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Technology Showcase: Flatpanel Mounts

Once considered mere accessories, new mounts put flatpanels in their place. 7/13/2009 8:00 AM Eastern

Technology Showcase: Flatpanel Mounts

Jul 13, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Once considered mere accessories, new mounts put flatpanels in their place.




Sanus Systems LL11-B1

The mounts for flatpanel displays have become indispensable assets in maximizing the return on investment of LCD or plasma screens. Rapidly evolving from an afterthought accessory to an essential component, the mount itself has become an integral component in the overall delivery of entertainment and information.

It all has to do with form factor as display technology shrinks into two-dimensional elegance compared to the TV screens of yore. Think Laurel and Hardy. An old CRT of Oliver Hardy's bulk could stand on its own base without concern for tipping over. On the other hand, modern ultraslim flatpanel displays are as thin as Stan Laurel, but when they fall down, it is nowhere near as funny.

But today's flatpanel mounting systems don't simply hold a screen upright. In response to the varying needs of the environments into which flatpanel displays are being installed, designers have been able to give these mounts the ability to disappear into a wall recess or extend out into a viewing room. Many can be automatically positioned for the preference of individual viewers and instructed to retract themselves into standby positions when their services are no longer required. Some even enable flatpanel screens to serve as teleprompters in corporate boardrooms and houses of worship. In addition, many users appreciate the portability that a cart-mounted display can provide.

The mounts themselves serve multiple duties, holding playback units such as VCRs or DVD players and, increasingly, devices to receive streaming input. Most importantly, they are being designed to conceal the necessary wiring to this mini production island. That means the cable-management scheme built into the mount can influence the look of the installation. Most flatpanel supports benefit from standard mounting-hole patterns compliant with Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) specifications. Bill Lempesis, executive director of VESA, says the organization plans to reconfirm a committee before the end of this year to consider some of the new size and weight requirements made necessary by the ever-expanding glass panels being made available.

Although overall sales figures for flatpanel mounting systems are not available—in part because of the difficulty in differentiating between professional and consumer models—TFC Info, a worldwide leader in AV market research, released a major report in May titled Flat Screen Display Mount Study 2009. You can purchase the full report at www.tfcinfo.com, but the company was good enough to allow me to excerpt from it for this article.

The 335-page report claims that Da-Lite, OmniMount, and Peerless are the most recognized display mount brands overall, but brand loyalty did not seem to be a major factor in mount purchases. As a result, more than half of the respondents stated that the mount decision was, or will be, made at the same time as the flatscreen display decision.

The top five product attributes turn out to be compatibility with the flatscreen, strength/sturdiness, ease of installation, ease of use, and VESA compliance. Of the capabilities of the mounts themselves, 86 percent of respondents wanted the ability to tilt up/down, 69 percent wanted swivel or pivot movement, and 26 percent were looking for portrait/landscape image rotation. An articulating arm was either "extremely" or "very" important to 39 percent of the respondents, and the premium they were willing to pay for it averaged $138.


Technology Showcase: Flatpanel Mounts

Jul 13, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Once considered mere accessories, new mounts put flatpanels in their place.




When choosing a mounting system manufacturer, business users said competitive prices were the most important factor for choosing a mount by 95 percent. The majority of future business purchasers are likely to choose a wall mount (75 percent), with free-standing floor mounts next in popularity (11 percent) and ceiling mounts coming in at just 5 percent. One point of consensus among business users was that 92 percent of them want flatpanel mount manufacturers to clearly list which screens their mounts are compatible with.

So recognizing how uplifting a bit of support can be, here is a look at some of the most innovative flatpanel mounts on the market today.

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Bretford Manufacturing has introduced its FPBBUL series of flatpanel wide-body carts as part of its full commercial AV furniture line. Bretford's FPBBUL carts integrate the structural support for a flatpanel monitor of up to 85lbs. into the cart design by mounting it directly to the pole on the top shelf of the cart. The carts offer a simple method of transporting a flatpanel monitor with a DVD player, loudspeakers, or other AV equipment from one location to another. Bretford is also extending the usable life of its current AV furniture with the new BB Wide-Body Cart Retrofit Kits and 2642NSKIT AV Cart Retrofit Kit. The new retrofit kits update Bretford's technology furniture carts to mirror those new to the market today.

