Technology Showcase: Flatpanel Wall MountsThe latest in function, control, and ease of use. 11/01/2007 8:00 AM Eastern
Technology Showcase: Flatpanel Wall Mounts
Nov 1, 2007 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney
The latest in function, control, and ease of use.
The good old CRT TV was as bulky as Humpty Dumpty, and like that famous wall-sitter, it usually required a perch firmly rooted on the ground. Today's slim flatpanel displays are more suited to being elevated for easier viewing, and as a result, wall mounts for either LCD or plasma screens are evolving into more than just a practical accessory to an AV installation in the home or corporate setting. They are becoming a fashion statement.
As they grow in popularity, wall mounts are becoming more user friendly. Installation procedures are being adapted to permit supporting the mounting system either between existing wall studs or sometimes on a single stud. To fit into a sophisticated décor, the brackets are often designed to sit as flush to the wall as possible, or sometimes, recessed directly into the wall. The arms that actually hold the plasma or LCD display are usually either telescoping or articulated, and they are often equipped with swivel or tilt capabilities to angle the screen for optimal viewing orientation and to avoid glare or unwanted reflections. Several mounts are even providing motorized positioning systems so they can be moved with a handheld remote control. Fortunately, these functions can also be taught to most universal remotes to minimize the proliferation of remote-control clutter, or they can be integrated into a Creston or AMX touchpanel control system.
ISSUES AND CONCERNS
Another area of concern that is being addressed is wiring management, which, with the advent of relatively thick HDMI cables for high-definition screens and the need to feed AV signals to surround-sound receivers and other home theater control centers, can get to be quite complicated. A major trend in wall-mounting systems is to hide the wires within the mount's structure or arms, which gives the installation a cleaner look, prevents tangling, and keeps wires out of the reach of curious hands.
For safety, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has several standards for wall- or ceiling-mounted flatpanel displays, with standard #6500 being the most used in recent years for hanging video display products. Generally speaking, the UL requirement for flatpanel wall mounts is four times the weight of the set to be suspended, if nothing else is to be positioned on the wall mount.
Another rule that ought to be considered is part of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 1991, ADA has had construction guidelines or “Standards For Accessible Design,” which are intended to protect persons who are blind or suffer from low vision from running into objects that stick out into a circulation path. It prohibits objects that protrude more than 4in. into a circulation path at any point from 27in. above the finish floor to 80in. above the finish floor. The idea is that anyone using a cane or an assistance animal may detect objects that protrude into the circulation path from floor level to 27in. above the floor, and then they can navigate around the object blocking their way. Anything protruding into the circulation path more than 80in. above the floor does not typically present a danger to someone navigating through that space.
If you want to sell a wall mount for a flatpanel display or other monitoring devices to a hospital in earthquake-prone California, you will also have to comply with specifications set by California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). Established after the Sylmar earthquake of 1973, OSHPD has instigated the Anchorage Pre-Approval Program that reviews and pre-approves the way mounting equipment has to attach to the wall if it is going to be used in California health facility construction. This can get very complicated, and it has to do with the weight that is to be suspended, the floor on which it is to be installed, and the part of California where the mount is intended to be installed.
Despite that complexity, an increasing number of flatpanel wall mounts have applied for OSHPD approval and certification, which is calculated on a worst-case scenario. But a significant part of the OSHPD certification comes from the Uniform Building Code, which was originally stipulated by the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), which is now the International Code Council (ICC). However, starting in 2008, OSHPD will be changing its certification criteria so all the current OSHPD-certified mounts will have to eventually go through re-certification. OSHPD has not yet determined how soon the new criteria will have to be complied with by flatpanel wall-mount manufacturers.
To attach the flatscreen display, the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has specified a “Flat Display Mounting Interface” for LCD sets. VESA standards state that the mounting holes must be in one of several specific patterns on the back of a flatpanel's enclosure. That way, VESA-compliant mounts can have the exact hole patterns of the LCD display's cabinet already built into them. Common VESA screen standards are 75mm×75mm, 100mm×100mm, 200mm×100mm, and 200mm×200mm, and they can be found on most LCD screens less than 42in. in diagonal screen size.
Plasma set manufacturers have historically chosen their own mounting screw patterns — apparently because that technology was the first to reach screen sizes and weights that required extra strong mounts. For them, wall-mount companies provide universal mounting plates, which are sometimes also used for LCD screens larger than 42in. Usually further out toward the sides of the screens, these hole patterns are wider than the VESA hole patterns mentioned above. An adjustable rail system on universal adapter plates allows the rails to slide from side to side to line up with the screens mounting holes. As a result, universal mounts can fit the vast majority of all screen hole patterns, including both VESA and non-VESA patterns.
Technology Showcase: Flatpanel Wall Mounts
Nov 1, 2007 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney
The latest in function, control, and ease of use.
Here is a look at some of the more interesting introductions of wall-mounting systems for LCD or plasma displays.
