How to Stack Your Rack for the Best Performance

How to Stack Your Rack for the Best Performance

If you’ve got a media system that you’ve gradually amassed over the years, you might have experienced the design conundrum where a tangled mess of wires and dust bunnies collect behind your gear or your system is constantly overheating and shorting out. If so, it’s time to nip this trend in the bud and invest in a solid rack solution to keep your gear housed properly and in tip-top shape. Here’s what to look for in a good A/V rack.

Hide it right. These days, the trend is to centralize sources for the entire house in one central location. Rather than have sources for every display, you can use one source, like a satellite receiver or Blu-ray player, and distribute it to several different locations, saving you both money and space. You’ll need an equipment closet somewhere in your home to house the rack. That means you need to beef up your wireless network to provide unfettered access to all your gear and entertainment services, which we can also help you with.

Wire management is a must. Managing the wires in a robust home theater, media or whole-house system is practically an art. Making sure that wires are clearly labeled, are not crimped or tangled, and are connected securely is something we train our installers to do. A good rack or piece of A/V furniture will have provisions for wire management, but nothing beats a qualified electronic systems contractor to make sure your rack is wired correctly.

Save room for later. Always plan for more components than you currently have. You never know when you might need a new piece of gear or a new technology will be introduced.

Just say no to heat. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve been called into a home to fix a piece of equipment, only to find that gear is overheating and simply shorting out. It’s extremely important that your equipment rack and/or closet is well ventilated. Some equipment closets have dedicated HVAC, while others use thermal management products, like fans or componentry. Never stack one piece of equipment on the surface of another.

Power it right. Make sure to leave space in your rack for power management/conditioning and surge protection. A surge or dip in electricity could fry your gear completely, and at the very least, electricity irregularities can cause damage to gear over the course of its life. Additionally, a good power conditioner will actually scrub the power flowing into your audio-video system, therefore improving sound and picture quality!

If this seems like more than a one-man or woman job, we’re happy to help you rack and wire your equipment properly while doing a base inventory of the gear you have and what you might need in the future. While we’re at it, we’ll make sure your system is optimized and can even provide recommendations on how to make it all operate more smoothly, with better performance. Give us a call or come in today!

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