By Benjamin Curto ~ June 22nd, 2009. Filed under: Theater, Video.
There are many ways to mount your screen to the wall once you’ve found the appropriate location, these can range from simple and cost effective to elegant and expensive.
Cheap.While I’m not sure I recommend the cheapest mount possible is two sections of uni-strut where one bolts into the wall the other side bolts to the back of the screen and they sit on top of each other. If you use the top two (of four) holes in the back of the screen you’ll naturally get a 5-8º downward tilt (typically desirable).
Flat. These are fairly typical, they have a plate that bolts to the wall that has a small lip protruding ~1/2”. Two arms bolt to the back of the screen that set down onto that lip and that’s it! These are simple but efficient and safe if you can hit at least (2) 2×4 studs (for screens over 50” I recommend bolting into at least three).
Tilting. Same as above except the arms include a tilting mechanism typically allowing 5-15º of tile up/down.
Articulating. These mounts have a two-piece arm that allows it to pull out from the wall, they typically have attach to a plate on the wall that is bolted in and a second plate at the end of the arms that the screen hangs on. Larger models for screens 42” and up should have two sets of arms to accommodate the weight. These can be pricey but don’t scrimp…. A cheaper unit won’t tighten down on the ‘joint’s leaving you with a screen that is always unlevel to one side or the other (depending on which way it’s turned on its own weight).
Flush. With proper planning you can mount your screen flush with the face of the wall. This is typically done only in 2×6 depth walls where the backside is a solid sheet of ¾” plywood and the depth of the wall is framed in as a box. The box should be large enough to hold the screen with at least 3” of space all around (to fit the screen onto the mount, for wire paths, and heat dissipation). The mount itself is just a cheap/flat/tilting one that is bolted into the plywood in multiple locations (read: dozens) to accommodate for the lack of depth. The power and source wires are usually brought up from below instead of behind.
Drop Down and Pop-Up. These are usually just a tilting mount that is pre-attached to a motorized metal bracket that is designed to (wait for it….) drop down or pop-up! The drop down models are more pricey at around $800-2,500, they’re also a lot trickier to install because they require a compatible ceiling joist configuration with enough height to hold the screen above the ceiling or a custom soffit the height of the screen. The pop-up models are more common as they can easily be incorporated into hope chests, crawlspaces, dressers, or entertainment stands. Both of these mounts require 120v service for the mount motor in addition to the screen
With all of these options you’ll need to have a licensed electrician run the power for you to behind the screen, levition makes a fantastic recessed box that makes it easy to hide all of your power and video wiring. The video wiring will need to run back to whatever you’d like to watch on the screen… If the distance is less than 9’ you can just run the patch cables through the wall down to the equipment, any longer than that it’s better to use baluns back to the equipment (another blog post).