DVD player, digital set-top box, new DVD player (not hooked up right). It took me about an hour to wade through both dust and tangles to get it working and to get the old DVD out.

  • To set the scene, I currently rent an apartment and I have my router sitting on my TV cabinet as that happens to be the most convenient spot for telephone cable access. I then have a massive 20m CAT6 cable running down the hallway to my study where all the computers sit.

    So I was just lazin’ on the couch when i heard a scream followed by multiple thuds and looked up to see my speakers fall off the TV cabinet followed by my wife complaining most vehemently about my cat6 wiring solution that she had just tripped over and fallen flat on her face.

    I quickly ran to see that my speakers were alright (they are only small Orb speakers) and called out to ask if she needed help. Thankfully there was only a small dent in the speaker grill and she was ok, fewf!

    Turns out the cat6 cable had gotten so tangled up with everything not only just behind the TV to pull my speakers off the cabinet but also in the study that half the books on the top of my shelves had been knocked off too!

    I have now taped the cat6 cable down so no one trips on it anymore, lol. I don’t think it’s possible to untangle all my cables…

  • I can’t even access the back of the amp. One (or perhaps multiple?) cable is so tight that the amp is unable to move from its slot in the solid jarrah TV stand. I have no idea how dad set it up, or which cable it is that is stretched so tight. The cables are tightly wound together to fit through the cable access hole. The Foxtel installer was annoyed at it too and tried to get away with plugging directly into the TV.

  • Back in ye old days when my dog was still a puppy, he “laid some cable” right in the middle of the lounge room. Don’t think the ScreenCast AV4 would have helped in that instance though…

  • We have 3 telephone cables running around the wall from the lounge to the kitchen around the corner behind a large floor to roof, wall to wall unit to behind where the port is, 2 unusable (due to mice bites and another with sisters intervention cutting off the end with her computer table).

    Then we have the computer with so many different cords hanging out the back because it has no front port (6 different USB cables hanging plus all the peripherals)

    Right next door to this is our large old CRT, to this we have connected a Set Top Box, VCR, DVD, a games box and a backup DVD player, all of these cables have to be placed so that all devices can be viewed via the VCR, so we have about 8 RCA sets and a few coaxials, god I wish my mum would learn to integrate.

    But I better not tell you the dangerous ways of my Pop with 3 powerboards connected to 1 double circuit or my Aunties dangerous cabling that is only just long enough to fit and zaps you when u plug it all in

  • Moved into our new house in Queensland and wired everything up in a mess. When I came back to clean it up, I grabbed this big coil of cable and it promptly wrapped itself round my arm. It was actually a carpet python that had found a nice quiet spot to sleep. Suffice to say I now look closely at rolls of cable before picking them up.

  • Behind my entertainment unit is a mess of cables including connections to the TV, a 4-way component splitter, three videogame consoles and two computers (Macbook and a PC). Being a Nintendo tragic, the device sitting highest off the ground is the Wii Sensor Bar – therefore this is the longest cable out of all of them and by far the thinnest and most fragile.

    Recently I booted the Wii up (via the remote) to play some Zelda and found there was no pointer on-screen, and if there’s no infrared signal, then you can’t do much.. It took about ten minutes of cable de-tangling to find the issue – a small animal had chewed my Wii Sensor Bar cable almost clean through and the inner wires had been damaged.

    The culprit is still at large. The new Wii Sensor Bar has arrived and is the only cable that is not touching any other cable behind my entertainment unit. Come at me, rat-bro.

  • I went around to a mates place to watch the game once on his new 60″ wall mounted beauty. The TV looked great up there on the wall unfortunately for my mate he had two problems disintegrating masonry and an evil dog.

    Midway through the game the dog comes bounding into the lounge room large stick in his mouth ready for some fun times, next thing you know the dogs stick is caught in the cables coming on of the TV. The dog then tries to free his stick and manges to pull the TV off the wall along with wall mount bracket and dyna bolt.

