The ULTIMATE full motion TV mount that moves UP and DOWN

Another custom installation solution for your home or business. Sometimes you want flexibility with your TV and it’s movement. Traditional swivel arms are great but only move side-to-side with tilting up/down. If you want the ultimate bracket with ability to lower for viewing, you want one of the newest models from Ergotron and Omnimount.

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Play40, Play 40DS, Play70, Play70DS

 

 

Released just a couple of years ago, we now have constant force technology that allows you to swing, lift and drop your TV safely. The spring loaded arm perfectly balances the weight of the TV so only a simple light touch is needed. Vertical movement range is near 20 inches on the largest model. All mounts are UL tested and rated for up to 70 lbs (31.8kg) and screen sizes up to 60 inches. With so much force pulling on a single arm, this mount needs to be perfectly installed and balanced but once done, it is very solid and stable. The only downside may be the near 6 inch gap from the wall which means that a recessed mount area works best.

 

This ultimate mount does come at a premium but a well deserved one. Current retail prices range from $279 to $399 depending on size and need for centering across support structures.

Child safety and your TV

According to Safe Kids, a child is rushed to the emergency room every 45 minutes in the United States alone for injuries caused by falling televisions. Every 3 weeks a child dies. These are shocking statistics but real ones intended to improve child safety through education and better preparedness. So what can you do?

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Let’s start with that older CRT TV shaped more like a box. It’s fine to continue using these but if placing on dressers or tall furniture, they need to be secured to the wall. When it comes time to say goodbye to this older TV, many municipalities accept them along with other electronics as part of a larger recycling program. Some will even pick-up from your home. You may also want to consider local disposal companies which charge a small fee for picking this up and recycling it for you.

Now with that brand new flat-screen TV, the best solution is to mount it securely on the wall. These new televisions with ever growing sizes are often even less stable with a narrow stand base or short legs at the ends. It really doesn’t take much to tip one of these over. If you are unfamiliar with how to do this, please call a professional.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide (http://www.safekids.org/tv)

Choosing the right TV wall mount bracket

Wall mounting your TV can be a big decision. You need to choose the right mounting bracket for your TV and home and not necessarily the “best” one which some retail stores will try to sell you. If you haven’t looked already, you will see there are many different styles, brands and sizes out there. Let’s review some of the most important things you should look for.

  • WEIGHT – The wall bracket needs to safely support your TV. In your TV manual, look for the weight of your TV without the stand. Luckily you can search your model online these days and get this number. Now a good rule of thumb I like to use, is to double the weight when choosing a bracket. This gives you a comfortable margin of error and a safer feeling about having that TV on the wall.
  • VESA – This is a term you should get to know. Every flat screen TV comes with at least 4 holes that accept threaded bolts for attaching a wall bracket but that’s where the similarity ends. The holes can be many different combinations of sizes, depths and spaces apart. VESA is a metric distance measurement of millimeters between bolts horizontally and vertically. You will need to confirm the VESA pattern of your TV and find a matching bracket without it being too large. The closer the better but never smaller.
  • DISTANCE FROM WALL – A popular yet often overlooked number is how far the TV will be spaced from the wall. While many new model TV’s are ultra-slim and designed to cool even within a tight space, not all are suited to a slim profile, low distance from the wall. The closest you will get is around 20mm (¾ inch) and furthest could be 100mm (4 inches) plus the thickness of the TV. Before you choose ultra-slim, be sure the cable ports you wish to use on the TV are directed down or sideways as any rear facing ports will leave you with a TV resting lopsided on it’s cable plugs, not a good look and likely to damage something.
  • FLAT, TILT or SWIVEL – Perhaps the most personal choice you get to make is the ways in which the TV can be moved on the bracket. Flat refers to no movement at all, locked to the wall in a perfectly vertical position which happens to be the most secure. Tilting allows the TV to adjust viewing angles downwards when installed above viewing position and/or upwards to access cables. Swivel mounts, also referred to as full motion, allow the TV to be turned left or right while swinging on a mechanical arm(s). In order to turn a TV completely 90 degrees left/right, the arm length will need to be at least half the width of the TV plus a few inches. Swivel mounts also require solid building structures for attachment as the stress on the wall can be up to 3 times the weight of the TV.

