Sunday, 28 September 2008

[Progress.139] Wall mounted TV installed - experience learned & possible solution

We always get our electrical appliances from Nash Patel's The Goods Guys in Castle Hills because of their good service. For our wall mounted TV, we bought this Sony BRAVIA 40" LCD (Model: KDL-40D3100).

We also bought a wall mounting bracket, can't remember the exact model number but it's something similar to this one (image from Canohm web site). Nash's team also provided the installation service.

It was quite late that day, almost 7pm, the team arrived on time and quickly unpack everything and install part of the bracket at the back of the TV as shown below. The base/stand at the bottom was later removed as well.

After a few careful measurements and checks, they drilled the first hole....

I forgot to take photos but the installation of the wall mounting plate and other parts was very smooth and quick as the team was very experienced with this. The photo below shows the painful part while one of the guys has to hold the TV while the other one working hard with the cable connection and tidying the cable arrangements. This is also due to a mistake we made, which I will explain later...

When it's all done, it looks like this. All cables hidden! And later this becomes the most popular place of the house as it's the dinning room area and right next to the kitchen. Even more popular than the living/family room areas!

Now the answer to the question: when viewed from the side, you can see that the power point and 2 data points (behind the power point, one for TV & one for A/V) are located under the kit. This is because when we ordered the power points and cables with the electrician and cable guys, we miscalculated the height. Otherwise it would be positioned above the kit and we could have tilt the TV for a few more degrees. And it would be much much easier to organise and connect the cables as there's a much bigger space above the wall mounting kit.

Of course we can arrange for all 3 power/data points to be relocated, but that would be too much hassle.

After some research on the internet, I found a possible solution for this. There's this company called Recessed Australia which carries a "recessed kit" for this kind of situation. They even have this YouTube video on their web site as below:

After it's installed, it will look something like this (photo from their web site), with the wall plate and plug of power point/data cable/signal cables fully recessed. It's a pretty simple and smart idea, not bad!

As it's available at Bunning's Warehouse, I quickly went to have a look in the week end. It's not cheap at the price of $27.45 each.

When I open the box, I was a bit disappointed to find that there's only this plastic cover with a steel bracket... I was actually expecting a lot more with that sort of price tag when compard to the cost of a normal wall plate...

Considering we will need 3 of this recessed point thing (3 x $27.45 = $82.35), plus the labor, plus the effort to un-mount/re-mount the TV, relocate the furniture, cleanings afterward,....etc. After some discussions with family, unfortunately my idea was quickly rejected. Spending all these effort just to get a few extra degrees of tilting for better viewing angle (plus better cable management which no one cares as it's all hidden at the back) doesn't sound very attractive at all to everyone except me...

Any way, for everyone else, if you are thinking about installing wall mounted TV, make sure you calculate the height/location of your power points and other cables carefully!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

[Progress.138] 2 new plants

Have been very busy recently and not much update on the blog. A short post today is about these 2 big red plants we bought in Parklea market the other day. It took us a while to put them next to the stairs at the back yard. Quite happy with the result, hope you like it too!

As you can see from the photo, now that Winter is over, all my "nearly frozen to death" turf starts showing some sign of growth. But all those weeds seems to be growing in a much faster pace and I have to find some time to remove all these annoying little fellows...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

[Others.024] No, you can't park your car on the drive way in front of your house!!??

On 28/8, we parked our car on the drive way in front of the house, between the road and foot path/front fence. Surprisingly we received a ticket as below (some details masked out to protect our privacy):

We contacted the authorities and was told it's illegal to park our car on that part of the drive way as that's council's property and going to court would be the only way to get this resolved if we refuse to pay it.

As we are very busy and the time and energy to be spent on court would be much greater than the $81, we decided to pay it. As shown below, the description is "Stop on/across driveway/other access to/from land".

Had a quick chat with a few neighbors and found that there's at least 5 other cars on the same street on that day who have been parking their car on the drive way for ages, also received the same $81 ticket.

What I can't understand is a few days later, as shown in photo below, one of our neighbors still "bravely" parked their car on the drive way that belongs to council. Are they asking for another ticket??

And we thought it was just our council been crazy, until I saw this report from this week's local paper. As below, even the Ryde council is doing it. And it seems that they are much more reasonable as at least they gave the residents a few $0 warnings before issuing the ticket! And how come theirs is $80 and we have to pay $81??!!

The original report is available here.
I think Mr Germanos mentioned in the article might have stronger case than us, as theirs is a busy road with bus stop right in front of their house. Ours is a quiet street and technically we can safely park anywhere on the road, as long as it's not on the council part of the drive way or the nature strip!

So be careful with your parking. And the title is correct: No you can't park on the driveway "in front" of your house! You can only park on the driveway that's "inside" your front fence because you could be blocking the foot path. Don't forget that part of drive way belongs to council, not you!