The TV Mount Has Quietly Undergone a Transformation
Ever since the television set became popular in the home, the large cumbersome device has been a slight burden in its positioning in living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.
Even if you could afford the RCA 630 in 1946 at a mere smidgen of $445 (an equivalent of $7,000 today) its 85lbs/38.5kg frame and 7-inch smoggy black and white screen had a fundamental dilemma. If you didn’t want to pay extra for the optional floor stand, its large 19-inch deep base would struggle to fit safely on most household units.
Not all early commercial TV sets even had floor stands available and the invention of the wooden TV cabinet became a popular addition to standard household furniture by the 1960s when TVs became more available to the masses.
Fast-forward to 2016. The way we receive information is truly at a new unprecedented level. The smart flat-screen LED TV not only broadcasts an unbelievable amount of digital broadcasted content but everything from Internet to video games to interactive gym classes.
This insatiable need to consume this content, much larger TVs and the rise of uncluttered homes and offices has brewed a storm in the development of the AV furniture industry.
So how has the AV Furniture industry developed in the last few years?
The traditional bracket has now vanished, within the industry a bracket supports the underside of the TV, Which all brackets used to do when CRT (Cathode ray tube) was in full swing. We still sell them, but rarely. The VESA-compatible mount has now been the better selling product since 2005 and has really developed in leaps and bounds.
Until a few short years ago, mounting flat-screen LED or plasma screens was limited to flat or tilting products, developments within the industry have really allowed a full motion process, allowing dual and multiple arms to extend some products as far as 60cm/23.5 inches from the wall, this has largely been possible due to weight reductions in TV’s and advancements from the industry.
TV tech has not grown without issues. Manufacturers are now giving us a bigger range of outputs to meet consumers growing needs, with 3, 4 or even 5 HMDI ports! Depending on the location of these cable hungry boards can cause problems if they sit directly under the fixing holes, where the wall-mount plates sit. The solution to this issue has been too user spacers to bridge that gap or use 90-degree angled adapters.
Stand widths have also massively increased. A few years ago a simple glass stand did not exist in a width of 140cm / 55 inches, but this is fast becoming one of our biggest sellers due to the rise of larger screen sizes, bases and cheaper manufacturing producing legs on TVs instead of central pedestals.
This creates a big issue. Glass stands are far more popular than wooden cabinets. The longer the glass, the thicker it needs to be to support the weight of larger TVs, so better supporting options have been introduced.
It is not just in the living room
We carried out some research three years ago that proved that over 70% of people who mount in their living room also mount in other rooms with a large majority mounting in kitchens primarily and then master bedrooms, again space saving is key because the majority of kitchens are not designed to accommodate TVs.
Consumers are finding an all-in-one solution
One of the biggest trends we saw in 2015 was the growth of the combination TV stand, A metre high all-in-one shelfing system with one hollow column cable management and a wide ranged mount. This all-in-one solution solves several problems, most noticeably a product with a bracket that doesn’t need any application to a wall, along with integrated cable management, these products remain quite firmly a best seller.
Wall mounting should be still about fixing into the most secure place and we are always active to recommend solid wall fixings such as brick. Wood studs are just as good, but there are revolutionary products such as AVFs Unimax range, which now share the weight more evenly and can fit onto plasterboard or dot-and-dab fixings, whilst not at the level of multi-position or armed mounting, the ability to mount on weaker walls now becoming a possibility thanks to advances in wall fixings.
How does the future of the TV work with integrated AV Furniture solutions?
With Curved TVs becoming the next generation in tech and large growth throughout 2016, we have seen all curved TVs be VESA compatible (the standard fixing holes which come in set sizes for 99% of TVs) with several featuring “standoffs” small screw in fixings that extend the reach of the fixing holes making them flat and compatible to most mounting products. Larger screens too seem to support a maximum VESA size that fits within the normal range too.
We have recently seen some really smart mounting ideas presented on a number of interior design blogs such as hidden visions flip out TV mount, which can double up as an overhead mount whilst you’re in bed that then folds up to make an attractive looking piece of artwork.
The AV furniture industry will continue to change and adapt to new technology, with developments from CES showing some incredible feats, such as LGs prototype ultra HD fold up TV and transparent OLED TVs showing that super lightweight models may mean that steel becomes a thing of the past and the ability of how consumers mount will change drastically.
We believe that in 2016, consumers are looking for an uncluttered solution and we have seen some excellent custom installations include fold down ceiling panels, mirror finishes, integrated wall installations which obscure the TV in its entirety and many more, the beauty of wall-mounting is that your only limited to your creativity.
Chris Turton is an AV furniture specialist for TV Furniture Direct, an UK-based online store specialising in TV wall, monitor mounts and TV stands.