Now under the corporate aegis of Milestone AV Technologies, Chief Manufacturing offers a broad range of professional flatpanel mounts. Its Fusion flatpanel micro-adjustable tilt wall mount for 37in. to 63in. displays benefits from ControlZone leveling for post-installation fine-tuning of the screen's position. The mounts also offer the Centris tilt feature, which uses the center of gravity to balance the screen while maintaining a low profile. In addition, Chief's Centerless Shift capability provides up to 17.5in. of post-installation lateral shift, 8.75in. left or right of the uprights, for limitless centering. For ultrathin TVs, Chief's new Thinstall series boasts a fixed mount that collapses to less than 0.4in., and the tilt mount collapses to 0.75in. while offering 12 degrees of fingertip tilt.

Just this month, CLO Systems will begin selling its compact S1 robotic mount, which is designed to be virtually invisible behind a 37in. to 50in. TV by residing only 1.6in. from the wall. The S1 can be mounted to swivel either left or right in a variable 180-degree range, eliminating glare, reflection, and off-axis viewing problems. A universal mounting attachment kit is provided to facilitate easy coupling with the flatpanel display.

CLO Systems also has the T2, a motorized tilt mount that automatically tilts the flatpanel display down when the set's power is turned on and retracts it back to an upright position when the display is turned off. The T2 fits most 40in. to 60in. sets up to 150lbs., and when retracted, it sits 3.3in. from the wall. With two presets that can be controlled by either an IR remote or optical cable, the T2 mount can tilt a display down as much as 13 degrees.


Technology Showcase: Flatpanel Mounts

Jul 13, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Once considered mere accessories, new mounts put flatpanels in their place.




Equipped with an articulating arm, the PWM-AR1 mount from Da-Lite Screen Company can extend a flatpanel monitor up to 29in. from the wall. The PWM-AR1 is designed with a unique rail-mounting system, and it holds up to 130lbs. and features 20 degrees of tilt. The optional WB-100 recessed wall box allows the arm assembly of the PWM-AR1 to be hidden when not in use.

Da-Lite also is finding a lot of interest in its Mobile Automated Confidence Monitor for both corporations and houses of worship. The MPS-ACM includes a 6ft. power cord and an RF remote with a range of 30ft. that controls the screen's tilt. The MPS-ACM will work with most flatpanel monitors up to 130lbs., and the rail-mounting system ensures easy installation for the monitor with the added security of a key-operated lock.

Display Devices has teamed up with Vogel's Professional to distribute Vogel's mounting products in the United States. The EFWE 6455 RC LCD/plasma wall support glider comes with a small and stylish remote control that turns your TV screen 45 degrees left or right for the optimal viewing angle.

Draper WH ST 1150

Draper WH ST 1150

With its WH ST 1150, Draper is still the only flatpanel mount manufacturer using a column design that mounts to the wall. Adjustable over a 41in. range, Draper's WH ST 1150 enables the display to be rotated ±20 degrees. With the H Universal Bracket, it can be tilted 15 degrees. It also comes with optional shelves for a VCR, DVD player, amplifier, and related equipment. Draper's WH 3D model is an articulating swivel wall mount that extends a display up to 28in. into the room or collapses to within 5in. of the wall's surface. The display can be tilted 10 degrees and rotated up to 90 degrees side to side, depending on display size. It includes one H2 Universal Bracket designed to fit nearly any plasma display up to 50in. diagonal and 110lbs.

Elexa Level Mount DC65MCL

Elexa Level Mount DC65MCL

Coming out this month, Elexa's new DC65MCL motorized cantilever mount fits 34in. to 65in. LCD/plasma TVs up to 200lbs. Completely remote-controlled, the DC65MCL lets you adjust the screen to pan up to 30 degrees, extend up to 22in., and tilt up to 15 degrees with an RF remote that is not limited to line-of-sight operation. Elexa's Level Mount feature also offers a solution to hiding unsightly cords and wires without drilling holes into your walls, and the unit comes equipped with a built-in bubble level. Also from Elexa is the LMDSK30DJ, a unique design that can be mounted either on a desktop or on the wall and hold a monitor/TV up to 60lbs. or 30in. in size. With the LMDSK30DJ, the screen can tilt 15 degrees, pan up to 180 degrees, and extend 10.5in.