While shopping for a wall mount bracket, here a just a few more points. Avoid any aluminum or mixed alloy metal brackets for a TV or monitor over 10kg. Steel is the preferred bracket material both for its strength and resisting flex under heavy loads. You will also need to check for wall stud spacing, looking to see if the bracket will center your TV where you would like it. Some brackets have wider wall plates with ability to slide left/right while others mount on a single stud and no adjustment.

Hopefully some of this will help you in your decision. Remember that a higher price does not always guarantee a better match to your TV and home. If you are unsure, call us to go over the options and help you with your installation.

Get connected for serious TV streaming

If you watch TV and movies through streaming channels such as Netflix or iTunes, it’s time to get serious with your Internet connection. Wireless is great for small spaces like condominiums and apartments but when it comes time to streaming large video files and larger homes, wired is always best. A wired Internet connection will ensure you get the best picture with little delay and no interrupted signals. Save the wireless connection for your portable devices such as phones, tablets and where a wired connection is not possible. This may speed up your wireless speeds too.

There are a few ways to bring wired Internet to your TV. The first is to relocate the main Internet modem and wireless router with your media components. Using the existing cable or phone lines, this is often much simpler than it sounds and is a great central place for you wireless router. The second option is to install an Internet jack near your media components using either a brand new cable to the router or an unused cat5e cable (newer homes use cat5e for phone jacks). Custom installers have creative ways of bringing cables through the walls if needed.

Once you have a wired connection, share that across all your media devices and TV to unlock many of their great features and updates. Simply plug into the extra ports of your wireless router or add an inexpensive switch (similar to a power bar but for Internet).

Unleash the full potential of your receiver

In today’s modern home theatre with surround sound, audio receivers are playing an important role and have many amazing new features. It is well worth the time to go through the setup process and enable these great features. The first step is to make a connection to your home Internet. If you don’t already have your main Internet hub or a secondary switch at your media centre, that should be your first step. Once connected to the Internet, features such as Internet radio, remote control apps and automatic updates come to life. The second step is to let your receiver do all the video switching for you. Simplify all those cables by connecting just one HDMI to your TV and everything else to the receiver. While you are playing with the cables, pull out any extra audio cables if you have HDMI inputs and the sound works through them. HDMI carries the best digital sound you can get, even better than digital optical or coax. Once that is done, the next great features to enable are “Control over HDMI” and “Audio Return Channel” (ARC) which allow most newer TVs to share sound from other media sources like Netflix, Media Libraries and USB drives. Properly enabled and with just one HDMI cable to the TV, anything you see will also play on your surround sound with your TV remote also controlling the volume.

Home Networking Done Right

High speed Internet connections are now common in today’s home. We are using a variety of wired and wireless devices to download, stream and share everything. Your network router, the main device managing the all these connections is more important than ever. When spending so much for your Internet connection, it simply makes sense to get the best network possible for your home. Lets look at some ways to improve things.

Wireless Signals
The first place to begin is with your wireless signal. Your wireless router should be placed in a common central area that has a wired connection point such as the family room with the TV. A home office might be another alternative. The basement power panel is simply one of the worst locations in the home. Some basic wireless settings can also improve things. If you have an older router, updating to the latest and strongest security WPA2 (AES) will not only be safer but also give you better speeds. Scanning and selecting for the channel with least traffic may help avoid competing with your neighbours’ wireless networks. There are some free apps such as inSSIDer which can help with this.

Wired connections
The second step would be to connect by wire as many stationary devices as possible to free up your wireless signal for portable devices. Most newly built homes now have “smart” wiring…usually blue or white cables marked cat5e/cat6. These wires may be used as phone lines and can be found behind phone jacks, cable jacks or blank wall plates. These “smart” wires will allow you to connect and share your network over a fast and stable wired connection to multiple rooms. If you have an unfinished basement, adding wiring to the main floor can be relatively inexpensive. With the addition of a few jacks and inexpensive network switches, you can enjoy a faster and more reliable connection.

