Although these expensive wall plates have been around for some years it seems that many property developers are specifying them as standard and with the amount of construction work that is going on around our county at the moment the aesthetic problem I'm about to describe will only become more common.
The problem is often seen on a new housing development when a new property is chosen and then purchased by it's new owner, the moving in date would arrive often then closely followed by a couple SKY guys all geared up as if their going to climb Everest. They would first drill a hole to anchor their ladders to the wall of the house (so it doesn't slip while climbing it) fit the dish and run the satellite cable/s back to the lounge TV / SKY box, so far, not so bad you may think, but if you had just paid perhaps in excess of 250 thousand pounds for your new home would you really want ugly, black cables run around your house, unnecessarily!?
A situation even worse than this sometimes arises when for positioning reasons the dish needs to be sited on the opposite side of the house from the SKY box / lounge, the cables are then often run up and over the roof and all the way down to the lounge on the other side, this very ugly cable route is standard and normal practice for SKY engineers when the property is a mid terrace.
The last thing that the site manager / sales team wants to see on a newly occupied home are black cables run across the front or over the roof of that property. Over the years there has often been a need to run as many as four or even five cables from the different pieces of Aerial / satellite equipment from the roof or in the loft back into the lounge.
Two cables or one twin cable would normally be run from the satellite dish to the SKY HD or SKY Plus box, sometimes one cable from that SKY box back to the distribution amplifier to distribute SKY around the house and occasionally a fourth cable for either a DAB or FM radio Aerial, if required. With some TVs being positioned in lounges that are not directly accessible from an outside wall or a situation where the cables have to be run across or around a doorway to get to the TV, things can start to look very ugly, very quickly.
So what a fantastic idea this multimedia plate is, so long as it's correctly fitted of course. (Click HERE and then scroll down to the multimedia plate image in my "Faults Gallery" for further reading)
All the cables required to do the job/s as I've described above arrive at the back of the TV / SKY box from the loft via this plate. The dish is then fitted high up just under the eves and with an absolute minimum amount of cable a short length is run upwards into the loft with almost no cables visible at all.......the answer to all the unsightly cables strewn across roofs you might think!
Well, as with many stories like this there is some good news but also some bad.
The good first - I personally think the multimedia plate is a really great idea and it does do the job very well as I've described above, completely doing away with the need to have any unsightly cables covering the house. When requested by a customer to install a TV Aerial and SKY dish etc I will always but always use any multimedia plate that is available in the property, every time and without exception.
Now for the bad - As SKY offer a free house move to all of their subscribers it is their engineers that currently install around 99% of all new dish's. The problem is that SKY's health and safety policy does not allow for their engineers to enter lofts which means that despite the multimedia plate being available in most new properties now and in the future, SKY will carry on as before and will ignore the plate, so unnecessary holes will be drilled through walls, cable clips hammered into mortar joints, cables run across and down walls and even sometimes up and over and then around internal doorways too.
So if you are lucky enough to be purchasing a new property over the coming weeks, months or years give a little thought as to how the property may look once SKY have been and had their way and just in case there's not a multimedia plate specified for your new home, so long as your'e early enough with regard to the build schedule, request one to be installed by the builders electrician and then call an independent installer like myself to install your equipment in the way that the builder / architect intended.