Mounting a Flat Panel LCD or a Plasma

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Solution 1 - Can I Do This?

Anyone with an understanding of how to operate a drill, measure accurately, use a balance to level off and follow instructions can install a flat panel TV. But, it isn't as easy as it seems. It does take work, precision and muscle. It is at least a two-person job, and will take more than fifteen minutes. The important thing is to remain patient, and plan out the process before drilling any holes.

One thing to try is to hang a poster or picture on the space you will mount the television. Give it a test run for a couple of days, or at least a few hours to see if you like the location.

Solution 2 - Mounting The Television

Where you mount the flat panel TV is subjective. I recommend deciding the best wall by thinking of the TV as a large picture frame. What wall would be the best choice for you? For me, it would have to be a wall at least twice the width of the television because I would want to have room to hang speakers or art to augment my centerpiece.

How you mount the television is also very important. I recommend mounting the television consistent to the height at which you will watch from. Two schools of thought: If you watch TV while sitting on the couch, then the flat panel should be mounted at eye level to the center of the screen from your height sitting straight on the couch. However, this could make the TV seem low when standing next to it so if you were to adjust the television in direction vertically, then adjust up so the bottom of the screen is eye level while sitting and the top is eye level when standing.

Solution 3 - Running Cables

Most people will choose to run cables through the wall, which is an excellent choice. Others might not want to start cutting holes in their walls. Instead, they would have a bunch of wires running up the wall, which is an unacceptable situation for anyone wanting a well-designed entertainment space. While running cables through the wall is a great visual advantage, it is a disadvantage because you will have to run a new cable up the wall every time you add a new device to the television. So, how do we hide wires running up a wall?

We can either place an obstacle under the television, which would look odd, or we can cheat the eye with camouflage. I have a friend who had this very problem, and his solution was to create a molding that would be used as a cover for his cables. He painted the molding the same color of his wall, and when placed over the cables it looks like part of the wall. Granted, it's raised about 2-3 inches off the wall, but it looks very natural. As far as supplies, small strips of wood (a 1x2 for the sides and 1x4 for the face) cut to the length of the TV to the floor should be enough to make such a piece.

Solution 4 - Selecting the Right Mounting Brackets

All flat panel televisions and mounting brackets should be VESA compliant. This is a standard rule of measurement for wall mount kits. I recommend a wall mount that swivels, tilts or does both. I do not recommend fixed brackets because they are more difficult to manage the back of the television. This is important because not all flat panel sets have convenient inputs, and not all people have little hands

A tilting bracket is nice because it allows a person to change the vertical viewing angle of the television dependent on the position of the viewer. A swiveling bracket allows the user to change the horizontal viewing angle of the television. The choice is up to the individual, but I stress that you find the one that allows for vertical and/or horizontal movement.

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