    Expensive day for my friend.
    Replacement TV: $2000 (his credit card insurance covered this thankfully, have you guys ever done a story about credit card insurance and covering at fault damage?)
    Lots of masonry work to repair his wall: $5000 but better than his house falling down

  • This one time I pulled my headphones out of my pocket, I swear it took like a minute to untangle them! I was in the loungeroom at the time…

    Ok, that story wasn’t very lounge-roomy. Or interesting. Or funny. Or even really much of a story at all. Damn I wish I was better at making stuff up…

  • A few years back now… when a huge TV was 68cm and weighed 50kg, I had the works.

    TV, VCR, DVD, Playstation, 5 Disc CD Changer, 200w Amp, Audio Switching box, all connected with many, many meters of cable.

    From the front this all looked fine – but if you peak behind the laminate chipboard television unit it looked like that scene from Raiders of The Lost Ark when Indy fell into the snake pit.

    The organised chaos of cables was fine until the day my Cat was not well and thought the privacy of “behind the TV unit” was a great place to do a huge amount diarrhoea.

    Cables can be a annoying to untangle, but when covered in cat diarrhoea it is a complete nightmare.

    From that day on I kept my cables very very neat and tidy.

  • my mother moves around our furniture almost fortnightly, to the point where we no longer reconnect the cables. If it’s not working, we’re not dealing with it. The tangled cables have gotten to a point where if you pick one up you pick them all up – the tv, dvd, digital box, satellite box, wii, xbox, surround sound and whatever other leftover cables there are.

  • I had been procrastinating for months on the jumbled mess of tangle I had at the back of my AV set-up after constant upgrades and additions. Needless to say after a pretty huge weekend of viewing/listening I had falling asleep only to be rudely awoken by my screaming house-mate and the curtains and ceiling aflame with the jumble of cables spitting green/blue electrical flames and my television now weeping molten plastic onto the wooden floor-boards.

    After 30 minutes of frenzied fire-fighting, arguably making every mistake in the book we’d managed to douse the entire fire but were left with half of the room’s floor-boards ruined, the wall and ceiling pitch-black and the entire flat reeking of electrical fumes (not pretty)!

    What I’ve omitted so far is that I’d managed to sell my flat only a week before and the new owners were another week away. The gist of it is I took a week off work, spent a small fortune on replacing the floor, sanding and painting the wall and ceiling… and generally trying every trick in the book to get the horrendous odour out. The result? Sale went through however without me making a penny on purchase price thanks to the few thousand dollars spent, not to mention a new found appreciation for keeping my cords neat!

    True Story…

  • New house – Big TV, PS2, Foxtel, DVD, Apple TV, HTPC. 5.1 sound so cables running to the back speakers under the rug…. all cool.. NOPE!!
    4 year old who thinks it fun to pull them and the other cables out from where they hide ARRRGGGHHH. Also it great sport to hide all the remotes… the little %*&@$!!! 🙂

  • My friend had come to australia from japan with her new kitten in tow.
    She had moved into a new apartment which was not cat friendly and needed someplace to keep her kitten until she could find another place.
    She asked me if she could keep the kitten at my place. I had met the kitten and it seemed cute so why not….. what harm could a kitten do?
    What i did not realize was when the kitten is left alone it changed from a playful pint sized feline into a raging humongous tornado.
    I returned home to find my flat screen face down on the floor damaged beyond repair after the kitten had decided to wreck havoc on the collection of cables that connected my tv to my entertainment system.
    Bad kitty indeed.

  • Before going away for 6 weeks, I queued up everything I wanted to tape on the Tivo and then, to save the world, reached behind the TV to disconnect its power lead from the board.
    We arrived back from our holiday, exteremely relaxed, but keen to catch up on House and our other favourite shows. I was then extremely dismayed to find that the Tivo had recorded something like 70 hrs of snow for us. Alas, when I had pulled out the TV power cable, the aerial was wrapped around it, and had pulled out of its socket just enough to lose signal (but not obvious to the eye). My wife was unimpressed (“Why couldn’t you have just left it alone” etc…).

