Flat screen TV installation doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to know how it’s done and you will see that you can perform a flat screen TV installation along with the best of them.
A flat screen TV installation on the wall can be easily performed by anyone with some basic skills and the ability to follow simple directions. You do not have to call a professional technician to do it. You can often do it yourself.
Doing it yourself can save you a lot of money by eliminating the installation charges. You will be reminded of the feeling of accomplishment of installing your TV yourself each time you watch your favorite movie or TV show on your new wall-mounted TV.
The general flow of a flat screen TV installation is to decide on the location, plan your cable runs and connections, measure and place the mount on the wall, attach part of the mount to the TV, hang your flat screen TV on the wall mount, and connect everything together.
The most difficult part of a flat screen TV installation is often the weight of the TV. If you’re mounting a larger TV like a 42-inch TV and above, you will definitely want to have a helper with you to help you hang it on the mount. Safety should be your most important concern.
Let’s talk about each part of the flow.
Where Do I Mount My Flat Screen TV?
You should take some time in deciding where to mount your flat screen TV. Remember that you may have to live with the location of your new TV for a long time making it worth the extra time you spend in planning the mounting.
If you’re mounting in a living room or family room, you will want to place the TV so that it is easily viewable by everyone in the room. You may want to mount it higher on the wall than you were originally planning.
If you have a fireplace, it’s very popular to mount the TV over the fireplace. Keep in mind that you need to have enough room between the ceiling and the fireplace mantel to mount the TV without disturbing items you may place on the mantel. Also, you need to run cables to the TV and most people like to hide them so that you can’t see cabling on the wall above the fireplace.
Have you considered a corner wall mount? Corner mounts require a different kind of mount designed for corners and may be more expensive. Corner mounts may solve problems where using any one of the walls would make viewing more difficult, would interfere with existing wall-mounted items, or make it difficult to run the wiring properly.
While you’re deciding on where to mount your new TV, it is the perfect time to plan your cabling and power runs.
Plan Your Cable Runs
Your cable runs need to be planned because you will probably want to minimize the visibility of cables, you may need to buy new longer cables, and you may need to account for other new devices you purchased to use with your new flat screen TV.
You probably won’t be placing your audio and video devices next to your wall-mounted flat screen HDTV. You will most likely put them on a media shelf or console nearby. That means you will need to run cables from your media devices to your TV. You may want to consider cable management or cable hiding products to give your cable runs that finishing touch.
Cable management products allow you to more cleanly route cables along a wall or behind the media console or TV.
Cable Hiding Products
There are several cable-hiding products that allow you to cover the cables and hide them from view. This can make your installation much cleaner and better looking. The typical cable runs you need to make are the power, coax (RG 6), HDMI, audio, and USB.
Wall-mounting a TV usually means that you have to invest in an extension cord. Most modern TVs don’t come with an extra-long power cord, and it’s typical to need a long cable to reach power from your TV’s wall location.
If you’ve never used a power strip with a surge protector, then now is the time to get one. You have invested in probably one of the most expensive pieces of electronic equipment in your home and you need to protect it. A surge protector monitors the line and may protect your equipment from voltage surges caused by storms and other power interruptions.
The coax cable is the cable that comes into your house and runs to you cable box or TV. It’s usually an RG 6 specification cable and can carry signals from your cable TV or satellite TV provider. Mounting your TV on the wall may mean that you are moving the TV away from where the cable comes into the room. If so, you may need to get a cable connector that allows you to extend your cable to reach the new TV’s location.
You may have several devices that all use an HDMI cable to provide audio and video to your TV. Your cable or satellite TV provide may provide you with a cable box and/or a digital video recorder (DVR). The important thing is that you need to know how long each cable needs to be to reach from the device to your TV.
You may have purchased your own DVR like a TiVo. You will use an HDMI cable to send video and audio to your TV. Streaming media players are all the rage and are available from Roku, Fire TV from Amazon, Google Chromecast, or Apple TV. They all use an HDMI cable to bring video and audio to your HDTV.
Which TV Mount Do I Need?
Now that you have a plan for cabling, how are you going to mount your TV on the wall? With a flat screen TV mount, of course.
