Let’s be honest. There are few things installers play with less glamorous and sexy than TV wall mounts–some sheet metal with a collection of judiciously placed holes, a big bag o’ screws and bolts, some adjustable arms, and Bob’s your uncle. And when it comes to mounts, it pretty much comes down to the installer’s prescription of, “Do you want flat, tilt, or articulating?” They’re basically boring and pretty much all the same.
I felt the same way. In fact, when WallWizard asked me to review their product, I responded with a professionally sarcastic, “You want me to review a mount?” But now that I’ve played with it, I can say that this mount is actually worth reading about. More than that, it will give you a far more interesting offering than what your customers will find elsewhere and will definitely separate your TV installs from those of the Big Box boys and offer a decent bit of profit to boot.
WallWizard’s slogan perfectly sums up this product: “More mount for your money.” With the SA52 Motorized Swing Mount ($379) you get a motorized mount for about twice the cost of a standard, sits-on-the-wall-and-does-nothing model. The package the box arrived in was so light–only 18 pounds–that I wondered if perhaps they had sent me the wrong, non-motorized unit. But no; it is just super lightweight.
The installation manual is only difficult in that it features every instruction in 13 different languages. If you can’t find a workable language in this thing, then your country might not even have TV. Like every universal mount, the SA52 comes with a plethora of nuts and bolts, including concrete anchors, of which you’ll use like five percent.
Installation was insanely simple: find a stud, throw in two lag bolts, screw in two drywall screws, attach the arm brackets to the back of the TV, mount TV to arm, and secure. The whole thing could probably be done in under 30 minutes. There are nice provisions for leveling the set once it is in place, though no built-in level like on the TA55 tilting model reviewed earlier this year by Dennis Burger.
Because you’re only mounting to one stud, horizontal placement on a wall might be a bit more challenging. The mount swings open up to 90 degrees like a door, and swings open either to the left (mount mechanism to the far left of screen) or to the right (mount mechanism to the far right of screen).
Above: With WallWizard’s SA52 Motorized Swing Mount, you get a motorized mount for about twice the cost of a standard, sits-on-the-wall-and-does-nothing model. Left: WallWizard’s ControlWand WiFi accessory module is a USB stick that plugs into the mount and creates a local WiFi network, allowing control of the mount with an i-Device.
I installed the TV at my installation showroom, because I thought it would be nice to demo to customers and get their reactions. The first set I installed was an older Sony LCD, and while the Sony weighed 71 pounds–less than the mount’s 80-pound rating–it was clearly too heavy for the arm bracket. The arm sagged, the TV tilted forward like 15 degrees to the point where it couldn’t even close all the way, and the motor sounded labored. We whipped that set off and threw on a 46-inch Samsung LED model that weighed a svelte 48 pounds and we were in business. My advice would be to pre-install it off-site if your install is pushing the weight range, ensuring that you won’t have any issues. (The Sony was nearly five inches deep, and thinner sets will likely be less problematic.)
The mount comes with an IR target and remote control, which worked fine. Because it’s IR, you can learn these commands into a universal, or the TV can respond to commands from another remote. The mount also has an RJ-11 RS-232 control port, though there is no mention of it or any protocol codes in the manual. A “Home” button fully closes the mount, and there are two presets that swing it to pre-determined locations, which is perfect for viewing in a chair and then a bed. The motor takes about 15 seconds to fully open or close and is audible, but not offensively loud.
Even cooler is the ControlWand WiFi accessory module ($149). This USB stick plugs into the mount and creates a local WiFi network, allowing control of the mount with an i-Device (free app download). The app replicates the remote except it includes a “Gyro” mode to control the mount by moving/steering the i-Device. This seemed gimmicky to me, but customers–and especially my 4-year-old–thought it was cool. My only gripe is the separate network issue. This means going into settings, selecting the network, and then connecting to “WallWizard,” which means losing internet access. Fortunately, after a few minutes it “times out” and reconnects to your preferred network. Also, it instructs users how to reconnect if they forget.
My installers already have rattled off multiple jobs where this would have been the perfect solution, and with its low price, incredibly easy install and added value, chances are your team has some in mind too.
Great value in motorized mount, amazingly easy to install, big wow to dollar ratio
Sets approaching the mounts stated weight limit of 80 pounds, ControlWand creates separate WiFi network
■ Depth: 1.7 inches
■ Fits most 37-52 inch flat panels TV
■ Rated weight capacity up to 80 pounds
■ 90-degree motorized swivel (left or right)
■ Can be operated by included IR remote or RS-232 port
■ USB port for ControlWand (Wi-Fi adapter, sold separately) for i-control (free app)
■ Power Supply: 100V-240V auto ranging