If you?re thinking about buying a plasma or LCD TV, or if you already own one, it?s important to consider your mounting accessories as a critical component of your home entertainment system.

The Right Wall Mount Is Critical to Your LCD or Plasma Viewing Experience

The Right Wall Mount Is Critical to Your LCD or Plasma Viewing Experience
By Christopher Giancola

If you're thinking about buying a plasma or LCD TV, or if you already own one, it's important to consider your mounting accessories as a critical component of your home entertainment system.


As home entertainment enthusiasts, we often do more than our fair share of research before purchasing our audio and video components, but we tend to neglect our accessories. This is especially true for accessories that are somewhat new to the marketplace, such as wall mounting solutions for LCD and plasma TVs. But after spending thousands of dollars on a flat-panel monitor, buying a bargain-basement mounting accessory is definitely not a smart strategy.

As flat-panel TVs continue to drop in price, more home entertainment consumers are purchasing LCD and plasma monitors instead of traditional tube or projection TVs. While having a brand spankin' new 60-inch plasma TV is very exciting, indeed, our viewing experience can be even more exciting if we use the right mounting solution - a mounting solution that complements our lifestyle.

Have you thought about your mounting options for your flat-panel TV? Well, there certainly are a few of them, including floor stands, tabletop stands and wall mounts. And while all of these are excellent solutions with unique benefits, far more consumer excitement has been generated around the wall-mount category. As consumers, we're simply in love with the concept of mounting a slick, flat-panel TV on a wall, like we're hanging a Picasso painting. After all, it is a very intriguing concept - especially when one compares it to a monstrous projection TV that can easily overpower an entire room. Even today's sleekest, big-screen digital TVs simply can't stir up the same emotions as a great looking, wall-mounted LCD or plasma monitor.

So, with more consumers expressing interest in mounting their flat-panel TVs on the wall, in contrast to supporting them with tabletop or floor stands, accessory manufacturers are keeping up with the demand by developing a wide range of wall-mount solutions that you can find at pretty much any major consumer electronics retailer. One manufacturer, in particular, has been leading the pack when it comes to designing flat-panel wall mounts that complement consumer lifestyles, while still optimizing the home entertainment experience. That manufacturer is Vogel's.

Meeting Consumer Needs

As the European leader in the product category, the Dutch company, Vogel's, designs and manufactures placement and mounting solutions for a variety of audio/video products, including plasma, LCD and TV monitors. By combining decades of research and development with extensive market research, in both the consumer and professional marketplace, the company has been able to create a comprehensive line-up of sleek, space-saving, easy-to-install solutions that meet the needs of sophisticated home entertainment enthusiasts.

Design & Flexibility

Based on Vogel's credentials for engineering high-quality, award-winning products, the Evolution series for 2004 was developed with four goals in mind: functionality, safety, design and innovation. Those goals were definitely achieved.

The new wall mounts allow you to easily mount your flat-panel TV in any interior environment - from living room to kitchen, to bedroom or home theater. These wall mounts are universal and have been engineered for ultimate flexibility, allowing for compatibility with virtually every LCD and plasma monitor on the market. Designed to set the trends not keep up with them, Evolution wall mounts employ gas shocks for a smooth, infinitely variable tilt adjustment. They also offer the optimum in rotation functionality, so you can see the screen from any angle.

For further design customization, you can personalize the look of the new flat-screen mount with design-strips, made to match your interior. The design-strips are available in various contemporary colors and patterns, and are capable of complementing a variety of individual design preferences.

Slick Technology

Since Vogel's has always been dedicated to painstaking research, the company continues to come up with innovative, patented technologies that benefit the consumer:

  • A modular design means virtually unlimited mounting possibilities for all of your audio/video components.
  • The flat-panel TV wall mounts incorporate patent-pending gas shocks for a smooth, infinitely variable tilt adjustment.
  • The wall mounting systems are setting the standard for optimum rotation and tilt function.
  • A patented autolock system for the flat-panel mounts automatically locks the screen in a fixed position to prevent theft.
  • The patented Cable Inlay System (CIS) conceals unsightly and annoying wires and cables.

