Choosing a Mount for Your HDTV

By Danny Briere, Pat Hurley

Part of HDTV For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Like any construction project, it pays to plan and design well upfront. Mounting your HDTV gives you more options about how you might use it; likewise, how you might use the television can dictate the mount you buy and install. You run into three basic types of mounts:

  • Flat panel: Designed for plasma and LCD displays predominantly, you find versions for ceiling, wall, and pole mounts (for floor-based mounting). Flat-panel mounts can be static, pitch, and swing mounts. Static mounts don’t move. Pitch mounts pivot the display up and down. Swing mounts articulate up and down, and side-to-side.

  • Projector: Designed for projectors, these mounts are generally universal-style mounts that accept a lot of different projector models. This base mount unit is then complemented with other accessories for attachment to a ceiling, wall, pole, or other mount. If you have a drop ceiling, for instance, you would attach the projector mount to a variable-length pole that allows you to make your mount installation flush with the ceiling tiles.

  • Automated: Designed for applications where you want to hide your gear when not in use, automated mounts lift or drop your HDTV into the ceiling, floor, or cabinet. Click a button, and voilá, your TV is back. Automated swing mounts can, with the press of a button, swing your TV into a preprogrammed position.

You can install many mounts yourself. However, if you’re thinking about an automated mounting solution, plan to hire someone. A whole different level of expertise is typically required to manage the environmental, electrical, and other design elements of a successful implementation. If you mess up this one, you could end up dropping an expensive TV (ouch) or burning the house down (double ouch!).