Bretford Manufacturing's Single Monitor Mount Universal Mounting Assembly for most 50in. to 61in. diagonal flatpanel displays up to 170lbs. is less than a year old. OSHPD approved, Bretford's Universal Arm Mount can sit on an aluminum pole for extra security, and it lets the display revolve in portrait or landscape format with 0-degree-to-15-degree pitch adjustment in landscape view. Bretford's Dual Monitor Mount Universal Mounting Assembly is designed for most 50in. diagonal displays up to 80lbs. each. Both feature easy-to-use cable management. Bretford also offers its line of flatpanel articulating wall mounts for displays up to 25lbs. that can swivel a full 360 degress.
Chief/Sanus Audio Visual (CSAV) has more than 29 years of experience in the pro AV industry. At CEDIA this year, Chief Manufacturing introduced its next evolution of in-wall swing-arm mounts for 26in. to 63in. flatpanels. At less than 8in. wide, Chief's new MIWV, MIWU, and PIWU flatpanel swing-arm wall mounts are fully integrated in-wall mount systems designed for perfect on-wall positioning during installation — without the need to disturb walls by cutting into studs or installing headers.
Providing less than 2in. depth from the wall when retracted and using channeled cable management, Chief's new mounts offer fingertip tilt (the mount can be tilted down 15 degrees) and smooth adjustment. The in-wall arms also feature lateral shift and height adjustment for increased mounting flexibility, and the PIWU model provides up to 15in. of extension and 40 degrees of swivel for optimal viewing.
Concentrating more on retail wall mounts within CSAV, Sanus Systems has announced the VisionMount LT25 tilting wall mount for large flatpanels. New post-installation features of the LT25 include height adjustment for screen positioning and roll control for screen leveling. With the new Quick Latch feature, the flatpanel locks quickly and easily to the wall plate without bolts or tools. The mount also has two props that hold the bottom of the screen away from the wall for easy access to cables during and after installation. Also from Sanus comes the VisionMount LA112 automated wall mount that provides convenient adjusting of the flatpanel'sviewing angle with a remote control. The LA112's advanced motorized features include 20-degree down tilt, 7-degree up tilt, 28-degree side-to-side swivel, and up to 12in. of extension.
CSAV also distributes the CLO Systems line of motorized wall mounts. The company's X-Arm is a fully functional motorized wall mount that can extend, swivel, and tilt large 63in. flatpanels weighing up to 180lbs. using an infrared remote control. X-Arm can retract the panel so that it is only 4.6in. from the wall and extend the panel about 12in. from the wall. Once extended, X-Arm can swivel a 40in. panel left and right 28 degrees each way (total of 56 degrees), and tilt it up 7 degrees and down 20 degrees (total of 27 degrees).
CLO Systems' T-Arm mount is designed to handle flatpanel displays up to 65in. and weighing 180lbs. From an upright position, T-Arm can tilt a panel down to 20 degrees. It even has an autosensing mode that detects when the panel is turned on and tilts it down automatically to a preset position. Then mount automatically retracts the flatpanel when it is turned off. This can be especially useful when the T-Arm is mounted over a fireplace.
The Motorized Rotating Wall Mount (MRWM) from Display Devices provides motorized rotation between landscape and portrait modes for flatpanel displays up to 50in., and its thin design keeps the screen close to the wall. It even has a continuous-rotating option with positional feedback for content management. Cables in the MRWM pass through the central hub for easy management. Display Devices also has the Motorized Rotating Ceiling Mount (MRCM), which is available in two configurations: two positions or continuous rotation available for both flatpanel displays and projectors. The two-position version is especially useful in situations where two different viewing positions are required.
Draper has recently reconfigured the way it presents its wall-mount product line: describing them by weight and size, instead of dividing them between LCD and plasma screen mounts. Among Draper's flatscreen mounts for medium-weight displays is its WM T2. Designed for 37in. screens, the WM T2 has an extremely low profile, protruding only 1 1/2in. away from the wall, but still providing a 15-degree forward tilt.
The WM T2 mounts to two wall studs or supports at 16in. on center and a universal bracket built-in, so it doesn't require an additional bracket. For heavier and larger screens, Draper offers the WFH ST 2000 column mount that attaches to the wall and floor, with its cables hidden inside the column. On the WFH ST 2000, the flatpanel screen can be tilted up to 10 degrees or rotated side to side up to 20 degrees. The display can be raised or lowered over the length of the column, and the column length allows for multiple displays and shelves. Draper's WH 3D is an articulating swivel wall mount that extends the display up to 28in. from the wall or collapses to within 5in. of the wall.
The wall mounts from Ergotron benefit from Ergotron's patented constant force (CF) technology. The technology uses a counter-balance concept instead of conventional gas-spring technology to allow the user to position the flatpanel display with very little force. Ergotron's Neo-Flex HD wall mount comes in either a swing-arm or pivot configuration, each capable of holding displays up to 50lbs. The Neo-Flex HD Swing Arm model can extend the screen up to 13in. from the wall, and the Pivot model lets the user position the screen in either landscape or portrait orientation.
