Trade shows like CEDIA are a great place to pick up tips and tricks for marketing and demoing the products and services that you sell as an electronic systems contractor. One demo you should probably avoid at all costs, though, is the quick-and-easy TV mount installation routine. Because, let’s face it, for such simple devices, there’s still a lot of inexplicable mystery surrounding the flat-panel wall mount.
The WallWizard TA55 Large Tilt Mount was easy to install despite its cumbersome user manual, and even without ControlWand, the TA55’s control options are impressive to the uninitiated.
I’ve been begging my best friend (and sci-fiwatching buddy) to let me wall mount the TV in her living room for months. Not only because the crowded, cluttered front wall was a blight in an otherwise immaculate home, but mostly because I was tired of scrunching my neck down to watch her 50-inch Samsung LCD once I’d slumped into the comfy couch.
It was easy enough to talk her into a surround sound system, even with the rear speakers hanging on the walls. It was easy enough to convince her that a control system reduces, rather than adds, complication. But a wall mounted TV? “Won’t that take all day to do? I don’t want to have to look way up at my TV! Where will all the wires go?” It wasn’t until I had WallWizard’s TA55 Large Tilt Mount in hand and nowhere else to review it that she reluctantly relented.
And when I was done, scarcely an hour later, she blinked and said, “That’s it? That’s all it took? It looks gorgeous!”
But really, do your clients need to know how easy the TA55 is to install? Give them a peek at the thick, obfuscatory installation manual, and they’ll swear you’ve got a Herculean task ahead of you. Do you really have to tell them that the plentiful oblong bolt holes of the TA55’s wall plate make symmetrical installation a cinch, even if your wall studs aren’t perfectly centered? Or that the built-in level makes things that much simpler? (Or, for that matter, that aside from a drill, you’ve got everything you need for solid concrete wall installation right in the box?)
Even prepping the TV itself is easy, given the lack of VESA plates to worry about. The screen brackets have holes aplenty to handle just about any vertical spacing, and horizontal spacing isn’t an issue, given that the rail on which you hook the screen brackets spans the width of the wall plate. So anything between 200x100 mm and 600x400 mm is easily accommodated. The adjustable security straps at the bottom even allow you to pull the bottom of the display out from the wall a bit before latching, to enable access to cables and interconnects.
What you can (and should) tell your clients is that WallWizard offers a control option that’s unique in the world of wall mounts as far as I know. The mount sports a USB port for use with the company’s ControlWand wireless adapter, which will work in conjunction with an upcoming iOS app to allow you to tilt (and pan on full-motion models) from a touchscreen interface, or even enter a motion-sensing gyro mode in which the motion of the TV follows the motion of the iDevice itself.
Even without ControlWand, the TA55’s control options are impressive to the uninitiated. I didn’t tell my bestie that I ran the included TosLink cable from the TV to the mount’s control box, so when we fired up her system and her TV automatically tilted down 10 degrees (only to return to the home position when we powered the TV off), she ooh’d and ahh’d as if I’d worked some form of esoteric magic. The mount’s IR remote commands can also be programmed into any learning remote, but the included wand is small and stylish enough not to be an eyesore for those who prefer the simplest approach.
And just between me and you, although WallWizard suggests a $299.99 retail price for the TA55 (with a MAP of $199.99), even if you cut your clients a heck of a deal, you’re still going to be making enough of a profit to make up for the pitiful margins on the TVs you sell.
Like I said, it took me about an hour to install my first TA55, mostly because of the clunky instruction manual. I could probably knock out another one in less than 20 minutes, and after installing a few, you can probably do it a lot quicker. As to whether or not you kick back afterward and watch a few episodes of Firefly with your satisfied customer to celebrate a job well done–well, that’s entirely up to you.
Thin, unobtrusive motorized mount that’s easy to install. And there’s even an app for that.
The installation manual leaves a lot to be desired– although, to be fair, you’ll only need it once. The tilt mechanism is a little slow.
■ Depth: 1 inch
■ Fits most 37-inch to 55- inch flat-panel TVs
■ Weight Capacity: Up to 100 lbs
■ Variable Title: 0 degrees to 10 degrees
■ RS-232 port for automation control
■ USB port for ControlWand (Wi-Fi adapter sold separately) to use hand held devices like iPhone or iPod to control the mount.
■ Power Supply: 100V - 240V auto ranging
■ Warranty: 1 year
■ Certifications: UL, CUL, CE