April 09, 2010
| by Stephen Hopkins
How do you find the perfect mount for the shape, size, weight and application of your flat-panel display?
Just a few years back, finding a mount to pair with your LCD or plasma was like finding a fuel pump for your ‘96 Mazda 626. Not only did you need something specific to your model, there was a decent chance some random manufacturing change mid-cycle could throw a huge wrench in your search.
Luckily, most TV manufacturers have centralized around VESA standards and mount manufacturers have moved to rail-based designs making horizontal spacing a moot point.
Regardless, most consumers want to know up front whether a mount will fit their display before they pull the trigger.
Thankfully, most mount manufacturers, including Web-based vendors, offer tools to help users verify compatibility.
Just like anything else in our industry, some manufacturers and vendors do a better job than others and some just choose not to try.
Putting Mount Finders to the Test
Due to recent circumstances - mainly my sons’ newfound interest in Playhouse Disney - I’ve been going through the process of mounting a budget 32-inch LCD in the triplets’ bedroom.
Since they’re seven months old, a high-end display wasn’t necessary, so I went with a budget model (32LB30QD) from Proscan. Going with a second-tier manufacturer gave me the opportunity to test several mount-compatibility tools to see if they recognized my off-brand manufacturer and model number.
I also wanted to see if the recommendations were reasonable ones based on the TV’s weight (about 40 pounds) and mounting pattern (VESA 200 x 400).
I reviewed online tools from eight manufacturers and graded them “A+” through “D+”
To read the reviews and the grades, check out the photos.
The moral of the story is pretty obvious: If you want to check compatibility to the highest degree, start with the manufacturer’s Website, select a mount, then select a vendor to make your purchase.
If you’re purchasing online brands, you shouldn’t rely on the Web vendors alone. You’ll need to do some preliminary research on your display’s critical mounting specifications.
Every site I reviewed had some redeeming characteristics so it’s hard to go completely astray, but having all of the information possible about your display before hand can be of great assistance regardless of where you search or shop.
Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.