I wanted to share 4 diy hacks for your media cabinet that will made your media room more streamlined and are easy to implement and does not cost much. I have detailed a easy to follow guide that anyone can follow.
Hide your equipment behind a frame
I wanted to have a media cabinet that would hide all my electronic gear such as my Apple TV box, htpc, router, center speaker and receiver. Since all these electronic equipment generate heat you can’t have a cabinet with a closed front door. Especially the receiver needs ventilation to function properly.
To solve this problem I bought an Ikea Bestå media cabinet. I then constructed a wood frame that I wrapped speaker cloth around. I then attached the frame against the media cabinet with neodymium magnets. The results look like this:
The things you need for the construction are things you probably already have in your home such as a saw, glue, stapler et.c. You will also need:
– Ikea bestå media cabinet or a similar cabinet
– neodymium magnets
– speaker cloth
– 4 L shaped metal mounts
– 2 I shaped metal mounts
– long wood piece
– 2 ventilation grills
Constructing the media cabinet frame
Start by measuring the length and height of the cabinet and mark the measurement on the piece of wood. Add two wood pieces in the middle for stability. Attach the four corners with an L shaped piece. Then add the I shaped metal in the middle. use screws that are short enough so that they won’t go through the wood frame.
I’ve used neodymium magnets to attach the frame to the cabinet, one in each corner and two in the middle. Use a drill that matches the size of the magnet. You also need to drill matching holes in the cabinet and attach magnets there as well. Its also a good idea to paint the front of the cabinet black and also on the wood frame black so that you won’t get that shine through effect. Test the frame against the the cabinet to make sure it fits.
Now its time to put on the speaker cloth, I recommend that you use a double layer to avoid any see through effect. Lay the frame on the floor and put the cloth over it. Make sure you have extra width and heigh for wrapping over the frame at equal distance.
Start stapling on the left back side. Tension the fabric a bit, wrap it over the right side and staple on the other back side. Do the same up and down. After you are satisfied remove any excess fabric. After this you are done 🙂
You can also use your remote control to control your devices behind the speaker cloth, the signals with go through with ease.
Add ventilation for extra stability
It a good idea to add some extra ventilation holes in order to insure the long life on your electronic equipment. I have drilled holes in the bottom and also added a ventilation grid at the left and right side. It a good idea to drill the bottom holes before you put in all of your electronic gear. I used a drill with a hole saw.
For the left and right sides the I marked the ventilation grid position with a circle around. The grid was larger than the hole saw drill-bit so I had to do some extra drilling. I used a saw to make it even. After that you just insert the grill.
Now its fully ventilated from left to right, the holes in the bottom helps too.
Turn the media cabinet into a charging station
Instead of buying a separate charging station I wanted to turn my media cabinet into a charging station for my phones, iPads and other charging devices. The Ikea bestå has a place in the middle of the cabinet for cables. I used a knife to remove the soft plastic.
I then took a small wood bit and used a length that fits between the opening. Then I drilled 4 small holes, a little larger than an iPhone charging connection. I then used some cables tied to avoid the cables from dropping down in the hole. I attached the wood bit to the wall with some strong glue. The cables in the pictures are all connected to a nearby usb charger.
Easily charge your phone, when you are done just slip the cable down again where its hidden from view, It looks very clean.
You can also easily add an qi charger, drill a hole and insert the qi charger. Connect the cable to an available outlet.
Add and hide the Center speaker
I have added my Canton center speaker in the middle of the media cabinet as you can see in this picture. And by tilting it slightly upward the sound will appear to come from a source higher up and reach the listener at ear level.
Some hifi purists might object to this center speaker placement. But I have tested to place the center speaker at ear level as a comparison and I couldn’t find much difference between the two positions. Its also difficult to position the speaker at ear level since that’s usually where your screen is.
When you add the frame over the cabinet the speaker becomes invisible but the sound will still sound clear through the speaker fabric. You could add some acoustic panels at the left, right and back of the speaker if you want to enhance the acoustic properties.
Hiding all your cables
Another tip is to use a long electric cable connected to a power strip. Position the strip inside the cabinet and then connect all the media devices to that strip. By doing it like this you don’t have to connect each devices to an outlet far away. If you have many devices connected to the strip it could be a good idea to use one with a surge protector. In the picture below I have the main power cable going from the outlet to the strip in the cabinet. I also have the speaker cables, ethernet and HDMI cables going through here.