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Today's ultrathin, high-definition televisions have much better picture quality and take up far less space than their cathode ray tube predecessors. Flat panel televisions can also be mounted on the wall, making them even more unobtrusive. A few different options exist for wall-mounting. None of the hardware is particularly expensive, but if you aren't comfortable installing it yourself, it's worth spending a little extra for professional installation.
Types of TV Wall Mounts
Television wall mounts are distinguished by how they allow the mounted television to move.
- A flat, or low profile, mount is the most basic hardware. It keeps the TV as close as 1" to the wall for an ultra neat, clean look, but doesn't allow the TV to be angled for optimum viewing from different seats.
- For multiple viewing angles, choose a tilt (up and down) or tilt/swivel (up and down/side-to-side) mount. These mounts position the television 2" to 4" away from the wall and accommodate a number of different viewing angles.
- An articulating TV mount combines the best features of low profile and tilt/swivel mounts. When the TV isn't in use, fold the arm back and keep it close to the wall. During viewing, the arm can be moved several inches away from the wall, allowing for generous side-to-side adjustment as well as tilting.
TV Wall Mount Installation
In terms of DIY skills, wall-mounting a television is on par with hanging a picture or shelving. With some basic tools, a couple of hours of your time, and a bit of courage (it's hard not to imagine your expensive new toy falling off the mount and smashing on the floor), you can bypass professional installation. To simplify installation, it's recommended to buy a mounting kit made by the manufacturer of your television.
In any case, follow the directions carefully; they should guide you through installation step-by-step without incident. One of the biggest challenges may be choosing the right mounting height. As a general rule, the TV should be mounted at seated eye level. If you need help, check out the HeightFinder tool from Crutchfield.com.
Another issue to consider is whether you want to route the TV's A/V cables through the inside of the wall to the cabinet below. Running cable through the wall provides a clutter-free look but requires a considerably higher DIY skill level. See what the task requires and whether your skills are up to snuff using Crutchfield's in-wall wiring guide. Cable raceways (aka cord covers) offer a simpler means of concealing dangling wires. They can be painted to match the wall color.
It bears repeating that the above installations should only be attempted by competent do-it-yourselfers. Self-mounting won't turn out to be such a money-saver if the final result is a smashed television. After spending $1,000 to $5,000 (or more) on a new TV, isn't it worth a few extra bucks to hire a bonded and insured installation expert? There are many companies that specialize in television/audio visual component installation. Look for those that guarantee their work. A local handyman could also be used for the job.
TV Wall Mount Average Costs
- Expect to pay as little as $25 to $50 or as much as $100 to $500 or more for a TV wall mount depending on the television size and the mount's range of motion.
- An HDMI cable costs $30 to $90.
- Professional TV wall mounting might run $100 to $300. Basic installation doesn't always include cable concealment. You typically have the option of providing the hardware yourself or paying an all-inclusive cost for hardware and labor.