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flat panel mount advice?


CarlSeibert
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Does anyone within the sound of my voice have experience with wall mounts for plasma flat panels?

There seems to be an incredible spread of prices for these things, literally from under $70 to over $700 for specs that would seem to meet my requirements.

I need to mount my 50" Panny GT-25 about 10" to a foot out from the wall in The Home Theater of the Absurd. The panel weighs about 85 pounds, according the the manual. This particular wall has studs on 24" centers. The panel will face straight out from the wall and will never move once mounted. I may swing it a little to reach a cable or something, but it's not a situation where the TV will be swiveled back and forth to be viewed from different rooms.

I see on Amazon several variations of this generic unit, for paltry prices.

http://www.amazon.com/Swivel-TV-Mount-Plasma-LCD-Black/dp/B002CTP6JM

It appears to be sold as the "Armor Mount" brand and by a bunch of no-brand-name vendors.

A Chief or a Peerless of the same stated capacity would run $500 to $800. (The Chief is actually way higher spec: it will extend 23" from the wall, which is twice the distance and - I think - four times the torsional load that I need.

Are the big bucks worth it, or are you buying functionality that I won't really need? I'd cheerfully pay $200 to $300 if I knew I was getting some useful value compared the the $62 generic. $800 seems completely nuts.

Oddly, the Amazon reviews of the cheapies are much more enthusiastic than the reviews for the higher, but still moderately priced units.

Edited by CarlSeibert
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41XPpjMLOPL.jpg?t=1311382169

Huh? huh?

The thing that got me about the one you link to, is that it shows many pics stating that it's 24 inches wide(I'm guessing that that's the end that will go against the wall) and if you have studs on 24" centers then you might not have a whole lot of places for screws to go into the studs. I dunno, just a thought.

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41XPpjMLOPL.jpg?t=1311382169

Huh? huh?

The thing that got me about the one you link to, is that it shows many pics stating that it's 24 inches wide(I'm guessing that that's the end that will go against the wall) and if you have studs on 24" centers then you might not have a whole lot of places for screws to go into the studs. I dunno, just a thought.

Heh, at work that's actually how we've load tested swing arm brackets in the past before putting the TV on it (back when they weighed a helluva lot more). Most of the mounts we use are pretty cheap (generic chinese ones :P), but make sure you know what you're actually getting. Some are rock solid and way more durable than you'd expect, while others are incredibly flimsy or hard to get the TV positioned and stay level, regardless of price. That's the big thing you'll run into with the crappy ones (again, no real bearing on price), is they'll sag when extended, or be difficult to adjust to how you want it.

24" stud spacing does make things pretty tight though, you'll pretty much have to have the mount centered over a stud bay, and depending on the bracket probably have to put the lag bolts in at an angle. If it's not already where you want the TV centered, you'll need to make sure you have enough movement on the bracket to compensate.

Edited by Fitz
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Most of the mounts we use are pretty cheap (generic chinese ones :P), but make sure you know what you're actually getting. Some are rock solid and way more durable than you'd expect, while others are incredibly flimsy or hard to get the TV positioned and stay level, regardless of price.

And therein lies the rub. How do you tell before the thing is lagged to the wall?

The center of the stud bay is about 4" from where the center of the panel needs to be. I should be able to offset it that much, yes?

I would hope when they says the mounting plate is 24" for 24" centers, they mean the centers of the last set of holes are 24" apart, not that the whole piece of metal is 24" overall. No engineer would be that dumb, right? (Somehow a chill runs up my spine when I look at that last sentence.)

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And therein lies the rub. How do you tell before the thing is lagged to the wall?

No easy way to tell other than looking through enough reviews, or any obvious flimsiness in the construction. We recently tried some tilting brackets from another supplier that looked perfectly fine, but when actually hung on the wall the TV would always drop to the most tilted-down position, no matter how tight the knobs were.

The center of the stud bay is about 4" from where the center of the panel needs to be. I should be able to offset it that much, yes?

On most brackets you should be able to shift the TV over that much using the swing arms and still have enough to pull it out the 10-12".

I would hope when they says the mounting plate is 24" for 24" centers, they mean the centers of the last set of holes are 24" apart, not that the whole piece of metal is 24" overall. No engineer would be that dumb, right? (Somehow a chill runs up my spine when I look at that last sentence.)

As long as it specifically says it can handle 24" on center stud spacing, it should be fine. There's a lot of brackets that are literally 24" wide which would require a bit of creativity to mount.

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Hmmm. I guess I'll bet on the collected wisdom of the Amazon reviews. It's only $81 shipped, so how far wrong can I go?

The people in the reviews seem pretty rational. I'll follow the advice of the guy who says to buy reasonable lags so they don't twist off (oh, how I hate that!) and see what happens. There's nothing to say I couldn't modify the nthing a wee bit if I need to either.

Thanks guys!

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK. The beast has been tied to the yardarm. It all went very smoothly. The TV is where it's supposed to be, can be moved when I want it to and stays put otherwise.

The mount is branded "Mount-It!" on the box. Looks perfectly peachy-keen (allowing, of course for my zero experience with these things). I can't imagine anything it could do or include that isn't there. So it seems a bargain.

I did buy new lag screws from the local hardware and I did soap them generously. Made sure I had the real centers of the studs and leveled in both directions, etc.

I did have a start when I located one of my holes exactly on top of a wallboard screw, but I hit it so perfectly I was able to pull it out through the slot on the mount.

I don't know if everybody who does this sort of thing does this as a matter of course, or if it was my contribution to mount-hanging culture, but I did stuff an Elusive Disk box in the works so the mount wouldn't retreat out of reach as we were hanging the panel on it.

I have no way of measuring how much the thing sagged when it was put under load, but it wasn't much and the vertical position is just about perfect. Less than an inch of sag, I'd guess.

Thank you one and all.

Edited by CarlSeibert
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I did buy new lag screws from the local hardware and I did soap them generously. Made sure I had the real centers of the studs and leveled in both directions, etc.

In 8+ years of doing this I've never once used soap on the lags when mounting a TV, but properly centering and levelling before mounting is something a lot of professional installers never get the hang of though, so hats off to that.

I don't know if everybody who does this sort of thing does this as a matter of course, or if it was my contribution to mount-hanging culture, but I did stuff an Elusive Disk box in the works so the mount wouldn't retreat out of reach as we were hanging the panel on it.

Not entirely sure I follow... do you mean you stuffed a box in there to keep the arm in a fixed, extended position? I always just tighten any adjustments before mounting to fix it in position, both to prevent it from moving, and so I can put it at an angle that makes hanging the TV much easier.

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Not entirely sure I follow... do you mean you stuffed a box in there to keep the arm in a fixed, extended position? I always just tighten any adjustments before mounting to fix it in position, both to prevent it from moving, and so I can put it at an angle that makes hanging the TV much easier.

Yes. The record box kept the arm extended about 13". I guess there is something lacking in this mount - no locks on the arms. They move with a pretty fair amount of friction and stay put where you leave them, but I don't see any grub screws to lock them. Tilt locks down - securely - with a knob and screw arrangement.

I've always tended to soap screws, mostly 'cause they go in so much easier. My battery powered drill will drive maybe a dozen deck screws un-soaped, or the whole box with soap.

Besides, cleanliness is next to .... something

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