  • In rearranging the connection between the iMac to the aerial (via EyeTV) I managed to pull the coax cable out of the aerial wall plate socket. The socket promptly disappeared behind the wall plate into the wall cavity.

    Unfortunately the wall plug is located directly behind a Coonara – pot belly stove.

    Took some Houdini effort with a small screwdrive to remove the faceplate and then use an iPhone camera to locate the cable and retrieve it.

    Real heart surgery – not the least of which a live powerpoint was right below the aerial and I could have caused death by powerpoint. I ended up turning off the mains power to access.

  • The tangle of cables in my lounge room have fostered the spinning of an intricate web of intrigue and lies that threaten my dogged pursuit of marital bliss.

    Television cabling. Foxtel cabling. Apple TV cabling. Xbox cabling. Computer cabling. NAS cabling. Printer cabling. Cables everywhere.

    Not even Oprah herself could save me now, but perhaps Belkin and Lifehacker can provide my relationship with the technological therapy it so sorely needs.

  • Mine is a very old story… back in the days of 3.5″ floppies. I was doing a backup (remember… insert next disc… etc), was up to about disk 60, when my friend wanted to borrow my printer. He tried to find the right cable… but was wrong. I was approx 80-90% the way through, when my computer all of a sudden turned off. He had unplugged the wrong cable. I had to start the whole process again (hours). Not happy, Jan.

  • A rat with maggots in summer, died either due to the rat sack or it got caught up in my lovely “arrangement” of cables.

    Just what you really want to find >_>

    I have too many stories around my damn entertainment system & the horrors of its cable management that I can never seem to improve no matter how much I try.

  • When my son had just learnt to walk he couldn’t keep his hands off the cables hanging behind the stereo cabinet, which also had the TV on top. We tried to put up barricades preventing access but someway he always found his way back there. One afternoon, having lost sight of him for a few minutes, I heard a suspicious noise from the living room. Rushing there I find the TV toppled backwards, leaning against the wall, and under it a proud 1 yr old tangled in cables, having disconnected DVD, VHS, XBox, turntable, a few power supplies and speakers. I still can’t comprehend how he managed to do this in such short time, but am happy the TV was as close to the wall as it was, else I might have had a child with a large bump on his head to take care of, rather than just half an hour untangling him, sorting out, and reconnecting cables…

  • I spend a couple of days helping my parents to set-up their HTPC so everything works perfectly. All the cables are nicely tucked away, hooked up to a amplifier and surround sound boxes with a dual screen set-up.

    In a month this has been two years ago, they still havent’ used their HTPC. First, why do they buy a system when they never use it, and second why do they bother me to get everything set-up?


  • I keep pythons (snakes) as pets and one day my 3m long coastal got out of his enclosure and decided to explore the room and ended up tangled in my insane mess of wires that is my entertainment system. he managed to weave between the Xbox, ps3, wii, TV, server, computer and worst the Logitech 5.1 surround speakers. when I tried to untangle him he decided to retreat into the whole (port) on the sub box and disappeared from site. I then had to unplug all the speakers and 30+ screws from memory and get him out. the whole setup was a mess and I couldn’t be bothered making sure speakers were plugged in correctly so now we listen to front left in the rear speaks and vice versed. I hate wires.

  • I helped wire up several rooms with cables at my parents house back when I was still a child. The cables were run through the bottom of the house and up through the floors in each room. As much I’d like to say that I have grown to be a man… I still picture that clown from IT whenever I’m down there. Unfortunately my son is still much too young to be bribed/tricked to replace the cables.
    Looking back I don’t even remember what was given to me to go down there, it must have been one hell of a bribe though.

  • My pet rat climbed under the tv and got an electric shock from a loose cable, freaked out and jumped about 5 or 6 times higher than waist height! it is still alive, but no longer allowed near the Tv.

  • In a effort to tidy up the cables behind my av cabinet and tv I cut 2 holes in my walls to allow my cables to go from my cabinet through the wall into my laundry. From there they run up the wall in the laundry through some shelves and back through the wall to behind my tv.

