in July 2005
Professional Flat Panel
Safety, security and aesthetics are important.
installations have to deal not only with typical safety
requirements, but also the transient nature of their customers
(read that security). Photo Courtesy Peerless Industries.
you know that, according to a 2004 ICIA report, the professional
audiovisual market currently is producing revenues of $18.9
billion a year with a projected growth of 9.6% annually
over the next five years?
Visual displays, such as
flat panel LCDs and plasmas, constitute a large part of
this growth. Professionals are realizing the power of flat
panels to inform, educate, entertain and collaborate. They
are being used increasingly throughout commercial facilities
for everything from traditional conference room presentations
to savvy digital-signage messaging. When combined with declining
prices and greater availability, industry growth is inevitable!
Most flat panels are hung
from a wall or ceiling using a wide range of specialized
mounting solutions. Most flat-panel mounts incorporate safety
and security features to protect against damage and theft,
as well as functionality and aesthetics to enhance the display
and allow users to maintain a clear view of the screen from
Exactly how the flat panel
and mount are installed, however, can make or break the
application. To properly support and protect the display,
while maximizing the overall investment, the following installation
requirements should be reviewed carefully:
• Plan Ahead: Choosing the correct
flat panel mounting solution is the key to a successful
installation. Universal mounts are ideal because they are
adjustable to support a wide range of flat panel brands
and models. It’s crucial to use the correct fasteners
for the specific wall/ceiling structure (wood studs, concrete
and metal studs). Be sure the mount manufacturer includes
or makes available all the hardware required for the application
before you begin the installation.
• Use Only Qualified Mounts: Be sure
you are using mounts that have been tested and qualified.
Select only UL-listed mounts to ensure adequate handling
of the weight and stresses placed on mount hardware and
fasteners. Mounts that are VESA Compliant conform with all
the mechanical requirements of flat panels, further ensuring
reliability. And ISO 9001-certified facilities produce mounts
with the highest level of quality assurance.
• Consider the Overall Installation:
Where are the power and AV cables coming from and how will
they be addressed? Know in advance what make and model of
flat panel you will be installing so you can locate the
power and signal connections in the wall or ceiling accordingly.
And how will you handle cord management? Some mount manufacturers
offer integral cord management systems to hide wires and
cables, which keeps the installation looking clean and neat.
Schools also have very specific
• Understand the Final
Application: You should have a thorough understanding
of the room environment and all of the desired viewing locations
in order to select a mount with the right features, such
as tilting, pivoting or articulating. You also must have
the end user’s approval on your selection, which is
especially important when the mount is highly visible, such
as in a digital-signage installation. Spend time educating
the customer about his options at the outset of the project
so he thoroughly understands why a specific display and
mount were selected.
• Make Sure the Structure is Strong Enough:
If you are working with new construction, examine the structure
of the wall or ceiling installation area to ensure it will
support the intended load. Make sure you consider both the
weight of the flat panel and the mount hardware. If the
installation area is questionable, it is a good idea to
consult with a qualified architect or structural engineer
before starting the installation.
• Single Stud Installations: Larger
flat-panel screens can be mounted to a single wood stud
provided the proper mount and fasteners are used. In fact,
heavy CRT-type televisions have been installed safely on
single wood studs for years. Choose a UL-listed mount for
single-stud mounting, which has been tested to four times
the load rating.
• Check for Clearances: Check for
clearances when installing the flat panel to the mount.
If the mount’s adapter plate slides into or hooks
onto the wall plate from the top, make sure there is enough
space above the mount and the screen. And if you are installing
an articulating arm mount, make sure there is clearance
for full movement of the arm. This is a simple step that
will reduce errors and maintain efficiency. Most mount manufacturers
provide technical specifications to help you with this process.
• Proper Handling of Plasma Screens:
Flat panel screens are always shipped in the upright position
to prevent the solid piece of glass from breaking or popping
out of the panel. In most cases, it is acceptable to gently
lay the screen face down to attach the mount, but only for
a short period of time. Before doing so, always refer to
the manufacturer’s instructions about how to handle
the plasma screen properly when attaching the mount.
• Avoid Altering Mount or Adding Components:
Altering the mounts or adding components that the mounts
are not designed to hold will, in most cases, void the manufacturer’s
warranty. Also, this could cause you to exceed the stated
maximum load capacity, creating a potential safety issue.
It is critical to install the mount as it was designed,
using the fasteners provided, and to add only accessories
that the manufacturer indicates work with that particular
• Read the Instruction Manual: To
ensure a safe and proper installation, take the time to
read all of the instructions provided from the manufacturer!
Installing a heavy, fragile and expensive piece of equipment
involves significant safety precautions. Display manufacturers
also include detailed installation instructions with their
products to eliminate guesswork and avoid unnecessary mistakes.
is CRT product manager for Peerless Industries, Inc.