Error. Home Theater Disassemble… Reassemble!

Did everyone have a productive weekend? I spent mine putting the remnants of my home theater room back together after it was torn apart last week to repair the water damage that occurred earlier in the spring. I must say, it’s certainly nice to have all that crumbling plaster and mold cleaned up. The process of getting here has been quite an ordeal, however. As I posted previously, I had to disconnect all my electronics, pull my speakers off the walls, pull my movies off their shelves, and move everything away from the damage areas. That much was plenty of work in itself. Unfortunately, putting it all back together again turned out to be even harder. Destruction is always easier than reconstruction, isn’t it?

The word of the day on Saturday was “dirt.” Although we had covered all of my furniture and critical equipment with plastic during the repairs, a layer of plaster dust settled on the floor, walls, and shelves. The maintenance people vacuumed most of it up before they left, but the room still needed a good, thorough scrubbing afterwards to take care of the rest. Naturally, while I was at it, I found a considerable amount of regular dirt and dust underneath my furniture, behind my cabinets, and trapped in all the room’s nooks and crannies that are usually out of sight. I spent most of the day cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. And that’s before I was able to reconnect my equipment or put anything back to its proper place.

If you own a lot of electronics like I do, you no doubt understand what it’s like to contend with a tangled mass of cables, power cords, and wires. Personally, I’m currently running two Blu-ray players, an HD DVD player, a cable box, a Laserdisc player, a VCR, three game consoles, a video processor, an A/V receiver, an LCD monitor, a projector, and a 7.1 speaker system. Mixed in there are some switch boxes, splitters, and a couple of power conditioners. That’s a lot of cords to untangle. The disconnection process was actually fairly quick and straightforward – I just yanked everything out. Reconnecting everything properly was of course a lot more complicated.

Most of these pieces of equipment were accumulated individually over a long period of time. As each was added, it was simply a matter of finding a place to plug that particular piece in. Straightening them all out at once was fairly overwhelming.

My plan of action was to take inventory of everything I needed to connect. Then I created a color-coded chart to map out what gets connected where. I found this a great help, and recommend it to anyone with a lot of home theater gear.

Finally, I was able to move all of my furniture back into place and return my movies to their shelves.

That’s more like it. I feel much better now!


  1. J.R.

    Congrats! I adore setting up my theater the way I like it– it’s always my favorite thing to do whenever we move or upgrade some equipment.

  2. JoeRo

    What’s a VCR? In all seriousness though I’m impressed that you’ve still hung on to that thing after all this time. Last time I saw one was at the Dalian Modern Museum in ’05. That made me feel old as hell …

    • Josh Zyber

      The VCR doesn’t get a lot of use these days, obviously. Sadly, the completed cut of my film school final project only exists on VHS. So I have to keep one working machine around for that. 🙂

  3. hammer

    Couldn’t you just transfer your film school project to a DVD or hard drive and toss your VCR? Are there some nostalgic properties of the machine holding you back? 😉

    • Josh Zyber

      Could I transfer it? Probably. Have I ever made that effort. No. 🙂

      I like to have the VCR around because I never know when I might need it for something obsure. I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

  4. yamato72

    Bummer about the water damage, but it did turn out to be a good opportunity to re-run and tidy up your wiring.

  5. shannon

    I would have killed to have seen that room emptied! Sorry I missed it, but at least I have some pictures to prove the authenticity of the act!