    This has meant no cables running up my lounge room wall to my wall mounted tv.
    The setup was neat, sweet and kept the girl friend happy until we upgraded from a 42 to a 60 inch tv.

    The cables still fit perfect and were still neat but the tv is mounted on an arm that allows tv to be pulled out from wall and turned 45 degrees.

    Suffice to say one day when i wasn’t home the tv just had to be pointed to another part of the room. So it was pulled out and turned. It was only then that the cables pulled tight through the wall in turn knocking shelves down in laundry including the one were we store our duty free. Next the cables pulled tight back through wall and our DVD, Wii, surrounds, austar etc all pressed themselves into the back of the cabinet.

    Now you may have all had tangled cables before, but have you ever tried to untangle cables through walls and shelves after they have been dipped in kahula and jonny walker. Our laundry still smells like a pub after closing time.

  • In my bedroom there lies a menagerie of cables at the foot of my bed connecting my console devices, DVD player, an external HD, to my TV. One evening I was enjoying a kebab, when a dollop of garlic sauce leaked onto the cabling. Thinking nothing of it, I knelt down, unplugged a USB cable, and proceeded to lick the garlic sauce off the cable…
    I learnt a valuable lesson that night:
    (and should not be mistaken for the tangy taste of lemon in the sauce)

  • My current cable organisation looks reminiscent of a baby if the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Kraken got together for some tenderness and gave birth in a spider web.. A result of a home job Foxtel Installation (long story) and 5 housemates worth of tv, speakers and other assorted sundry.

  • One day I decided to run a TV arial cable from the junction box to my room. Some how, I managed to trip over a messy collection of Cat5 Network cables, TV cables, Foxtel cables and an old Coaxial network cable. My dad wasn’t too happy when he saw me dangling above the dining room table, around a pile of Gyprock and a mass of cables. I decided it was a better idea to let the professionals handle it next time 😉

  • My Rottweiller rolled over in his sleep… In one fell swoop (erm…roll…) he took out my phone, my alarm clock and both reading lamps.

    Rottweiller sleeps OUTSIDE from now on.

  • We had bought our new flat screen TV, and wanted to hook it up to EVERYTHING!
    The problem was, we just laid cables where they would fit and plugged them in willy-nilly. Then, as time passes, the kids get a little older and want to play the Xbox. My eldest (6)starts to pull out the controller when it gets stuck about two foot out from the ‘nest’. I tell her to wait and I’ll sort it out but she (of course) has to have a final tug before obeying. That tug off-balanced the tv shelf just enough to send the TV rocking backwards, then forwards onto the floor. I had to do a mad dash and dive to rescue my daughter from getting crushed by this monster TV.

    When I bought the replacement TV I hooked up the Xbox and threw everything else out, as well as mounted the TV to the wall.

  • I once tried to cable my television and components. Had no idea What I was doing…you guessed it ….short circuited the new television. What was more painful was the following days seated in the loungeroom with the mother in law without television … having the same conversation over and over again. Yep my mother in law would give Panadol a headache.

  • Pretty simple for me, I have kids and there is nothing worse than seeing your 4 year old run through the lounge and trip on the cables. Not only did she crash to the floor in slow motion but so did everything else.

  • I wrote all of this and my browser reloaded right before I submitted the comment! Arrgh!

    Please read the whole article… share my pain of cables with me!

    I HATE cables… They have a place in every scenario, but wherever possible, that place shouldn’t be visible… I am somewhat OCD on cable visibility, I am happy to give references backing this up… girlfriend, girlfriend’s family, my family, especially my Dad, friends, anyone who will listen… I HATE cable visibility!

    When my partner and I finally bought an apartment last year, I was so glad that I would finally be able to mount our TV, I didn’t really care about the rest of the house decorating decisions (or didn’t care as much), but just let me setup the living room entertainment area (and let me cable the house with Cat-6).

