Sanus ELM806 In-Wall Cable Management System Preview
- One PowerIN panel
- One PowerOUT panel
- 6-ft Powerwire prewired power outlet
- 1-ft Powerwire prewired power inlet
- Prewired power connectors
- 6-ft PowerConnect supply cord
- All hardware
- Installation template
We don't normally get excited about cable management systems, but we are going to make an exception for the Sanus ELM806. First, let's talk about the current trends in displays. As we all know, displays are getting bigger and thinner. Sure, those displays look fine set on top of a cabinet but, in all honesty, everyone wants that display mounted on the wall. That what they do on HGTV, that's where all the displays are on your favorite movies/tv shows, and that's where the Jones' have theirs. So you want it there as well.
But what to do about the wires?
Well, the HDMI and other video cables aren't a problem—those are low voltage. Just punch a hole in the wall and run it. But what about power? The minute you start talking about electricity, people have visions of Looney Tunes-esque scenes of hair-raising accidents. No one wants that. So, do you call an electrician and pay half the price of your new display to run a wire four feet?
Not if Sanus has anything to say about it.
The new ELM806 in-wall cable management system combines a recessed cable management system with an integrated power cable for true ease of setup. What Sanus has done with the ELM806 is mated a six foot plenum power cord with a recessed wall plate. One side has access to power while the other has a pass-though port for your low-voltage video and (hopefully not) audio cables.
One thing we really like about the Sanus ELM806 is that they've included two female ports behind the display. While it might seem like overkill, it has two advantages. First, it allows extra space for any non-standard plugs. Many displays, in an effort to save space, have flat, right-angle plugs. But, more importantly, you never know when you might need another outlet back there. Recently, Comcast reported that they will be encrypting basic cable. But for those that have a digital tuner in their displays, they are offering an adapter. These adapters require power. If you decide to collocate the adapter and your display, that second outlet will come in handy.
As Sanus explains clearly in their material, the ELM806 has a six foot plenum-rated power cable that connects the two wall panels. At this time, there is no talk of them offering longer power runs. This is perfect for those (like in the picture at the top of this article) that have their gear under their display. Those that want to place their gear farther away than six feet (and across studs for that matter) will want to look for a different solution. But we think that most people will have a setup where their gear is near the floor and their display is above making the Sanus ELM806 a very attractive solution. The lower, male outlet will need to be plugged into the wall or your surge protector with the supplied cable. Sanus includes wall templates for cutting out the correct sized holes.
One of the most attractive aspects of the ELM806 is the price. At $99.99, it is just about the same price as buying the outlets, backing boxes, romex, and wall plates that you'd need for the same job. If you add in the extra time it will take to figure out (for the uninitiated) how to properly wire for power and everything else, the ELM806 is probably saving you money. It certainly is a lot cheaper than many of the alternatives we've seen on the market.
Lastly, a word of advice. If you are thinking of installing the ELM806 or any other cable run up to a display, your first thought will be to finish the wire run before you do anything else. We recommend installing your display mount first. Too often we see wall plates that are half covered (or made inaccessible) by a display mount.
Yes, wall plates aren't the sexiest of HT products, but the Sanus ELM806 looks to be one of the most useful. With an integrated, in-wall power run, the Sanus ELM806 lets you get power to your display with a minimum of hassle. Plus it's just $100. Recessed wall plates, dual power outlets behind the display, and low-voltage pass-through makes the ELM806 a one stop solution for you new flat panel display.
For more information, please visit www.sanus.com.
Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.