By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
As flat-panel TVs continue to drop in price and rise in household penetration, the need for mounting solutions for the displays is clearly growing by leaps and bounds. To meet that demand, mount manufacturers are stepping up to the plate with a host of new introductions for early 2008, and the emphasis is on ease of installation, flexibility and functionality — not to mention appearance, including new improvements in cable management.
Vantage Point, for example, will be spotlighting its visually wireless Evo system at International CES. The Evo system's modular design consists of a lightweight frame and track system that expands to support unlimited equipment configurations, according to the company. The frame is hung on independently mounted rails and extends 4 inches from the wall, creating a hollow space for power and wiring distribution.
The system features 16-inch by 16-inch removable real wood veneer panels, available in maple, cherry, walnut, black ash and espresso. The panels are designed not only to allow easy access to wiring and power connections, but also to create a furniture-quality appearance. Also available are accessories including tempered glass shelves, flat-panel mounts and speaker mounts to support components and TVs. The frames and shelf brackets are available in black, silver or graphite.
The Evo system installs to wood or metal studs, concrete or masonry, and its design enables installation by professional installers or consumers without requiring an electrician. Equipment changes and/or upgrades can be accommodated by simply rearranging shelves and mounts or expanding the frame.
Peerless Industries is unveiling its brand-new Paramount line at CES, designed to offer professional-grade quality with high consumer value. The line provides mounting solutions for flat-panel TVs from 10 inches to 60 inches, covering all options such as flat, tilting, pivoting and articulating wall mounts. Additional solutions in the line include ceiling and wall projector mounts, speaker mounts and an A/V shelf that holds up to 100 pounds of A/V accessories.
The yellow and black packaging of the Paramount line has been designed to be both eye-catching and informative, the company said, enabling customers to easily identify the type of mount they are purchasing and featuring photography to illustrate the end result of the installation. All products in the line are UL listed, include cable-management options, and are available in high-gloss black and high-gloss silver. The line will ship beginning in March.
Also making its debut from Peerless is the next-generation SmartMount 600 Series of flat and tilting wall mounts, featuring an open wall-plate design to enable flexible flat-panel wall installation. Designed to accommodate installation obstacles such as electrical outlets and unevenly spaced studs, the mounts' flexible, open-wall plate design provides more than 6 inches of vertical space to allow even a four-outlet electrical gang box to be placed within the plate's perimeter.
The low-profile design of the SmartMount 600 flat mounts keeps TVs tight against the wall, yet maintains clearance for cable management and proper TV ventilation, according to the company. All tilt models come standard with easy-grip levers that allow the TV to lock into any tilt angle. Products will be available in February.
A new family of premium, high-performance mounting systems is being introduced at CES by Salamander Designs. The Dyno Series consists of four dynamic, articulating wall mounts that feature multiple arms, a hinge and ball joints to allow screens to be simultaneously rotated, tilted and pivoted. The mounts incorporate the company's weightless ZeroForce tilt mechanisms for effortless maneuverability, and also offer an anti-theft lock, cable management clip, and extensive wings for added mounting flexibility.
The Dyno Series mounts feature single-stud assembly and a pull-cord release for easy TV removal. The Dyno 100 Medium supports up to 100 pounds and swivels 90 degrees left and right and 15 degrees up and down. It integrates with Salamander's Synchro Wall Cover to hide cables; and the Synchro Wall Shelf can be added for storage of A/V equipment.
Also new from Salamander is the Flexo Series, consisting of five low-profile wall mounts incorporating the company's ZeroForce tilt mechanisms. An advanced click system makes installation safe and easy, according to the company; and additional features include pull-cord TV release, anti-theft lock, flexible mounting wings, and — in some models — the ability to accommodate speakers. The Flexo A/V 200 XL, for example, supports most flat-panel TVs from 42 to 60 inches and up to 175 pounds, as well as most on-wall left, right and center-channel speakers. A Lift-n-Load feature simplifies installation and angle adjustment.
Chief is rolling out its recently introduced In-Wall Swing Arm Mounts for 26- to 63-inch flat panels. Described by the company as the first fully integrated in-wall mount, the products include both the in-wall box and swing arm mount in a configuration less than 8 inches wide. The MIWV, MIWU and PIWU are designed to provide a complete, easy-to-install in-wall mounting solution that enables positioning with cutting into studs or installing headers.
Chief's new swing arm mount kits feature "fingertip" tilt (15-degree downward) as well as lateral shift and height adjustment. Their low profile offers less than a 2-inch depth from the wall when retracted, with up to 15 inches of extension and 40 degrees of swivel. Integrated cable management and a trim kit are provided for a clean installation.
PDR Mounts is shipping its new IWB-250, a three-stud in-wall flush mount solution designed to accommodate flat-panel displays from 50 inches up to 85 inches. Successfully tested at more than 1,100 pounds, the mount is designed to handle a heavy load yet virtually disappear into the wall when folded, according to the company.
