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Technology Showcase: Flatpanel Mounts

Jul 13, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Once considered mere accessories, new mounts put flatpanels in their place.

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When choosing a mounting system manufacturer, business users said competitive prices were the most important factor for choosing a mount by 95 percent. The majority of future business purchasers are likely to choose a wall mount (75 percent), with free-standing floor mounts next in popularity (11 percent) and ceiling mounts coming in at just 5 percent. One point of consensus among business users was that 92 percent of them want flatpanel mount manufacturers to clearly list which screens their mounts are compatible with.

So recognizing how uplifting a bit of support can be, here is a look at some of the most innovative flatpanel mounts on the market today.

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Bretford Manufacturing has introduced its FPBBUL series of flatpanel wide-body carts as part of its full commercial AV furniture line. Bretford's FPBBUL carts integrate the structural support for a flatpanel monitor of up to 85lbs. into the cart design by mounting it directly to the pole on the top shelf of the cart. The carts offer a simple method of transporting a flatpanel monitor with a DVD player, loudspeakers, or other AV equipment from one location to another. Bretford is also extending the usable life of its current AV furniture with the new BB Wide-Body Cart Retrofit Kits and 2642NSKIT AV Cart Retrofit Kit. The new retrofit kits update Bretford's technology furniture carts to mirror those new to the market today.

Now under the corporate aegis of Milestone AV Technologies, Chief Manufacturing offers a broad range of professional flatpanel mounts. Its Fusion flatpanel micro-adjustable tilt wall mount for 37in. to 63in. displays benefits from ControlZone leveling for post-installation fine-tuning of the screen's position. The mounts also offer the Centris tilt feature, which uses the center of gravity to balance the screen while maintaining a low profile. In addition, Chief's Centerless Shift capability provides up to 17.5in. of post-installation lateral shift, 8.75in. left or right of the uprights, for limitless centering. For ultrathin TVs, Chief's new Thinstall series boasts a fixed mount that collapses to less than 0.4in., and the tilt mount collapses to 0.75in. while offering 12 degrees of fingertip tilt.

Just this month, CLO Systems will begin selling its compact S1 robotic mount, which is designed to be virtually invisible behind a 37in. to 50in. TV by residing only 1.6in. from the wall. The S1 can be mounted to swivel either left or right in a variable 180-degree range, eliminating glare, reflection, and off-axis viewing problems. A universal mounting attachment kit is provided to facilitate easy coupling with the flatpanel display.

CLO Systems also has the T2, a motorized tilt mount that automatically tilts the flatpanel display down when the set's power is turned on and retracts it back to an upright position when the display is turned off. The T2 fits most 40in. to 60in. sets up to 150lbs., and when retracted, it sits 3.3in. from the wall. With two presets that can be controlled by either an IR remote or optical cable, the T2 mount can tilt a display down as much as 13 degrees.

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