By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Asked to assess the state of the flat-panel mounting market on the eve of CEDIA Expo, vendors reached by TWICE ticked off a string of adjectives such as "explosive," "robust," "wildly popular" and "red hot." With some vendors predicting a 40-percent penetration rate among flat-panel TV owners by the end of 2008, and prices falling into the sweet spot range of $299 and below, more mounting solutions than ever are available to the custom install segment and its customers.
Peerless Industries (booth 958) is premiering at CEDIA Expo its line of 12 new SmartMount Articulating Arm Wall Mount models. With up to 30 inches of extension and three tension-able swivel points, the arms allow up to 180 degrees of swivel. The mounts' one-touch tilt mechanism requires no additional tools to change the screen angle.
The new SmartMount models provide four internal cable management channels for cable routing, each with one inch of cable storage space per channel. These channels enable easy management of A/V cables and professional cord bundles, keeping them virtually hidden from sight to provide a clean installation, Peerless said.
The articulating arms deliver horizontal position adjustment on the wall plate, up to 10.75 inches, for exact screen positioning. Single-stud or double-stud mount models are available. The double-stud models' wall plates include two large openings for cord routing and electrical gang box placement. When the openings are not in use, they are covered up with included decorative covers.
Prices and availability will be announced at the show.
Chief Manufacturing (booth 548) is showing a line of in-wall swing arm mounts integrated with an in-wall box to simplify installation. The new mount design allows exact on-wall positioning during installation without the need to cut into studs or install headers, the company said.
At less than 8 inches wide, Chief's new MIWV, MIWU and PIWU mounts are "fingertip adjustable" down 15 degrees. The in-wall arms offer lateral shift and height adjustment for increased mounting flexibility.
The mounts sit less than 2 inches from the wall when retracted and extend up to 15 inches (on the PIWU model) and swivel up to 40 degrees.
An integrated cable management is included as is a trim ring. Pricing will be available at the show.
Omnimount (booth 628) is displaying here the flagship product of its new Ultra Low Profile Series, model ULPT-X. The unit is an extra large flat-panel tilt mount designed to accommodate displays as large as 75 inches. The ULPT-X features a kickstand that props the flat panel away from the wall up to 15 degrees — for easy access to wires, even when the unit is mounted to the wall. The universal mounting panel supports all VESA and most non-VESA flat panels. The extra-large, flat-panel tilt mount sports a slim figure at 1.5 inches from the wall — among the lowest profile tilt mounts on the market.
K2 Mounts is showing its previously announced two-in-one mount models, the K2-LPC-B and K3-LPC-B. The mount can serve as a flush mount or a 5-degree tilt mount by adding a tilt wedge to the mount.
The mounts sit 1.5 inches flush to the wall and are very lightweight, the company said. The K2-LPC-B can hold most flat-panel displays from 23 inches to 37 inches with a maximum weight capacity of 100 pounds. The K3-LPC-B holds displays 37 inches to 60 inches and up to 150 pounds.
Shipping this month, the K2-LPC-B has a suggested retail of $199. The K3-LPC-B is $299.
Sanus Systems (booth 472) is showing its VisionMount LT25 tilting wall mount for large flat-panel TVs. New post-installation features of the LT25 include height adjustment for perfect TV positioning and roll control for TV leveling. With the new Quick Latch feature, the TV locks to the wall plate, without bolts or tools, according to Sanus. The mount also has two props that hold the bottom of the TV away from the wall for easy access to cables.
The LT25 supports flat-panel TVs from 30 to 55 inches and up to 175 pounds. The LT25 is expected to be released in early 2008 in black or silver.
Premier Mounts (booth 234) is debuting two new in-wall boxes, the INW-AM200 and INW-AM325, designed for use with Premier Mounts' existing line of universal flat-panel TV mounts. Available in large and small model sizes, the boxes are specifically constructed to house Premier Mounts' existing Infinity line of universal swingout arms (AM2, AM250 and AM3) as well as the PTM Pivot/Tilt mount.
The large in-wall box (for 37- to 60-inch displays) is $299; the small (17- to 40-inch) is $199.
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.