Strength & Quality

Vogel's products are built to exact specifications from the most durable materials available, including aircraft-grade, solid steel and aluminum alloy frames - all with scratch-protection. Strict quality control and safety testing has established an industry-leading five-year guarantee. For example, while an Evolution mounting system for up to 65-inch screens can handle a maximum of 154 pounds, in reality, it is capable of supporting up to five times its designated load. In other words, you'll never have to worry about your very large and expensive plasma TV falling off the living room wall and crashing to the ground, while you're laying on the couch watching a movie on DVD.

Plasma & LCD Wall Mounts

When you're considering which flat-panel wall mount to buy, the size and weight of your monitor should be among your first considerations. For example, the EFW 1030 by Vogel's can accommodate a 10" - 24" LCD monitor that weighs up to 33 pounds. It's extremely versatile, offering three pivot points and a variable tilt function ( 10), so you can fine-tune your desired viewing angle to perfection. It features a compact, space-saving design. It also comes with the latest in design strips so you can personalize your wall mount to match the décor of your room.

There are excellent wall mounts on the market that are capable of supporting flat-panel TV monitors up to 65 inches in size, such as the EFW 2010. Highlights include an extremely flexible, variable tilt function ( 15) and two pivot points. When you wall-mount a monitor that big, it simply doesn't make sense to have more than two pivot points. However, if you would prefer a wall mount design that's a bit simpler, there are certainly models out there that offer a single pivot point. Some wall mounting products don't offer any pivot points at all. It all depends on your preference. In terms of meeting the needs of flat-panel TV consumers, accessory manufacturers are finally covering all the bases and then some.

LCD in the Kitchen

While many consumers are using an LCD monitor in their home theater, LCDs are also entertaining people in other parts of the home, such as the kitchen. The EFK 1325 is the newest flat-screen mount by Vogel's and it is designed for under-cabinet LCD applications, which are becoming increasingly common in the kitchen. This new space-saving solution offers a really convenient flip-up feature, allowing you to flip an LCD screen up and under the cabinet, completely out of the way. The under-cabinet feature allows for extra counter space and spares the screen from your unavoidable daily kitchen splatters and messes. So you can easily view the LCD from any angle, the EFK 1325 utilizes a very convenient "turn and tilt" feature. One of the other really nice benefits of this product is that it locks in the "up and under the cabinet" position. Then, with the push of a button, it unlocks and is available for viewing in the down position. Unfortunately, you'll find that many other LCD mounts "relax" after continued use. They'll actually fold down by themselves due to the weight of the LCD. The EFK 1325 accommodates LCD screens up to 15 inches with a maximum weight of 11 pounds.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you're thinking about buying a plasma or LCD TV, or if you already own one, it's important to consider your mounting accessories as a critical component of your home entertainment system. This is accurate whether you're preference is a floor or tabletop stand, or wall-mount system. Even though flat-panel mounting is the primary purpose of these accessories, they're more specifically designed to optimize your home entertainment experience. This is especially true when it comes to your viewing angle. I don't know about you, but I love the concept of being able to tilt and turn the TV in as many positions as today's mounting technology will allow.

But I also expect my flat-panel TV to be safe. Of course, this is an especially crucial issue when it comes to wall-mounting your plasma or LCD monitor. This is when your flat-panel TV is most vulnerable, so strength and quality are paramount.

When it comes right down to it, a flat-panel mounting system is no different than any other consumer product. We all want something that's high quality, looks great, is available at a fair price, and reflects our lifestyle. If you want a flat-panel mounting solution that fulfills those requirements, it's comforting to know that you can find one.

Vogel's Profile:
Vogel's Products BV designs, manufactures and markets placement and mounting solutions for plasma, LCD and TV screens, audio and video equipment, loudspeakers, and small electric household appliances. A Dutch company founded in 1973 in Eindhoven, Vogel's has become the European leader in its field and is active in both the consumer and professional market. Founded on unwavering research and development, and combined with extensive market research, Vogel's continues to provide innovative solutions to satisfy the ever-changing needs of its customers. Vogel's USA management and warehousing is based in Chicago, IL. For more information about Vogel's USA, please visit www.vogelsusa.com .

Christopher Giancola chrisgcola@aol.com is a writer based out of Brooklyn, NY, with over 15 years experience covering the consumer electronics business. The former Editor of Mobile Sound magazine, he's been on staff with and written for the industry's top publications, including TWICE (This Week in Consumer Electronics), Audio Video International, the former Stereo Review (now Sound & Vision), Mobile Entertainment and Car Audio & Electronics.


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