Game of Racks: 7 Rules for your Seven Kingdoms

There are times in our daily routine that we hardly notice little changes. We watch the same shows, cook the same meals and go to the same office every day. How often do you notice a change when it happens?

Say you are hosting a streaming party for the office and you’re catching up on the latest episodes of Game of Thrones. Everything is going great with all the various food and drinks and you are really having a great time. Two episodes in, and all of a sudden you hear a loud roaring sound. Sure, you think it’s just a dragon on screen, but are you really listening? If so, then you might realize Daenerys never said “dracarys” as a command for her dragons to set fire to whatever is in their path.

Every now and then, just like Daenerys’s dragons, our AV systems get a little overheated. Sometimes it can take weeks or even months to realize what exactly is happening because you hardly notice the sound or know where it’s really coming from. A common sign of overheating is your fans working overtime and starting to get loud. This means your equipment is trying to cool its internals, gasping for air like Jon Snow did in the end of season five. If the equipment becomes too hot, it can cause circuitry to fail, soldering joints to crack, and reduce the overall lifespan of the equipment dramatically.

Although this is common in a large, commercial setting with poor ventilation, overheating can happen in a residential space as well. Outside of the office, when you are home, how do you have your television, gaming consoles, and audio equipment set up? Is all your equipment stacked on top of one another or are they spread apart on shelves? Perfectly organized media racks aren’t just for the office, we want to keep our home equipment just as safe from any danger. Though heat is good to kill those white walkers, you do not want it anywhere near your AV kingdom. When maintaining an AV rack system, here are some tips to keep things as cold as the North Wall:

  1. Make sure you have an open space behind your AV equipment so the cables can be run properly and you get some ventilation.
  2. Do not stack each piece of equipment directly on top of each other. This can ruin your iron throne.
  3. Organize your cables neatly so they are not tangled.
  4. Find a rack suitable that provides enough space for the amount of equipment to ensure proper ventilation all around your equipment.
  5. Ensure a cool environmental temperature where your equipment is located to handle added heat dissipation.
  6. Listen wisely to the sounds around you, because your equipment’s internal fans may be working overtime.
  7. Don’t be a hero, ask for help if things start to spiral downward.

It is recommended to purchase a rack for your AV equipment, but unless you have a home theater, its fine to purchase something in your price range that supports these rules.

So there you have it, seven rules for the Seven Kingdoms. Make sure to follow them before you are watching House of Stark, become the House of Spark.

Much of today’s wisdom came from Mike DeVenuto, an AV Engineer at MCW. Contact us today for more of his and others expertise to help with your next AV project.