Product: Cable
Glowire   (+5)  [vote for, against]
Find a needle in a haystack.(Metaphorically)

Home entertainment systems...such technology, such expense, such entertainment value. When you can get it to work right. Last night, I had aquired a copy of the new Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD. And, as always, the connection between the DVD player and the stereo tuner had somehow become undone. I had to get behind the television cabinet, look behind the DVD player, find the audio out cables, and trace them back to the stereo tuner among an entire bunch of audio cables that all looked exactly the same. Eventually, I got the job done and I could enjoy a nice, relaxing evening with my family.

It's time for...Glowire!(Cool name, no? It's probably already taken somewhere...) On all basic audio/video coaxial cables, place a "light pipe" along the length of the wire. At both ends of the wire, place a receptor where the light pipe plugs into the device along with the cable, and have a Tri-Color LED(Red, Green, Blue) there to illuminate the cable when needed. With the tri-color LED, you could illuminate the cable in any color at the press of a button. The standard color-code for audio and video would apply. Want to find your DVD cables? On the stereo tuner, select DVD and then press [Illuminate]. The three cables(yellow for video, red for right audio, and white for left audio) would light up, and you could then find them and plug them into their respective plugs. If you got the connections wrong, the light being sent on the DVD player would conflict, showing an incorrect color on the cabling.
-- BinaryCookies, Sep 02 2002

BTW -- the name seems taken, and quite popular. [reensure, Sep 02 2002]

Glowing Wires, DIY
[loonquawl, Jun 16 2009]

An arrangement like on most PC network cards could also be useful, where a light on the board comes on when a connection is working. This would let you find dodgy wiring pretty easily.
-- -alx, Sep 02 2002

This is not an everyday problem for me, but ...

Second-generation graphic equalizer? Sounds great, so far. Add clear plastic or component cases (or prismatic top-mounted view screens for better dim light display) to the devices, then sit back and watch your HTS do its work -- embued with a riveting technicolor blaze of pulsating neon color. Even big screen “dogs” will entertain you like no one else ever was.

... seriously, is USB home wiring on the way?
-- reensure, Sep 02 2002

This would be better if the light just turned on when the cable came unplugged (just one end, if both ends came out, you'd have to trace the cable on your own) using the power from the end that is still plugged in. Plus only the one unplugged cable would light up, instead of all the cables for that component.
-- Bert6322, Sep 02 2002

The cable could light up AND call you on your cell phone.
-- bristolz, Sep 02 2002

random, halfbakery