Technology Showcase: Flatpanel Mounts

Jul 13, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Once considered mere accessories, new mounts put flatpanels in their place.




New from Ergotron is the Neo-Flex Mobile MediaCenter cart, which lets you rotate your display to portrait or landscape orientation. Its narrow footprint allows presenters to move closer to the display, and the Neo-Flex Mobile MediaCenter easily tucks into corners or nests with other carts for space-saving storage. Built with the same features as Ergotron's award-winning LX Large Display Cart, the Mobile MediaCenter's modular cable channel system is adaptable for various wiring configurations, and CPUs attach safely to the rear of cart with an optional Universal CPU Holder accessory.

H. Wilson's new Universal Tilt flatpanel display mounts all include the company's WFST mount, which incorporates a glide bracket that hooks onto the wall plate to secure 32in. to 60in. flatpanel screens. Its WPSMS51 mobile flatpanel stand features four 4in. lockable casters, a shelf for a DVD player, and integrated wire management. H. Wilson's heavy-duty flatpanel carts are designed for mobility with an LCD or plasma screen mounted securely on top, and they can be fitted with optional custom rack components. Each cart also includes a WFST mount and a wire-handling grommet accommodation in the top shelf.

Luxor is known for developing the world's first large plastic table for TV applications back in 1986. Now, its LEW28UD cart features a universal plasma/LCD mount that holds screens up to 50in. All of the LEW28UD cart's 48in.-wide-by-24in.-deep shelves are reinforced with two aluminum bars for added strength. Luxor's larger LEW442CUD cart, also designed for up to 50in. screens, includes two locking steel cabinets with two sliding doors.

Premier Mounts has developed a unique flat HDMI cable and right-angle HDMI adapters that fit between the flatpanel display and the wall. Two of these ultrathin HDMI right-angle adapters come with Premier's new WTFM3765 low-profile mount that started shipping in May. Premier claims its WTFM3765 allows flatpanel TVs to hang on the wall 0.37in. from the surface. At InfoComm 09, Premier Mounts unveiled a new line of reduced-depth flatpanel mounts, including the P2642F for flatpanel displays from 26in. to 42in. and the P5080F for screens from 50in. to 80in. These new models have installer-friendly features such as a post-mounting leveling system, universal spacers, an extensive universal hardware pack, and an open back-plate architecture design for cable and power installations. They also boast bracket safety screws to prevent accidental removal of a costly flatpanel display from its wall plate.

The WMK3260-L is a tilt wall-mount kit from NEC that works with its current plasma and LCD displays as well as its new MultiSync X Series. NEC also offers the DSK3260, a turnkey digital signage package that includes all of the necessary components to complement NEC LCD and plasma displays ranging from 32in. to 60in. in size. The latest mounts from NEC, released just last month, include the WM-46UN, a 2x2 wall-mount kit for NEC's new MultiSync X461UN ultranarrow display. The WM-46UN-L (landscape) and WM-46UN-P (portrait) mounts for the X461UN are designed primarily for tiled mounting. These can be configured in videowall matrices of up to 10x10.

The Power55 was designed as an expansion of OmniMount's current product line to accommodate most 37in. to 55in. flatpanels up to 110lbs. The Power55 tilts up to 15 degrees for glare reduction and pans 20 degrees left and right to allow viewing from more than one room. It sits a mere 2.9in. from the wall when resting in the home position. Remote-controllable via IR (two memory) and RS-232 (three memory) programmable positions, the Power55 is constructed with open architecture for easy access to in-wall wiring, an installation template and level, and OmniMount's exclusive Lift n' Lock design for easy installation. In addition, OmniMount's smaller Power40 is a medium-sized remote-controlled cantilever mount that fits most flatpanels with screen sizes from 23in. to 40in. and weighing up to 66lbs. OmniMount's Power40 sits just 2.7in. from the wall when in the fixed position.


