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There are now nearly as many sizes, shapes and configurations for flat screen TV mounting brackets as there are for the televisions themselves, and buying the wrong one can end up frustrating at best, and potentially dangerous at worst. You must always select a bracket that is designed to cope with your particular size and shape of TV set - so it's often a good idea to go straight to the brackets made by the same manufacturer as your TV, as they will probably have a range specifically designed for mounting that model.

That said, if you do decide to go for a more generic bracket, there are a few important points that you must take into consideration, the first being the 'VESA- spacing - the distance between the mounting holes on the back of your TV. Smaller TV's mainly have VESA 100 or VESA 200 spacing. VESA 100 means that there are four holes laid out in a square shape with 100mm between each hole. Bigger televisions usually use VESA 400 (i.e 400mm between each hole), so make sure before you buy that any bracket is VESA compatible and has the right VESA fitting for your set.

Make sure the TV bracket you select has room for all the cabling you need to connect - some brackets have integrated shelves to keep all the cabling neat and tidy, and are well worth considering, especially if you're going to have DVD players and stuff connected to your set - if you're putting a bracket up so your TV's all nice and neat on the wall, it's going to ruin the effect when you have all sorts of wires trailing round the room to reach your peripheral equipment.

When it comes to selecting the actual type of bracket you want, there are five main configurations to choose from: fixed mounts; tilting mounts; tilt and swivel mounts; cantilever mounts and ceiling mounts.

Fixed mounts have a very low profile (often less than an inch thick) and keep the TV mounted closest to the wall. They cannot be moved and you cannot adjust the screen angle, so they're best for big rooms that allow mounting at a low height.
Tilting wall mounts are usually thicker than fixed mounts, and allow tilting to a maximum of 15 degrees, useful to get the right viewing angle or to avoid reflecting light from windows.

Tilt and swivel wall mounts let you tilt the TV up and down and also rotate it sideways, giving you giving the greatest freedom to choose a viewing position, but they are best suited for small sized TVs, up to 32 inches.

Cantilever mounts, as well as allowing up/down, left/right movement, also let you adjust the distance of the TV from the wall. They have an arm attached to them so you can pull the TV backwards and forwards, so you can find the best viewing angle from all corners of the room. Ceiling mounts, as the name implies, hang the TV from a fixed place on the ceiling, keeping the set out of reach. These are generally best for public places like bars and nightclubs, etc.

Whatever type you go for, bear in mind that the more adjustability it offers, the more it will cost, and the more space it will take up. And don't forget that if your wall isn't strong enough in the first place, however good the bracket you buy may be, it will all end in tears when the screws pull straight out the second your attach your TV to it.

Author R. Germain
date added Mon 10 08 2009

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