The IWB-250's special design allows installers to choose between two PDR articulating mounts to finalize the installation: the single-arm, 175-pound-rated AWM-175 or the 250-pound-rated, dual-arm AWM-250. Either articulating arm will fold smoothly within the IWB-250 in-wall box for a minimized profile. In addition, the PDR in-wall flush mounts feature a shimless design to shorten installation time for custom installers. Suggested retail for the IWB-250 is $470.
AVF is launching a new series of products in its Nexus line of premium LCD/plasma wall mounts at CES. The new cast-aluminum products are designed to offer full-motion movement for both smaller and larger screens.
The NXL series mounts for small LCD TVs incorporate new features including the "Click & Lock" mechanism to make installation easier, an easy-grip locking control mechanism for tilt adjustment, and improved cable management. The products offer the styling of other Nexus products, as well as a soft cushioned VESA plate interface. Screens from 12 to 23 inches and up to 33 pounds are accommodated by the mounts, which include a close-to-wall swivel and tilt model (NXL002), a single-arm model offering two swivel points and tilt (NXL003), and dual-armed mount with three swivel points and tilt (NXL004).
AVF's NXL Infinity series mounts for medium and large LCD TVs are designed with high-tech styling and offer unlimited screen positioning through five swivel points and tilt. The NXL604 Infinity is a multifunctional wall mount that folds flat to the wall or extends out to 23 inches, and accommodates 12- to 40-inch screens weighing up to 88 pounds. The NXL704 Infinity mount holds 30- to 50-inch screens weighing up to 100 pounds. Complementing the LCD/plasma mounts is the NXS200, an A/V mounting system for use with HD recorders, DVD players and other components, which can be used individually or stacked and which hides cables in the trunking of the mount.
New from North American Cable Equipment (NACE) is the Cabletronix CT-PLB-WA6 articulating wall mount, a universal wall bracket designed to accommodate 30- to 63-inch plasma and LCD displays up to 125 pounds. The mounting system employs movable arms that allow for +/-45 degrees of rotation and +/-15 degrees of tilt.
The CT-PLB-WA6 can be adjusted up to 31.9 inches in width and from 2.95 to 18.9 inches in height. Available in silver or black finish, the mount comes complete with all necessary installation hardware at a retailer/dealer cost of $179.99 per unit.
OmniMount is shipping its ULPT-X, an extra-large, ultra-low-profile tilt mount that supports flat panels from 55 to 75 inches. Also available in a professional version (the LPHDX-T), the mount features a slim profile of 1.5 inches off the wall in the fixed position. It is made from heavy-grade steel with an anthracite powder-coated finish, and includes extruded aluminum end-caps for a clean side view.
Premier Mounts is introducing a new series of A/V mounting kits for retail. The kits include some of the company's most popular flat-panel mounts along with HDMI cables (1.3a certified) and surge protection.
The AVKPTM kit includes Premier's PTM low-profile mount, which fits most 10- to 40-inch LCDs and offers +/-15 degrees of tilt, along with a 6-foot HDMI cable with gold connectors and a six-outlet surge protector. The AVKUFM kit includes Premier's UFM mount, which fits most 37- to 61-inch flat panels and offers a low-profile design and built-in lateral shift. The kit also includes a 9-foot HDMI cable with gold connectors and an eight-outlet surge protector with three dedicated AC-adapter outlets and a coaxial input/output.
Sanus Systems is launching the VisionMount LT25 tilting wall mount for large flat-panel TVs. New post-installation features on the LT25 include height adjustment and roll control for TV leveling. With the new "Quick Latch" feature, the TV quickly and easily locks to the wall plate, without bolts or tools. The mount also has two props that hold the bottom of the TV away from the wall for easy access to cables during and after installation.
The mount supports flat panels from 30 to 55 inches and up to 175 pounds. It is available in black or silver. In addition, the LT22 from Sanus offers similar features but in a low-profile design.
Monster is rolling out five recently introduced products in its Monster FlatScreen line. Three FlatScreen PowerMounts feature power conditioning and power protection built right into the mounts. Each mount has built-in Monster SurgeGuard AC outlets and coax connections, Dual Mode Plus disconnect circuitry with audible alarm for protection against secondary surges and spikes, and Clean Power circuitry to filter powerline noise.
The new PowerMounts include the PerfectView 450S, a two-outlet articulating mount that fits 10- to 24-inch LCD TVs; the PerfectView 450M, an articulating mount with Z-Fold extending swing arms that holds 24- to 37-inch LCD TVs; and the PerfectView 450L, an ultra-secure articulating mount with heavy-duty dual extending swing arms that fits 37- to 60-inch TVs. Retail prices range from $119 to $699.
Monster's two new FlatScreen Wall Mounts include the PerfectView 400M, an articulating arm wall mount for 26- to 37-inch LCD TVs, which offers 25-inch extension off the wall and wide-angle swivel; and the PerfectView 400L FlatScreen Wall Mount for LCD TVs from 37 to 60 inches, which features an articulating arm that extends the TV up to 26 inches off the wall. Both come in black or silver, and retail for $249 and $599, respectively.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.