My home is tiny, so every square foot is precious. My viewing appetite, on the other hand, is so large that our console-mounted 50-inch plasma TV overwhelms the family room.
Let’s just say reviewing OmniMount’s Power55 motorized wall mount—one that tilts, pans and swivels—presented an ideal way to measure its space-saving benefits and other features.
Mounting a flat-panel TV can be tackled yourself, but for larger sets of 42 inches or more, invite a few brawny friends over or hire a custom electronics pro—especially if it’s a motorized mount that requires a nearby electrical outlet, something you likely don’t have in the middle of your wall.
After scoping out the space on a previous visit, project manager Bob Bennett and technicians Sean Morrison and Jim Caron of MHL Security and Sound in Randolph, Mass., along with electrician Dave Palmieri, went to work.
The roughly five-hour job began with creating holes in the wall and adjacent built-in cabinetry and snaking wire where bundled cable would be fished. The route also accommodated the electrical wire pulled from the basement to the new outlet behind the TV. The Power55 provides ample spacing along the mount plate to fit a wall box.
After screwing the mount rails to the TV, the installers used OmniMount’s bracket guide to drill holes in the wall. The package also includes a bubble level, but you may want to go with a wider-ranging torpedo level instead. With wood studs, the Power55 can be mounted in single- or dual-stud configurations—my wall called for the single center stud, reinforced by four surrounding Sheetrock anchors.
The rails go on the back of the TV:
MHL routed two HDMI cables, two component video cables and center-channel speaker wire through a tricky right-angled path in the wall, and after testing the mount the team securely hung the TV over the bars. My Hitachi is at the limits of the Power55’s 110-pound weight capacity, but in several months of daily use there’s been no doubting its sturdiness.
Sean and Jim work both sides of the wire snaking:
Because the mount pans and tilts, MHL set the left and right horizontal limits as close to the wall without bumping, and they programmed two viewing position presets into the remote. Creating a preset, including that of a ‘home’ position, is as easy as pressing a button down for five seconds.
View from behind:
The motion of the mount is slick but not blazing, about as fast as you’d want something carrying a 110-pound TV to go. It takes just nine seconds to move from centered and snug to fully angled so we can watch from our dining room. Now that’s appetizing.
Mount and TV in place:
Here is a video of the install, provided by Caster Communications (thanks to Caster’s Katie Short who was there filming and taking photos):
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.
Specifications, Pros & Cons
AT A GLANCE
> Supports TVs 37 to 55 inches
> Weight capacity up to 110 pounds
> 45dB operation
> Universal rails for wide compatibility
> Remote controllable via IR and RS-232
> Obstruction detection sensitivity
> Single-arm design with auto centering
> Tilts to 15 degrees
> Pans to 20 degrees left or right
> Profile of 3 inches
> Flexible viewing positions, plus two memory and ‘home’ settings.
> Sturdy construction and low-profile aesthetics on the wall.
> Quiet and smooth operation that’s IR and RS-232 remote controllable for compatibility with automation systems and universal remotes.
> TV needs to move off-center for full downward tilt.
> Obstruction detection can be almost too sensitive at times, with bunched wires causing motion to stop.
Should TV manufacturers offer dumbed-down TVs that focus on image quality rather than apps?
Could Ford Be at the Center of the Connected Home?
Lively Sensors Help You Keep Tabs on Eldery Loved Ones
Integra Puts WiFi and Bluetooth into New AV Receiver
Bang & Olufsen Packs Style into Surround System