How to Choose A Wall Mount for Your Computer Monitor or Flat Panel TV
With lots of factors to consider, different brands, models and types to check, choosing a wall mount for your computer monitor of TV can be a difficult decision to make. And it’s no secret that choosing the wrong mount can cause not just hours of frustration of trying to figure out how to set the whole thing up, but also risking your LCD monitor in a sub-standard support. Last thing you want is mount your precious computer monitor, LCD TV or Plasma TV on a cheap and low quality wall mount. So how do you choose the right wall mount for your computer monitor or flat panel TV? This entry from Dual Monitors Guide will break down all the things you need to know.
(image from Ergotron)
First off, let’s start with the three most common types of flat panel display wall mounts. They are the full-motion/articulating type, the tilting type and the low profile type. Let’s take a closer look at each type to help you find out which one to choose.
(image from Amazon)
Full-motion wall mounts, or also known as articulating wall mounts, gives you the freedom and luxury to pull your display from the wall and swivel, adjust and position it in any direction. They also let you tilt your display up and down, or push it back all the way to the wall.
Best Used For…
This type of wall mount is best used for displays in corner installations. They also work perfectly for mounting LCD displays in old cabinets made for deep CRT displays.
How They Work
This mount can be attached to the back of the cabinet, while the arm will bring the display to the front, making computer monitor or LCD TV look like a floating in the air. Full-motion mounts however, are slightly more difficult to install than other types.
Some types of dual arm full-motion mounts can be pulled all the way out for up to 30 inches or more, while cheaper single arm models can only move up to 10 inches. Large displays in corner installations should use articulating arms with up to 20 inches (or more) adjustment. Also, this type should be paired with longer cords. A minimum of 8 feet cord will do, but 12 feet can work in most situations. This mount will take up 4 feet of cable if you route it in such a way that the mount can move without pinching the cables.
VideoSecu Articulating Full Motion TV Wall Mount is an Articulating arm TV wall mount designed for mid to large sized LCD LED Plasma flat panel screen displays. It fits screens from 32″, 37″, 40″, 42″, 46″, 47″, 50″, 52″, 55″, 58″, 60″, 62″, 63″, and 65″ LCD LED Plasma display; Mounting hole pattern compatible from 200 x100 to 684x400mm. It supports display up to 165 lbs., and allows various adjustments such as tilt +/-15 degrees and swivel side-to-side for comfortable viewing angle.
(image from Amazon)
For computer monitors, one of the best options out there is the Ergotron LX Wall Mount LCD Arm, is a solid and compact LCD arm is designed to hold monitors as big as 27-inch diagonal screen. It gives users the flexibility to adjust and position their display anywhere they want, anytime. The arm is designed with one-touch adjustment system that allows easy adjustments and positioning, with cable management system to help keep your workspace clean and neat from power and monitor cables, and keeps your monitor secured and stable in place with Ergotron’s patented Constant Force technology system.
(image from Amazon)
If you want your computer monitor mounted close to the wall for better viewing experience, then you can opt for the Glide Wall Mount VHD. This wall mount effortlessly raises and lowers your display and tilt the screen up to 10° to avoid glare. It comes with a revolutionary design that delivers unprecedented height adjustability in an extremely low profile module. It allows you to move your display with only a light touch; down to watch from a seated position or up for viewing while standing.
This type of mount is great for cabinets, corners, recessed spots, and places where display needs to be pulled out and swivel. They can be tougher to install, require longer cords, and more expensive, but they can support large displays with more comfortable and ergonomic adjustments.
(image from Amazon)
Also known as ‘fixed wall mounts’ this type of mounting option lets you mount your display in a static position, and close to the wall. This gives your computer or TV a neat and uncluttered look.
Best Used For…
If you want your display to be as close to the wall as possible and you don’t think you need any tilting or swiveling adjustments, then this type is for you. Low-profile mount is the least expensive type among the three.
How They Work
Because this mount lets you put your display as close to the wall as possible, it gives a clean, unobstructed look.
However, in some cases, displays get too close to the wall that it makes plugging in cables hard, if not impossible to do. If inputs/output (I/O) options located at the back of your computer monitor or TV is facing the wall, then you need a 90° adapter and use some spacers to bring the display a little out from the wall and connect the cables. It will be good if your display’s I/O ports are located at the side, as it will be easier to connect cables. Sometimes however, the cables can push the bottom of the display out, making your monitor or TV tilt slightly upwards.
Monoprice Low Profile Wall Mount Bracket is a flat wall bracket designed for LCD, LED and Plasma TV with 30 inches to 63 inches size and up to a maximum weight of 165 lbs. It’s equipped with a slim wall plate that keeps your screen close to the wall for a very discreet installation, making it perfect for boardrooms digital signage or even home theaters.