    Unfortunately we bought an apartment with concrete slab walls and everyone I spoke to told me how messy routing through the concrete wall was going to be… “just use conduit and run the cable below the TV” was the most common response. I eventually realised that the laundry wall pretty much was opposite the living room mounting wall, so I hired a ‘Pipe Whisperer’ (my name, not theirs) to see where the water pipes were running and were the power lines were running (as we are on the middle floor, I didn’t want my first introduction to our new neighbours to be “Hi, I’ve knocked the hot water out for all of our apartments”).
    Then got my dad over to drill 2 large holes in the wall to run the cables through… Success! The TV was mounted and with the help of the Samsung mounting cables, it was basically flush to the wall…

    Then.Came.My.Nightmare…. (although to be honest my cable OCD secretly enjoyed it… the first time).
    Because the TV was so flat against the wall, it made my TV cabinet look too far forward, I needed to figure out how to reduce the amount of cabling on display. So I settled on pulling the WHOLE TV cabinet apart and using a hole saw to drill around 30 holes in the bottom of the cabinet, then systematically laying ALL of the cables out and running them though one by one, making sure everything would reach and result in me being able to get the TV cabinet as close to the wall as possible… After 4 days, I was finally ready to put the cabinet back together… Everything worked perfectly and looked fantastic, I was really proud with how close I got the cabinet to the wall….

    It all worked perfectly for about a month, until Christmas Day (2011) when we had all the family over for our first Christmas in our new place, we sat down to open presents and decided to do a video call with my grandparents over Xbox Kinect (they were in QLD at a cousins house, and they had just received a Kinect for Christmas), the call quality was TERRIBLE, pausing and pixelating all over the place, naturally I blamed the problem on the QLDers end, thinking that their internet must be the problem…
    Later that night when everyone went home, I jumped on Xbox Live and once again was getting terrible speeds, so I figured I would watch a movie, couldn’t connect to my NAS…. that’s when it occurred to me that 1 of the switches under the TV cabinet has probably failed (or was in the process of failing), so Christmas night I decided to pull the whole cabinet apart AGAIN removing ALL of the components and cabling (I can’t just lift the cabinet as it is too long and warps in the middle) and find the faulty switch, I was correct in my assumption and replaced the 2 5-port switches with a single 10-port switch, which despite looking all over eBay, trying to find someone that would offer a Buy It Now with immediate pickup on Boxing Day, had to be taken from my parents house (which is not close).

    Anyways…. If you have read this far, I thank you…. we are almost at the end…. The cabinet has been fine and everything has been working perfectly, until we installed a TV in one of the other rooms, which in itself isn’t problem, but my partner wants to watch the TIVo box from the main TV on the secondary TV… Now I am faced with a problem, do I pull all of the cabinet apart again and run a HDMI over ethernet connection through to the other TV, or I could be given a Belkin ScreenCast AV4 from LifeHacker Australia and just stream the TiVo from one room to another!

    Please LifeHacker? I promise to be a good reader!!

  • Long story short, big ass power cable looped on itself. insulation melted, cables crossed onto eachother, wire sparked, lucky i had a circuit breaker and only lost my power board in the process

  • i will never forget the time when we moved only a couple of blocks but no one labeled the box with the cables in it let alone neatly rap them up. So the first problem was finding the box with the cables. The box was entirly full of cables, for everything, TV, Computers, Stereo, lamps, network, phone. None were rapped up it was just a giant mess. almost like a tumble weed. If you wanted to do anything with any electronic in the house you had to brave the sure to be half day task on untangling the entire collection of cables from the previous house. It was probability a group effort in creating the wire ball of doom but no one put up their hand when it came to attempting to destroy the monster we had created. Eventually when we were hungry and bored my brother and i sat down for a good few hours and sorted out the mess.

  • Worst ever experience was going to my girlfriends house for the second time since we had been dating, and plugging my playstation 3 into their families lcd, only to find out that there were no free power points. So her father comes along and tries to unplug some cables, but had to do some untangling first, and then out of anger starts aggressively pulling them, until he realised that he had pulled the power point off the wall and a small fire had started. Much to my surprise, i’m still with his daughter.

  • I visited a friends share house that had a tv, a vcr, a dvd player, a stereo, an amp and 3 consoles all on one tv unit. The last hookup was apparently done by an octopus as you couldn’t loosen any cable to unplug anything or move the TV unit or risk things falling off the back. It was “cable-locked”.

