LCD televisions that are 50 inches and larger have become affordable in recent years. Televisions 40 inches and smaller are now available for under $500. Unlike projection TVs and the first crop of 50-inch LCD TVs, which weighed over 200 pounds and dominated an entire corner of a room, the current crop of 50-inch LCD TVs weigh no more than 70 pounds. This means that if the user does not want to put the TV on a stand, they can safely mount it on a wall. A heavier unit can also be mounted on a wall provided the bracket is secured to the studs in the wall. We have received quite a few questions regarding types of mount and how to put one up. We thought this was a general enough question that we would cover it in a DIY series.
We took a look at what was available in stores, on Craigslist, and EBay. What we found was a wide variety of styles, options, and qualities. Fortunately, they television wall mounts group into a few categories: thin profile, fixed, angle-adjustible, and articulated. We will take a look at the first three types in this write-up and save the articulated type for a later date. All of the mounts have a few things in common. There is usually a wall plate, two brackets, and an assortment of screws. The wall plate is typically slotted for cable runs and thru-wall access.
The thin-profile mount was from VideoBasics. This mount is also available via EBay, and we got it from the seller 5star_cellular. The VideoBasic mount is rated for LCD panels up to 63″ wide and up to 150 lbs. The key feature of this mount is, when mounted, the back of the LCD panel will only be 19 mm (3/4″) from the wall!
The VideoBasics Thin-Profile mount is very straight forward. The kit came with a wall rail, two vertical brackets, a collection of screws/bolts/anchors for most conceivable mounting situations (cement, plaster, etc…). The included directions were clear, concise, and fully illustrated. We think most folks will find this a simple DIY project.
The fixed mount is the most basic and widely available style. We got this used unit on Craigslist. While the mount is used, it is in like-new condition. Like the thin-profile mount, it has two brackets and a wall plate. The brackets attach to the back of the LCD panel and hook on to the wall plate.
The most flexible mount of the three is the angle-adjustible mount from Kanex. This Kanex bracket is useful for mounting an LCD panel higher up on the wall and tilting it at an angle for more comfortable viewing. Like the other two, the Kanex mount came with a large bag of screws, bolts, and anchors.
The wall plate is almost identical to the generic mount with the exception of the level-bubble. It is a nice extra, but perhaps not necessary because with this type of installation, we would always check alignment using a more accurate tool.
As expected, the Kanex bracket is more complex due to its adjustability. The angle of the brackets are individually adjustable up to 15º by means of the knobs at the top of each rail. The brackets hook onto the wall plate and lock in the same way as the other two mounts.
The thickness of the steel plates relate directly to mount’s weight and rigidity. Kanex, the most complicated of the three, was the thinnest at just over 2mm. The generic mount plates were 2.29mm thick and the VideoBasics thin-profile plates were the thickest at 3.36mm. The fact that Kanex used thinner plates was not surprising as thicker plates would have made the entire mount heavier without any functional benefits for holding panels under 150 lbs.
In this overview, we did not include any mounts in “articulated” category because they are more complicated. We expect to have a full write-up on a few articulated units by the end of Spring/beginning of Summer. If you know of one which you think would be of general interest, drop us a note. We will check it out and include it as appropriate. As always, we’ll send you something “fun” for the tip!