(image from Amazon)
Mount-It! Low Profile Plasma & LCD TV Mount is another affordable and highly rated low-profile wall mount. It can support TVs as big as 32 inches up to 60 inches. It has a multi-hook design for easy vertical adjustment after mounting.
(image from Amazon)
Ergotron WM Low Profile Wall Mount may be a wall-hugging wall mount, but it holds large flat display with slim profile just an inch from the wall in sturdy and stable fashion. It is designed to install and hold displays in three easy steps. Yet, it costs just half that of competing models. It can hold computer monitors up to 32 inch in size and up to 175 lbs. weight.
(image from Amazon)
For larger displays, there is WM Low Profile Wall Mount, XL. It provides the extra width to handle larger displays that use mounting-hole patterns up to 800 mm wide. It can hold displays up 42 inch size and 175 lbs weight.
This mount type is easier to install, but it doesn’t offer any forms of adjustments. It is definitely the cheaper option, but unless you really want your display sitting as close to the wall as possible, then you’ll be better off with the full-motion mount.
Tilting type wall mounts or better known as tilt mounts, is usually the right choice for most installations. It is also called as “low-profile tilting mount”, considering its resemblance and function to the low-profile type.
Best Used For…
It mounts display close to the wall, but it leans your display so it points downwards, reducing glares and reflections and giving you better viewing angle. This is type is commonly used in monitors and TVs mounted above eye level. It is best used for rooms where TV is set higher up on the wall, such as above a fireplace.
How They Work
Tilting type wall mount is like low-profile mount, but rather than holding displays close and parallel to the wall, it slightly leans forward, making computer monitors or LCD TV point downwards. This type of mount can handle heavier displays than the full-motion mount and easier to setup and install. However, unlike the full-motion type, it can’t move the display up or down, and can’t be pulled away from the wall. Rather, it simply tilts display up or down.
Ergotron TM Tilting Wall Mount is one good example of a perfect accessory for large computer monitor or TVs weighting up to 175 lbs. Equipped with the brand’s patented Constant Force motion technology, this wall mount keeps your precious flat screen display stable and secured in place, while allowing you to adjust its angle and tilt effortlessly.
It also has a big brother named TM Tilting Wall Mount, XL. It basically has the same build as its smaller brother, but it provides extra width that allows it to hold and support larger displays that uses mounting-hole patters up to 80mm wide. It also comes with Ergotron’s Constant Force technology for secured and stable mounting with effortless and smooth adjustments.
For ultra large displays (37 inch to 90 inch TVs, up to 175 lbs), there is Ergotron Neo-Flex Tilting Wall Mount, UHD. It has open architecture provides easy access to in-wall wiring, locking bar that secures your display to the mount, adjusts on wall through the sliding lateral adjustment, tension adjustment for variable tilt, and the brand’s Lift n’ Lock™ to easily attach your display to the mount.
For smaller displays (23 inches to 42 inches, 80 lbs weight), you can opt for the Neo-Flex Tilting Wall Mount, VHD. It has the same qualities, features and capabilities as its bigger brother. It is ideal for those looking for an easy-to-use medium tilt mount, and is definitely cheaper.
This mount type is good for almost all types of installations, but best used for entertainment displays, such as large LCD TVs. It allows display to tilt up or down, and definitely way cheaper than its full-mount counterpart (but pricier than the low-profile). It is easy to setup and install.
More Mount Options
Other mounting options include:
This type of mount is designed for smaller displays, usually smaller LCD TVs. They are installed under cabinets or shelves, and allow the set to be stored easily when not in use. Many models can adjust up and down and move left to right, making them a versatile option for most types of viewing. They’re best used in study rooms, kitchen, or any place where you want a specific practical and unobtrusive spot for your TV.
The Arrowmounts AM-U01B Flip-Down Ceiling or Under-Cabinet Mount is designed to hold small displays and TVs (up to 20 inches size) with VESA standard of 75/100mm. It offers 360° rotation to let you rotate your screen in any angle you want and an adjustable vertical pipe height control to fit displays of its capacity. It is definitely one of the cheapest around, but obviously, it can’t handle mid-sized displays, as most products of this mount type.
Cantilever mount is the most flexible type of display mount out there. It comes with an extendable arm that supports displays and extends them horizontally away from the wall. It allows different viewing adjustments such as tilt, swivel, and even rotate TV along with the mount. This type of mount is best used in rooms where you want to move your display in multiple directions, such as around corners.
Ergoton Neo-Flex Cantilever, VHD is a low-profile cantilever mount that fits large displays (37 inch to 63 inch flat screen panels, with weight up to 80 lbs.), and well-suited for places where seamless installations of displays counts most. It can tilt up to 20° to easily reduce glares, extend its arm up to 14 inches, tilt and pan for maximum viewing flexibility, comes with adaptor for better panel compatibility, and many more convenient features. It also comes with the brand’s Lift n’ Lock™ system which allows users to attach flat panel to the mount easily.
