TV Mounts & Stands: Flex Appeal

Getting More for Less

Articulating TV mounts that tilt in all directions but also let you move them up and down are the hot trend. Today’s mounts also cost less and provide more features than ever before.

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If you shop for the latest jumbo TV and plan to mount it onto your wall, then you’ll be glad to know that articulating TV mounts, which let you extend the TV away from the wall and adjust its position in multiple ways, are more widespread than they used to be. What’s more significant is that prices of TV mounts dropped substantially over the past 4 years.

Meanwhile, new TV stands are more streamlined than they were before.

TILT, SWIVEL, EXTEND. More people use a TV mount to put their TV on a wall than ever before, according to Stephen Baker of The NPD Group. “About 70 percent of sales of TVs larger than 50 inches are combined with a mount,” he says.

Previously, only a handful of TV mounts tilted, swiveled and extended. Today, nearly every manufacturer makes numerous models that have that functionality, and those models accommodate larger TVs than they did previously.

The increase in selection largely is because of the lighter weight of new, thinner big-screen TVs, experts say. For example, a typical 65-inch TV weighed 76 pounds in 2013. A typical 65-inch TV in 2017 weighs just 50 pounds. The lighter weight means that a TV mount can extend farther from the wall and not collapse, according to Bill Ennis of manufacturer OmniMount.

TV mounts that are capable of supporting TVs as large as 75 inches gained features, such as an increased capability that lets you raise or lower the TV to a preferred height. Previously, the lift range of an articulated TV mount of this type maxed out at 20 inches. However, new models can extend up to 26 inches, which is enough for you to, say, mount a TV over a fireplace and lower it to eye level when you sit on a sofa, says Peyton Gallovich of manufacturer Nexus 21.

The wider selection of TV mounts led to price reductions. The average tilt TV mount that’s capable of supporting the largest TVs sold for $230 in 2013. Today, a mount that has tilt and extension capabilities and supports the largest TVs can be had for as low as $120. Furthermore, an articulating TV mount that supports the largest TVs as well as hugs the wall when it’s retracted is priced at about $200 less today than it was previously. You can look at prices another way: A fixed TV mount, which simply clamps a TV onto a wall, cost $50–$60 in 2013. Today, in that same price range, you can get an articulating TV mount that’s capable of supporting a TV that’s up to 90 inches.

OmniMount’s Ennis attributes the price drops to lower production costs, because today’s TV mounts require less metal than before to meet UL certification standards for safety and quality. He adds that more TV mounts are sold to consumers who install the mounts themselves and, thus, avoid installation costs, which can run around $200.

STAND AND DELIVER. If you don’t want to mount your TV, today’s TV stands are simpler in design than were previous models. A majority of new models have wider, open shelves.

This change reflects the growth of video streaming that comes at the expense of cable and satellite TV service. According to a 2017 report by NPD, 60 percent of U.S. homes that have broadband internet access also have a TV that’s connected to the internet, so those consumers can view TV shows and movies that come from streaming-video services. Consequently, consumers don’t have to make space for certain components, such as a Blu-ray Disc player or a cable set-top box, and they don’t have to conceal as many cables.

However, the open shelves that are on today’s TV stands are big enough to accommodate soundbars. Sales of soundbars increased over the past few years, because they’re easier to install than they were before and because of the slimmed-down audio capabilities of new, thinner TVs, which have less physical space to accommodate built-in speakers, Baker says.

Although the price differences between today’s TV stands and older models aren’t as vast as they are among TV mounts, many more TV stands in the $100–$200 range now support TVs that are at least 60 inches. Paying less to orient your TV means that you have more money left to fund your video-streaming habit.

Al Griffin is a former editor at Home Theater and writes for Sound & Vision.

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