Plasma /LCD / LED TV (flat panel) wall mount Buying Guide and Faq:
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Please make sure that at least 2 people are present to lift and hold a Heavy flat panel tv for installation.
What is a Plasma / LCD / LED TV wall mount?
Flat panel Tv wall mount is normally a flat , Tilt or Articulating steel mount used to hang your Tv on the wall. Since a Plasma / LCD / LED Tv normally weights about 20 to 180 lbs, these are made of solid steel and must be connected to the wood studs on your wall normally.
Depending on the size of your tv, the model you have and the position and angle you want to have the tv on the wall, you may choose from various TV wall mounts.
Here is the list of some wall mounts choices:
Model specific Plasma / LCD wall mounts like Solidmounts f-pan
Universal plasma / LCd tv wall mounts like Sanus Vmpl50s
Single stud plasma / LCD wall mounts like Ominmount
Double stud Universal plasma / LCD Tv wall mounts like Solidmounts Uf-60
Tilt plasma / LCD TV wall Mounts like Sanus VMPl50s
Flat and tilt plasma / LCD Tv wall mount like Sanus VMPL2
Articulating Plasma / LCD TV wall mount like SolidMounts UA-2
Universal wall mount vs specific model mounts:
Even though the earlier wall mounts were specific for each TV manufacturer or model, the new breed of TV wall mounts are Universal and they support not only just one model and size and mostly are capable of supporting a long list of Tv models and sizes. Plus the universal Plasma / LCD tv wall mounts let you keep the existing wall mount if you decide to upgrade your plasma or LCD Tv to a larger size, newer model or a different brand. Cost wise, the universal plasma / LCD Tv wall mounts are normally only a few dollars more expensive than model specific mounts. So we recommend to get a universal Tv wall mount.
Single Stud wall mounts vs Double Stud wall mounts:
Most universal and model specific wall mounts use 2 studs mounting (connect to 2 wall studs) for larger size TVs (more than 32") . This is obviously more secure and can enable a larger load capacity plasma tv to be mounted on a wall. For smaller TVs say 17" to 32" Single stud mounting is just fine.
In cases that you may not have enough room or have limited access, a single stud wall mount model can be used (never use a double stud type wall mount on just a single stud). Also Single stud Plasma / LCD wall mount is not recommended for Tv sizes more than 42". Even though a single stud wall mount may be cheaper, we recommend a double stud wall mount.
Flat Wall mount vs Tilt wall mount:
The flat wall mounts are the most basic and stylish plasma / LCD Tv wall mounts as they simply let you connect the tv straight on the wall. The advantage of a flat plasma or LCD tv wall mount is that normally they are more flush and let you have your flat panel tv closer to the wall. Since most flat panel Tv users are getting the units for their low profile ( panel thickness), having a flat flush plasma wall mount would be a very wise choice.
However these wall mounts have no capability to tilt vertically. Fortunately most plasma or LCD Tv sets have a very wide viewing angle (over 170 degrees). So as they are connected at the sitting eye level (3.5 to 5 inches high) on the wall they need no tilt wall mount. The Flat wall mounts are very popular and cheaper than tilt wall mounts and are widely available from many manufacturers like Sanus, Solidmounts, Peerless, Omnimount,.....
The main feature to look for in Flat Plasma tv wall mounts are how far they are from the wall, how much weight they can handle, what size plasma tv can they handle, Are they universal or plasma specific and of course the price. By a little bit of smart shopping you can find flat panel Tv wall mounts as low as $30.
A typical very flush flat panel tv wall mounts is about 1.25" to 1" from the wall. This allows enough air circulation at the back of the plasma or LCD TV. Plus it allows for the wires to be connected to the back. Some Tv manufacturers have a recess back or have the RCA connection at the back instead of the side or the bottom, in this case you may have to use spacers, a wall mount with more space on the back or a Tilt wall mount (normally they are more 2-3 inches from the wall) to have enough clearance on the back.
A Tilt Wall mount is normally mounted higher on the wall. For example if you have to connect the Plasma or LCD TV on top of the fireplace, then to get a better viewing angle you need to tilt down the TV a few degrees to be able to get a correct viewing angle.Some Tilt Tv mounts have the capability to do -15 to +15 degrees tilt. The negative tilt will not be used mostly, you do not mount the Tv low and tilt it upright. Some tilt mounts are designed to give you 0 to +18 or higher degrees tilt as the negative tilt is not used.
Not all tilt mounts are equal. Some of them let you tilt the unit by just pushing the whole plasma tv a few degrees and some require a small screw driver and adjustment on the back to get the right tilt degree. And some Tilt mounts only have a fixed 5 degrees tilt only which again to tilt the unit the whole Tv has to be removed and put back on the mount again.
Considering the amount of money spent on the flat panel Tv, and with our discussion above the best choices are a Universal Flat or Tilt Plasma or LCD wall mount.
Articulating Tv wall mounts
Articulating flat panel Tv wall mounts are most versatile and flexible Tv wall mounts (more expensive too). They let the Tv to swing away from the wall with an Arm which extends about 10" to 32" and let the Tv to Rotate -180 to +180 (some have less rotation) and let you pan and swivel and tilt the unit as well.
There are numerous manufacturers with single ARM, Double ARM and Arms with 10" ,18" , 24" , 26" or 32" . For connecting a 42" TV you would not have a problem using any of these Articulating wall mounts, however as the size of the Tv goes higher (and the weight), this gets more complex as most existing affordable Articulating wall mounts can handle up to 130 to 150 lbs you will be limited to 50" or 55" Tv only. Considering the amount of the load on the arms and studs , only some newer and more expensive models with DUAL ARM support 175 pounds or more for a 63" or higher flat panel TV.
Motorized Tv mounts
Motorized Tv mounts are the latest and let you control a Tilt or Articulating flat panel mount with a remote control. The advantage of these units are that they normally save the user settings for some specific locations like a car seat and let user switch the Tv to desired pre-set location with a push of a button on a remote control.
The first units were introduced about 2-3 years ago. The prices have fallen drastically since then and currently you can shop for one as low as $400 to $700.
Mounting over Fireplace
We normally recommend a Tilt wall mount for this as viewing angle for the Tv requires the Tv to be tilted down slightly.
As long as the TV will not be exposed to smoke or excessive heat, it should be fine. First, take a thermometer and tape it to the area directly above your fireplace -- where the TV will be. Then build a nice fire and monitor the thermometer for the next hour or so. If the temperature is above 104 degrees F, then the area is too hot for your TV to be operating. Of course, you could choose to keep your TV turned off while a fire is burning.
In the end, please use common sense. If the area above your fireplace is too warm or exposed to smoke, you probably want to put your TV somewhere else.
There are a variety of other mounts which we will address later like Ceiling Mounts, Stands, Carts, LIFTS,...
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