  • While setting up my home entertainment system I tripped on a dangling audio cable, tripping onto the subwoofer, breaking my nose in the process, meanwhile my new 42 inch flatscreen on the other end of the cable decided that sitting on the shelving unit was no longer kosher and the floor would be a better place, and was destroyed with a total of about 20 minutes use.

  • Whilst dragging my AV cabinet out from the wall to get access to the tangle of cables at the back, an ornament that the wife had put on top of the cabinet fell off, landed on my head, and shattered into pieces. As I struggled to keep my feet, with blood pouring down my face, all my wife could do was abuse me for breaking the wedding present…


    Yes that is a fan in there. Usually have a cut box to ‘direct’ airflow to the PS3 because of overheating issues.
    Also having to replace a TV now. Last week the Panasonic suffered the ‘Flashing Red Light of Death’, so looking forward to adapting the existing setup to a new TV…

  • Well, you see, I was doing some weird stuff, setting up my TV, there was a knock at the door.

    I had to try and get out from behind the TV and get to the door, however I didn’t realise I was tangled up in all the cables, I tripped, fell, then the TV landed on me followed by the DVD player.

    I then hear the person on the other side of the door yell out “Was that the sound of money going down the toilet?, maybe I’ll come back later”.

  • I put the end of the power cord (while it was still plugged into the wall) into my mouth while I repositioned the radio on the other side of me. Shocking. No permanent damage (I think). Penguin.

  • One day after a particularly nightmarish pile up of cables I decided to get a box to put them in to keep them out of the way when not in use. This box came to be known as The Box of Death because as it got added to over the years, it picked up various cables and jacks in its wake, increasing in girth and tangle with every passing year.

    But then it all changed for the Box of Death and with a strike of good fortune, it became an indispensable part of the family. After Christmas one year the box was out to collect the excess parts of some of the new pressies when mum, bless her, piled the Christmas tree lights into it. Upon their entry to the box, they did what all new additions do and raveled themselves up impossibly with phone and USB and Ethernet cables, jacks and plugs, and adapters. And now these phone and USB and Ethernet cables, jacks and plugs and adapters are a permanent part of Christmas, wrapped lovingly around the Christmas tree year after year, nestled among the blinking esoteric lights, and perfectly at home…

  • I break out in a cold sweat every time I have to get behind my entertainment unit to troubleshoot audio or video problems.There must be at least thirty cables behind there and quite frankly I’d rather be tied to an anthill and have my ears smeared with jam.

  • we have cables everywhere in our lounge room, for the surround sound speakers, blueray player, power cables etc. My dad tripped on the cables in the lounge room and broke his shoulder. Now he is waiting to have surgery

  • I find this competition discriminating against people with good planning and technical skills (like myself). I’ll keep quiet about it in return for one of the units in question.

  • My dog knocked himself out when he got tangled in the rear speaker leads for the home theatre. He panicked & pulled one of the rear pole speakers down on himself. Made a real hollow clunk & he hasn’t been quite the same since. Gives the gear a wide berth these days…

  • Venturing out after a recent major back op, I noticed some white spiral cable tidies on special at Dickies. Spent most of the day untangling the bleedin’ cable tidies but got them on, despite my complaining back.
    I stepped back to look at my handy work and decided they looked like a bleached Rastafarian’s hairdo, so I ripped them all off and they’re still a mess!

  • In 2001 I was part of a kinda geeky housemate duo. We were having a party and the challenge was to play our music collection from a bedroom Pentium II “server” tower through the speakers of a lounge-room CRT TV. 6GB of mp3’s – that’s like 3 whole days worth of music!

