Too often the sleek look of a wall-mounted television is ruined by a mess of cords dangling underneath. If you’re planning to mount a TV on the wall, take some time to consider the installation logistics. Knowing what challenges you’ll face, such as how to hide the cables and cords, and developing a plan that addresses them can make a huge difference in the finished appearance of your home-theater setup.
Installing a bracket
The most foolproof approach is to purchase the television first and then work on the installation. But as long as you know the screen size, you can buy a bracket and complete most of the installation before you bring home the TV. (TVs within a given screen-size range have very similar weights and dimensions.)
Many wall-mount brackets are available, ranging from models that hold the TV flat and stationary to brackets that extend, tilt and turn so that the TV can be positioned to face almost any area in the room. Lowprofile brackets keep the TV close to the wall, but they also leave little room for accessing the cable jacks, which can make connecting cables more difficult.
Choose a bracket that is rated to support your TV’s weight and meets your viewing needs. Most brackets include detailed instructions and the necessary hardware to securely attach the bracket and TV to the wall.
For the best viewing angle, a good rule of thumb is to mount the bracket at the eye level from which you’ll most often watch TV. However, the design of the room may dictate that you mount the TV in another location, such as over a mantel. And if you have young children or pets, you may want to mount the TV high to keep it out of their reach.
The location of your AV components may also affect where you mount your TV. It’s typically easier to rout cables when the components are close to the TV, but don’t let their proximity to the TV limit your design. You can always use longer cables to reach the components.
You may choose to store components in a closet or cabinet to keep them out of sight (see "Built-In Electronic Component Cabinet"). If you hide the components, you’ll need to either install a remote-control signal sensor that relays the signal or purchase a radio-frequency remote that can send signals through cabinet doors or walls.
Hiding the cables
Routing cables is typically the most challenging part of a wall-mount installation. Two types of cables connect to the TV: high-voltage (the power cord) and low-voltage (audio, video and data cables). These two types of cables must not share the same space in an outlet box. You can install separate boxes for each type of cable or install a combination box with a divider that keeps the cables separated. I prefer combination high- and low-voltage boxes because they require only one hole in the wall and take up less space.