There are a few choices when it comes to television wall mounts and each depends on your individual requirements. There are mounts that are fixed, mounts that can be tilted and/or swiveled, articulating mounts that allow you to completely change the viewing angle of the TV, there are mounts specifically designed for mounting a flat screen TV in a corner of a room, and there are TV ceiling mounts.
Fixed mounts are designed to be mounted in a fixed position on a wall and in addition to giving you the least flexibility in mounting, they are also the least expensive. If you have the perfect place to mount your TV on the wall where it is easily seen from all over the room and at any angle, then a fixed wall mount for TV is for you.
Tilt television mounts allow you to tilt your TV up and down after mounting so that you can get the best vertical viewing angle. Likewise, swivel TV mounts allow you to swivel your TV back and forth to achieve the best horizontal viewing angle.
Full Motion Articulating Mounts
It’s possible that the location of your TV requires that you swivel the TV at a more extreme angle than a swivel mount allows, or you may need to mount the TV away from the wall so that you can tilt the TV at a more extreme angle than a tilt mount allows.
An articulating mount or full motion TV wall mount gives you the most flexibility in how you mount your TV, but is also more expensive than other mounts. You also need to be very careful to get a mount that can handle the weight of your TV because of the extra stress put on the mount by its design. Connecting the mount to the studs is essential for articulating mounts since there is more stress on mounting screws as well.
Flat Screen TV Corner Mounts
Corner TV wall mounts are designed specifically to mount a flat screen TV in the corner of your room. TV mounts on arms can also be used for this purpose in some cases, so take a look at those as well. A corner TV mount can be fixed or have limited swivel and/or tilt capability.
TV Ceiling Mounts
Most of the time TV ceiling mounts are used in commercial settings, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful when there are requirements in your home. A ceiling TV mount can come in handy when you don’t want to mount your TV near a wall, but need to mount it in an open space between rooms or in the middle of a room. A TV ceiling mount can solve problems that other mounts cannot.
Your specific room requirements will dictate which flat screen television mount you need.
In addition, the mount choices we’ve mentioned, you also need to match the mount to your TV in a couple of ways. First, mounts are designed to handle a range of weights which are usually specified by using the diagonal measurement of your TV. For instance, some TV mounts for flat screens are designed to handle 32-42 inch TVs.
The other specification you need to be concerned with is VESA. VESA is a specification related to the mounting holes on the back of your TV designed to match up with flat screen TV wall mounts. You should buy a VESA mount that matches your TV’s VESA configuration. For more information on the VESA standard, you can go to Wikipedia.org.
Mounting Your TV Bracket to the Wall
Mounting your TV securely to the wall also depends on the construction of your walls. TVs can be heavy and so they need a heavy-duty connection between the mount and the wall. That means you can’t just put a nail or screw in the drywall and hope for the best. Also, you probably shouldn’t use drywall anchors although some claim they are designed to take the weight. The problem is that even though the drywall anchors may be designed to take the weight, your wall might not be. It’s better and safer to use a design that anchors to the studs, when you’re mounting a heavy flat screen HDTV.
Your best bet is to secure TV wall brackets to your home’s wooden studs. The studs are what your drywall is connected to and they are usually spaced a certain distance apart depending on how your house was built. The two most common spacings are 16 and 24-inches on center. On center means that the measurement between studs is measured from the center of one stud to the center of the next. That’s important because you want to put your connecting screws directly in the center of each stud for the strongest support. You may need to obtain a stud finder to make sure you connect your mount directly to the center of each stud.
TV wall mounts are typically designed in two parts. One part attaches to the wall, and the other part attaches to the TV. When both parts of the TV mount are in place, you simply hang the TV on the mount to put it into place. Once in place, you secure the mount so that the TV cannot fall off.
One additional consideration you need to keep in mind is connecting cables to the back and sides of your TV. Depending on the mount you selected, the space behind the TV may be so tight once its mounted that you won’t be able to work behind it to attach cable connections. With that in mind, it may be best to make some of the connections before you hang the TV or choose a mount that gives you the room you need.
There you have it. Our information, suggestions, and tips to help you with your TV wall-mount. Here are more tips if you need them. We sincerely hope that this article has provided you with valuable information that helps you with your flat screen TV installation.