For larger flatpanels, the Ergotron TM tilting wall mount fits most 32in. to 61in. displays weighing up to 175lbs., and thanks to CF motion technology, it lets you tilt the screen with just your fingertips, because a CF mount's capacity can be modified by the simple twist of a screw.
The FSWADS2T from Lucasey Manufacturing is a wall mount for monitors up to 50in. using an FSUL adapter plate (sold separately). Dual articulating arms allow monitors to be extended to up to 15in. out from the wall and pivoted from left to right. The FSWADS2T can also be used for flush mounting a monitor into a recessed alcove, and it features an adjustable tilt up to 20 degress.
Lucasey is also offering its LCAPDVD2 mounting accessory that can be used to hang a DVD player below its LC100 or LC200 wall or ceiling mounts. The LCAPDVD2 has an adjustable hole pattern, which allow for the best placement of the DVD player below the flatscreen. Arms clamp the DVD player in place and security screws prevent easy removal.
OmniMount has a new large motorized cantilever mount, the Motion52, that is remote controllable via IP, IR, and RS-232, with two programmable memory positions. Designed for 37in. to 52in. flatpanel displays, the Motion52 can support up to 95lbs., tilt 15 degrees upwards, and pan ±20 degrees from a mounting profile of 2.9in. It has universal rails for compatibility with all flatpanel brands, and it boasts a safety mechanism that stops motion when its movement is obstructed.
Also from OmniMount comes the LPHDX-T extra-large, ultra-low-profile tilt mount that supports 50in. to 75in. flatpanels and sits only 1.5in. from the wall. The LPHDX-T can tilt 15 degrees up and support up to 300lbs. thanks to its triple stud mounting. It's designed with a built-in kickstand, so access to wiring requires only one person and no vertical lifting.
From its beginning during World War II, Peerless Industries has developed into one of the leaders of AV mounting system manufacturers, and it came out with the first flatpanel mount with an articulating arm in 1999. At CEDIA 2007, Peerless Industries debuted 12 new SmartMount video wall mounts for flatpanel displays — all with articulating arms.
The Peerless SA750PU offers a double-stud, single-arm design that features the new SmartMount 700 Series arms for screen sizes from 32in. to 50 inches. The SA750PU boasts a full 1in. clearance per channel for clean and simple cable management, color-coded electrical, and AV component knock-outs. The Peerless SA760PU is a double-stud, double-arm design that allows up to 7.75in. of horizontal adjustment. The SA760PU is UL-listed to hold up to four times the stated load capacity for screens up to 63in. and weighing 200lbs.
The INW-AM325 in-wall box from Premier Mounts allows for recessed wall mounting of its AM250 and AM3 swingout arms, resulting in an almost zero-profile mounting position. It can hold displays from 37in. up to 61in. The IN-AM325 also benefits from a drop-in power/signal box for easy wiring.
Its smaller brother, the INW-AM200 in-wall box, with Premier's AM2 swing-out arm, is for screens smaller than 37in. Neither require modification of the wall mount to install, so the arm does not have to be disassembled when it is put in. A built-in raceway on the back corner lets you tuck away the cabling, even when blocked by wall studs. Both wall mounts come with a lifetime guarantee.
Video Mount Products recently introduced its PDM-W universal plasma articulating wall mount, a full-featured mount offering an articulating dual-arm technology that is capable of supporting 37in. to 63in. monitors weighing up to 180lbs. It sits 4in. from the wall when retracted, and it can extend to 24in.
Video Mount Products is also offering its LCD-2537 multiconfigurable universal large LCD monitor wall mount for 25in. to 37in. flatpanel displays. The LCD-2537 mount can be configured as a single-arm, a double-arm articulating, or as a near-flush wall mount, with the parts provided. It offers adjustable -5-degree to +30-degree tilt and near-limitless rotation, while also providing a clip-based cable management system to manage the cables cleanly along the mount arms and through the feed-through wall plate.
Last June, Visual Reality became the new distributor of the line of wall mounts from Vogel, a Dutch company founded in 1973 in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Just introduced at Berlin's IFA consumer show, Vogel's Glider is a motorized flatpanel wall mount that comes with a stylish small remote control that turns your screen 45 degrees left or right for the optimal viewing angle. Its auto-home function senses when the panel is switched off and will return the Glider to the wall automatically.
Vogel's model code EFWE 6455 in its Evolution series can hold 42in. to 60in. screens 3.73in. from the wall. It is slated for availability at the end of Q4 this year.
Vogel's EFW 6445 model is for screens from 42in. to 65in. weighing a maximum 121.55lbs, and it features Vogel's unique Screen Protection System (SPS) to protect both the screen and wall.
For More Information
Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Office of Statewide Health Planning
and Development (OSHPD)
Video Mount Products