    So a 2001 solution went something like this…

    Run 30 metres of network cable down the hall from the server in the bedroom to the lounge-room. Plug that into a laptop. Ah, networking won’t work unless it’s a crossover cable. A trip to the hardware store for some crimping pliers will fix that…

    Next, setup networking between Windows ME and Windows 2000. 1 hour later when networking seems to be done, run an audio cable from the laptop headphone jack to the RCA speaker inputs on the TV. Another trip – this time to Jaycar for a 3.5mm to RCA adapter. Finally, the pièce de résistance: an S-video cable from the laptop to the TV for awesome psychadelic Winamp visualisations.

    Streaming to the lounge-room in 2001? Too easy…

  • I was very close to electrocuting myself when trying to untangle wires behind my TV stand whilst it was a 38’c day and extremely humid with no aircon in the place i was staying in, sweat got on the electrical components and the RCD cut the electrical supply

  • After moving into my new home last year I set everything up cleanly and tidily however the two cats soon put paid to that. Currently I have a scary horrifying mess of cables coming from: Ps3, austar unit, x-Box-wii and my surround sound system.

    The largest problem however is my two feral cats who like to play “kill one another” behind the television just making the quagmire of cables worse and worse. If I were to win I would post an after picture as well!

    Help me Lifehacker & Belkin you are my only hope!

  • TV, phone, laptop, hard drive, xbox, playstation, one double powerpoint and a massive extension lead to a powerboard. Enter puppy.

    Came home to find pup pinned to the floor in a maze of cable, quietly attempting to gnaw his way out of the mess he’d created as he had frolicked among it all…

  • Funny story, going back a few years ago, my computer used to set up behind the lounge, one day i was happily laying on the lounge watching TV and my niece was happily swinging around on the computer chair and her foot got wound up on the cord for the moitor and i got a rude shock when an old CRT monitor (yes the computer was old) fell on me, it left quite a bruise.

  • My folks bought an expensive surround sound/home theatre set up. I offered to set it up for them, but instead they decided to use the stores recommended installer, and pay $2k for the privilege of having it set up. Anyway, the guy turns up, plugs it all in, hands my parents 5 remote controls and then leaves. They had no idea how to even switch the thing on – let alone master the fact that he’d set it up in such an obscure way that I could only assume that he was deliberately trying to confuse them (eg. Set-Top box video output via HDMI to media centre receiver which then connected via component to the TV (for some reason he’d chosen not to use the HDMI output from the receiver to the TV), and Foxtel audio went to the stereo, which then fed back its output to the media centre receiver).

    In the end, I started from scratch (and for free). It’s now a hell of a lot more intuitive, and running at much higher video quality than the initial setup.

  • It’s amazing how confusing it is to rig up a tv to a wall with a Foxtel box, 2 dvd players (1 that is an old amplifier/dvd and 1 that is a dvd recorder), and an xbox 360 on the other side of the room.

    But what’s even worse is when one of the devices breaks and you can’t figure out where to begin unplugging it! Recently our DVD recorder broke. The cables for the dvd recorder went under the house and plugged directly in the TV on the other side of the room which required MUCH effort and alot of creepy crawler evasion to set up.

    Then when you get a brand new HD DVD recorder (that was actually quite expensive because it also has a hard drive) and realise that not only is it virtually impossible to remove the old Standard Defintion cable from the old DVD recorder (as its all over the place under the house), but the HD cable required to set up the DVD player will not even come close to reaching the TV, you just say stuff it! We’ll just watch the new HD dvd recorder in standard defintion by using the old DVD recorders plugs :-\.

    I would love to watch my HD dvd recorder in glorious HD (and not having to set up my xbox 360 and other HD devices on the floor in front of the TV only when being used because people trip over them) but given my current set up (which i inherited from my parents) that is virtually impossible :(. A Belkin ScreenCast would solve all of my issues :D.

  • Playing Street Fighter something on the original Playstation with my cousin when his little sister runs across the living room and smashes into the cables, bringing the Playstation down into the ground, unplugging the power in the process and killing our game before we could finish the decisive round to find the true winner of the day, before we realise what’s happening his parents are calling out as they’re leaving to go home which meant no time for a rematch.