Hardware

The third and most important step is to look at the hardware. Major Internet providers are typically providing all-in-one modem/routers to get you started. This of course boosts their revenues with higher rental fees but the problem with an all-in-one router is that they don’t fit everyone’s needs and often have limited capabilities. If you are streaming from the latest devices like an iPad or AppleTV, you may not have access to the faster wireless N or AC signals. If you have a larger home, you may experience weak wireless signals or dead spots in some areas. Consider replacing or adding a wireless router that has better signal strength and uses the latest technology. Better yet, expand your network with another wireless access point. If you have another wireless router, they can be updated and bridged together for this purpose.

With a solid home network, you start enjoying all your technology the way it was meant to be, fast and reliable. Consider a centralized media server or hard drive to share and backup all your photos, music and videos. Perhaps add some security cameras and smart home accessories. The possibilities are endless.

Top 5 Reasons to Wall Mount Your TV

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Wall mounted televisions have have been trending in popularity for several years. Today we have great looking televisions that can be proudly displayed, much simpler HDMI cables and the universal VESA mounting standard built into virtually all TV models. Hanging that TV on the wall has never been simpler nor looked so great.  You may be asking yourself whether it’s worth the extra effort. Let’s review the top 5 reasons to hang that TV on your wall…

 

  1. More space – Everyone could use more space, especially in smaller rooms and condos. Once your TV is on the wall, the top of your TV stand or cabinet will be free. You may even choose to replace it with something smaller or perhaps even remove it entirely. In today’s digital era and with simple setups, large expensive stands are no longer needed.
  2. Children – For parents with young children, having the TV on top of a TV stand or dresser within easy reach of little fingers poses 2 dilemmas. On one hand, you can be left with sticky fingerprints and scratches on your expensive new TV. On the other hand you face the real danger of unstable televisions toppling over and injuring your child.. Securing your TV on the wall is a great safety precaution and also keeps it cleaner.
  3. Theft – Burglars are often interested in what they can grab quickly. A television securely attached to the wall would slow them down and is more likely to get passed over.
  4. Better view – Install the TV at your preferred height. Swivel or tilt towards your viewing position for best picture quality. Whether you are watching from a lower position such as a sofa or from the comfort of your bed, the height and angle can be matched to your preference and comfort. Not only will this result in a better picture for you but also less neck strain.
  5. Looks – When installed with concealed cables, hanging that TV on that wall simply looks amazing and can increase the value of your home. Many would argue this is the number one reason to hang that TV.

When Selling Your Home, Don’t Forget the TV

You’ve been looking for months and just found the perfect home. Everything seemed just right, including the great looking installation of a flat screen TV in the main room. Now comes the time to make your offer. Don’t forget the TV.

When it comes to home purchase offers, many buyers and sellers forget to make any mention of the TV or the installation of it. If that TV was hanging on the wall and cables were placed in the wall, it is now a permanent fixture and appliance just like any other in the home. Although every local area may handle the legal status differently, a wall mounted TV should be included to avoid any confusion.

If you are the buyer and really like how the TV was installed, you should ask that the wall mount bracket, cables and power supply be left as installed. Although installation costs vary, this could save you hundreds of dollars and make for one less renovation after you move in. You may want to consider even including the TV itself just as you would the fridge and stove. If you do not want the TV, the metal bracket pieces which attach to it and any bolts from the install kit should be left behind as well. The brackets are universal and should fit your TV if it is similarly sized. If you have any doubts about the TV bracket, just include the cables and power supply. A professional installer will have a matching bracket and/or bolts for any model TV. A partial installation will cost less and be done more quickly.

If you are the seller and nothing was mentioned about your wall mounted TV, you should ask to include details in the sale agreement. I’ve seen many homes where the seller went through the trouble to remove everything, patch the wall holes and repaint the wall only for the new buyer to come and install another TV in exactly the same place again. It’s good for installation business but a headache for new buyers and sellers alike. If you had your TV professionally installed, remember that the value of your home was almost certainly higher because of that.