September 18, 2008
| by Lisa Montgomery
The TV industry’s advancements in manufacturing increasingly trimmer TVs has led to many changes in the home electronics marketplace. TV mounts, in particular, have undergone a major overhaul. Just like the TVs they’re meant to hold, new flat-panel display mounts are thinner and designed to sit closer to the wall. Mounts in Omnimount’s Ultra Low Profile Series, for example, protrude just 1.5 inches from the wall, affording flat-panel TVs a cleaner, more contemporary appearance in the home. Chief trims off even more excess with a mount that’s less than the width of a penny.
Of course, with so little space between the wall and display, it can be difficult to reach the back of the set for cabling hookups. To make mounting and wiring wall-hugging flat-panel TVs easier, they’ve added new features to their products, like “kickstands” that prop the bottom of the TV a few inches from the wall so you or your installer can access the cabling and connections. Other improvements include accommodations for accessories such as electrical outlets and surge suppressors. With the new mount designs, these products can be recessed into the wall behind the TV, a technique that allows the display to stay as close to the wall as possible.
Another helpful addition, particularly for sets mounted over the fireplace, are motorized tilting mechanisms. When triggered, the motor tilts the display downward for a better viewing angle. Most motorized systems are engaged from a handheld remote. You push a button to tilt the set; press again to return it to the wall. It’s a simple enough solution, but be on the lookout for mounts that automate the process. The T2 mount, for example, tilts an attached flat-panel TV to a preselected angle (between 1–13 degrees) automatically when the TV is turned on. Turning off the TV triggers the mount to bring the TV back to its original position.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.