Mount Buying Guide
A mount can make or break the viewing experience. A successful installation is safe, easy to view and appealing to the eye—and to meet those requirements, you need the right mount. To properly support and protect the display while maximizing the overall investment, consider the following mount buying tips:
Plan Ahead: Choosing the correct flat panel mounting solution is the key to a successful installation. Universal mounts are ideal because they are adjustable to support a wide range of flat panel brands and models. It's crucial to use the correct fasteners for the specific wall/ceiling structure (e.g., wood studs, concrete and metal studs). Be sure the mount manufacturer includes or makes available all the hardware required for your specific application before you begin the installation.
Use Only Qualified Mounts: Be sure you are using mounts that have been tested and qualified. Select only UL-listed mounts to ensure that the mount can handle the weight and stresses placed on its hardware and fasteners. Mounts that are VESA compliant conform with all the mechanical requirements of flat panels, further ensuring reliability. ISO 9001 certified facilities produce mounts with the highest level of quality assurance.
Consider the Overall Installation: Where are the power and AV cables coming from and how will they be addressed? Know in advance what make and model of flat panel you will be installing so you can locate the power and signal connections in the wall or ceiling accordingly. And how will you handle cord management? Some mount manufacturers offer integrated cord management systems to hide wires and cables, which keeps the installation looking clean and neat.
Understand the Final Application: You should have a thorough understanding of the room environment and all of the desired viewing locations in order to select a mount with the right features, such as tilting, pivoting or Full-Motion Plus Wall Mount. You also must have the end user's approval on your selection, which is especially important when the mount is highly visible, such as in a digital signage installation. Spend time educating your customers about their options at the outset of the project so they thoroughly understands why a specific display and mount were selected.
Make Sure the Structure is Strong Enough: If you are working with new construction, examine the structure of the wall or ceiling installation area to ensure it will support the intended load. Make sure you consider both the weight of the flat panel and the mount hardware. If the installation area is questionable, it is a good idea to consult with a qualified architect or structural engineer before starting the installation.
Single Stud Installations: Larger flat panel screens can be mounted to a single wood stud provided the proper mount and fasteners are used. In fact, heavy CRT-type televisions have been installed safely on single wood studs for years. Choose a UL-listed mount for single-stud mounting, which guarantees that the mount has been tested to four times the load rating.
Check for Clearances: Check for clearances when installing the flat panel to the mount. If the mount's adapter plate slides into or hooks on to the wall plate from the top, make sure there is enough space above the mount and the screen. And if you are installing an Full-Motion Plus Wall Mount, make sure there is clearance for full movement of the arm. This is a simple step that will reduce errors and maintain efficiency. Most mount manufacturers provide technical specifications to help you with this process.
Proper Handling of Plasma Screens: Flat panel screens are always shipped in the upright position to prevent the solid piece of glass from breaking or popping out of the panel. In most cases, it is acceptable to gently lay the screen face down to attach the mount, but only for a short period of time. Before doing so, always refer to the manufacturer's instructions about how to handle the plasma screen properly when attaching the mount.
Avoid Altering Mount or Adding Components: Altering the mounts or adding they are not designed to hold will, in most cases, void the manufacturer's warranty. This can also cause you to exceed the stated maximum load capacity, creating a potential safety issue. It is critical to install the mount as it was designed, using the fasteners provided, and to add only accessories that the manufacturer indicates work with that particular mount.
Read the Instruction Manual: To ensure a safe and proper installation, take the time to read all of the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Installing a heavy, fragile and expensive piece of equipment involves significant safety precautions. Display manufacturers also include detailed installation instructions with their products to eliminate guesswork and avoid unnecessary mistakes.