  • My wife dragged me along to a tupperware/kitchenware party at a friend of hers. To entertain the masses while waiting to start, the host put on a DVD on her new (at the time) gigantic plasma. The picture looked off, so once the party started I sidled up to the TV and checked out the wiring: a forlorn composite cable snaked into the tv accompanied by a single audio cable. I proceeded to spend the rest of the party rewiring and recalibrating her home theater set up, interrupted only by the kitchenware seller asking my opinion on her knives (also a mistake, I didn’t like them). I may not have been popular, but the picture and sound were a million times better… Needless to say, I don’t get taken to tupperware parties any more.

  • I was unplugging my laptop plug from behind the TV unit, after trying for a good 30 seconds to patiently get it out, i gave up and started yanking it, much to my pleasure it started to come, the down side being it also grabbed the pedestal fan cable and yanked that out with it, causing it rock and fall smashing my girlfriends brand new glass table. She wasn’t pleased to say the least.

  • I have so many cables all cable tied together that I managed to slice a $200 hdmi cable in half trying to get them apart… I now have leads hanging off my amp with no home to put them!!

  • Day 1 of getting a new TV, I was trying to sort out cables at the back of it and it fell face down…..Massive crack down the front for the rest of it’s life. Only just purchased a new TV for it. 8 years of a cracked TV.

  • While looking after my sisters pet rat while she was on holiday recently, the smelly critter decided that a great hiding spot was down the side of my blu-ray player (it doesn’t like staying in its cage and regularly escapes) .
    Unfortunately for me (and my entertainment centre) rats seem to love chewing on plastic and it managed to bite just enough of the cabling on both my TV and PVR to cause the cables to become exposed and touch each other.
    The rat somehow came away unscathed, however the TV and PVR didn’t escape the electricity so easily and haven’t worked since. Luckily there was no fire, although the two cables did become a single four ended one. Cables and rodents just don’t mix well I guess.

  • I once had a 50″ panasonic plasma tv set up on a long extension cable across the lounge room at ankle height. I was running to get the door for a guest, tripped over the wire and felt like superman. Until I slid across the ground and need 10 stitches. Not fun.

  • Oh Gosh, where do I start.
    Having all consoles and the latest techno gagets (and a few gundam models) on my Living room TV cabinet, really, really makes my place looks kind of unattractive, kind of ghastly really…
    Been thinking of getting something similar
    Try to make my own wireless connection some time ago, using the AppleTV, but still there is too much wired connection.
    The way I see it is to have the Belkin ScreenCast AV4, to connect all my gagets (Blu-ray/recievers) and consoles and store them in Harry Potters room (the store room underneath the stairs).
    With the ScreenCast, I will now have more room for my Gundam models 🙂

  • having a total of 20 different consoles plus PVR, Bluray, Amps, media computer definately has its ‘joys’. especially if your setup has limited connections available. Enter; 5 input switchboxes for a really fun time when guests are staying and simply want to watch TV

  • I may not be in the running but I’ll share my story:

    My father still has a monolithic 40” CRT television which was purchased in 1999 when he was still suspicious of all technology designed to improve our lives such as projection screens and carbon monoxide detectors.

    The hellish mess of cables behind it has remained untouched for years and once while attempting to sort through it I mistakenly plugged the cord for the AC power unit for the Nintendo into the dock for our brand new portable phone.

    In keeping with a common theme in my life, I hadn’t realized at the time what a stupid thing I had just done. One half hour later I happened to notice that the magazine I was reading reeked of burning plastic. I put down the magazine and picked up another one. It also reeked of burning plastic, but stronger. Suspicious I got up and looked around, happening to notice that the odor was actually coming from the telephone and was probably not due to the mild stroke I was hoping for. Due to the power difference in the two adapters, the phone receiver had melted to the docking station. I furtively unplugged it and walked away, pretending nothing was amiss.

    At some point over the next week my father, being the true spendthrift that he is, discovered my abomination and managed to pry the misshapen lump of plastic off of the dock. To this day he still uses the damn thing even though there is a permanent electrical swooshing noise which causes it to sound like the person you’re having a conversation with is calling from the afterlife.

    Lesson here: Keep your cords tidy or suffer the consequences.

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