For smaller displays (13 inch to 24 inch screen, with weight up to 33 lbs), the cheaper VonHaus by Designer Habitat Cantilever LCD Monitor TV Arm Bracket Wall Mount can do. It is a highly rated cantilever mount that supports both TV and LCD monitors and offer convenient adjustments like swivel and tilt mechanism (swivels up to 180°, tilts up to 70°), extends arm up to 14.5 inches. It is easy to setup and install and made up of a slim non-intrusive profile with black satin finish.
Things to Remember In Choosing a Wall Mount for Both Computer Monitors and TV
Based on the type of display you have, there are many more things you need to consider in choosing the type of wall mount you can use. But these many things can be boiled down to three things; size, weight and VESA compatibility.
All mounts from different brands and models are tested to fit certain size of display and has a maximum weight capacity. Size measurement is based on the diagonal measurement of the screen, while VESA compatibility refers to the standardized set of compatibility requirements set by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). To get the best wall mount for your display, think of your display and mount as puzzle pieces that should fit together.
Needless to say, make sure your display is VESA compliant. You can check the manual of your display and determine its bold pattern to find the compatible wall mount. This information is usually placed on the side of the box. If it says VESA 75 and 100 compliant, that means you can use wall mounts with VESA 75 compatible or VESA 100 compatible standards, or even both. Also, make the mount can support the weight of your display. The same information can be found on the side of the displays box. Check the weight of your display and make sure it is within the supported range of your preferred mount.
There are many different manufacturers out there that make good quality wall mount products. OmniMount and VideoSecu for example, are two famous for TV mounts, while Ergotron is the world’s leading manufacturer of computer mounts.
Ergotron products in particular, are all engineered in accordance with the FDMI (Flat Display Mounting Interface) Standard, also known as the MIS (Mounting Interface Standard), defined by VESA. When choosing a computer monitor, make sure you look for VESA Mounting Compliance for ease of attachment.
Choosing the Right Size Wall Mount
Because wall mounts are based on VESA standard, they can support multiple sizes of computer monitors and LCD TVs. The VESA standard determines the compatibility of the display to the mount, which is based on how far apart mounting holes are placed at the back the display’s cabinet.
What Makes a Wall Mount Better
When you shop for wall mounts for your displays, whether it’s for your large computer monitor or LCD TV, you will notice that prices vary amongst different brands, models and styles. Most often than not, products with cheaper price tags lack the useful features and quality that many sophisticated and expensive mounts have. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get the one that suits your viewing preference and needs. Here are some of the important things you should look for in a good quality wall mount:
Number and Level of Adjustments – Multiple adjustments let you position your display in various levels. Some mounts will give you the freedom to put your display in specific spots on your wall and help you find the best viewing angle, while some will hold your display static in one place. If you want to level your computer monitor to your sitting and standing position as you work, or put your TV on top of your fireplace mantle, then a wall mount with different adjustments can help.
Precision Height Adjustment – Wall mounts with height adjustment system allows you to move your display up row down once you setup and install your display. This can be a very useful feature to have, especially for TVs placed in recessed areas or entertainment rooms.
Movability – As with height adjustment, movability offers better viewing experience, comfort and ergonomics, particularly for large screen computer users. A god wall mount is easy to move. So if you loosen the screws just to make adjustments, as opposed to simply holding your display to tilt, pan, swivel, extend, or retract, you might opt for a product with better movability.
Locking Mechanism – Most commercial mounts have lock to keep your display from being stolen. Make sure you choose the good quality locks and give yourself peace of mind when you leave your house or office.
Hardware – It’s not hard to identify good quality and wall mounts from low quality ones. You just have to take a closer look and know the materials used for the construction and components used. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a good quality wall mount to hold your precious display. If you’re hanging an expensive large screen on your wall, then you better take care of it by giving it a solid and well-built wall mount. Cheaper mounts usually come with lower grade lag bolts and less number of bolts. Lag bolt is what holds the mount to the wall, low grade bolts can easily break when tightening them down, putting your precious display at risk.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to quality. As long as your wall mount is rated and passed the quality standards, there’s nothing more to worry – your LCD screen will be mounted safe and secured. Added features can add to convenience and comfort for optimum viewing experience.
This article covered only the basic types of mounts available in the market today. The best way to know more about a particular product and its quality is through the manufacturer’s website and online research. It’s also crucial to know how to properly install the wall mount. So before you purchase anything, do your homework and spend some time to research for the best options from established and known manufacturers such as Chief, OmniMount, and VideoSecu for TV and Ergotron for computer monitors.
For more display mounting, workstation ergonomics and entertainment system tips, check out Dual Monitors Guide.