Technology Showcase: Flatpanel Mounts

Jul 13, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Once considered mere accessories, new mounts put flatpanels in their place.




Peerless Mounts SUA650PU

Peerless Mounts SUA650PU

At InfoComm 09, Peerless Industries unveiled its redesigned SmartMount universal aluminum pivot and articulating wall arm mounts for flatpanels from 10in. to 71in. The trimmed, curvilinear styling of each mount and wall plate enables the Peerless systems to hold the flatpanel closer to the wall than before. Peerless also showed off the latest incarnation of its Slimline universal mounts for ultrathin flatpanel TVs. Peerless claims to have the absolute thinnest flat wall mount and tilt wall mount, and the industry's first and only ultrathin articulating-arm wall mounts.

Sanus Systems' LL11-B1 is an ultrathin mount (Sanus calls it SuperSlim) designed with ultrathin flatpanel displays in mind. Using this mount, the screen sits less than 0.6in. from the wall. The Sanus VisionMount XF228 mount includes a cable management feature called FollowThru that allows the cables to be routed entirely through the mounting arms, even at the elbow joint. In addition, the VisionMount LF228 for large flatpanel TVs features Sanus' ProSet height and level adjustments for ensuring the TV is perfectly positioned after installation. Other features include Virtual Axis tilting technology for effortless viewing angle adjustment without the use of tools, and an open wall-plate design that provides generous space for cable management behind a mounted TV.

The brand-new WR-30 from Securmount is a universal articulating wall mount for displays from 37in. to 60in. in size. With four single-gang box knock out patterns on upper and lower cap plates, the WR-30 recesses into the wall, mounting between three wall studs, and collapses flush to the wall surface when retracted. The dual-arm articulating motion of the WR-30 includes tilt and swing plus easy tab horizontal adjustment. For Internet-connected flatpanel displays, Securmount offers its CPU/Satellite Mount that hangs from the ceiling with the display panel on the front and a container for a CPU and power block on the back. That way the Securmount CPU/Satellite Mount can provide the display with Internet content without a long run of connecting wires.

Spectrum Industries Flat Screen Carts

Spectrum Industries Flat Screen Carts

Spectrum Industries' Flat Screen Cart is engineered for stability with a solid 3/8in.-thick steel base and optional 5in. balloon wheels. The rear door is huge with more than enough rack space—up to 14RU—inside the cart for audiovisual needs. The two-point locks incorporated in the front and back doors are custom-made for Spectrum. The panel on the audience side and the small panels near the handles are made from perforated metal, so if an integrator wants to install loudspeakers in that area, they will perform without obstruction. Spectrum's Flat Screen Cart is easy to move wherever it is needed, and it blends in well with its surroundings.

Video Furniture International PMS-FL-XL-D

Video Furniture International PMS-FL-XL-D

Right after InfoComm 09, Video Furniture International (VFI) released its new PMS-FL-XL-D mount that supports most 50in. dual-screen configurations or up to a single 70in. LCD or plasma monitor. VFI has also introduced a line of moveable mounts for plasma and LCD flatpanel monitors. The PMS-FL-B mount for single monitors is a self-supporting, wheeled stand with an adjustable six-position shelf that can accommodate DVD players, cable or satellite receivers, videoconference codecs, or an audio amplifier. The PMS-FL-B mount accommodates most 32in. to 50in. monitors. VFI's unique easy-release vertical brackets make attaching the monitors quick and easy.

A hit at InfoComm 09 for Video Mount Products was its new LCD-MID-C universal midsize flatpanel ceiling mount with tilt capabilities. Capable of holding 27in. to 42in. flatpanel displays, the LCD-MID-C has a mast that telescopes 23in. to 35in. from the ceiling and can rotate a full 360 degrees. Video Mount Products also announced that its new LCD-MID-FT universal midsize flatpanel flush wall mount is now shipping. The LCD-MID-FT was designed for a shallow 2.4in wall-to-monitor profile for installations with space constraints or where the customer wants the flatpanel to be as close to the wall as possible.


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