As much as flatscreen TVs have become ubiquitous, so has the mount. The result? Mounts that offer limited functionality and at best articulate the position of the screen from left to right or at a very slight angle up and down. As a result I’ve long stood my ground and said no flatscreen should be mounted above the fireplace. The result is an angle that induces a crick in the neck that will land you in a chiropractor’s office seeking realignment. However, now I can resign from that position thanks to the Down and Out Mount.
As mentioned, traditional flatscreen mounts don’t do much more than angle the TV up and down or from the left to right. For added cash you can purchase one that does all that and extends 20-30″ inches from the wall. But that’s hardly an ideal resolve for anyone that has plans to perch their flatscreen above their fireplaces mantel. A flatscreen above the mantel ultimately means that anyone sitting on a sofa will have to stare upwards, very much like getting the worst seat in the movie theater – you know, the one closest to the screen. It’s hardly the ideal way to watch TV and movies. In fact, ask any home theater enthusiast or professional and they’ll tell you the ideal height for any TV is at eye level while seated. Sure, there is some variability there, but the end game is to ensure that the TV isn’t so high (or low) that one has to lean their head back.
The Down and Out Mount resolves this quandary with what at first appeared to be a complicated design. But after installing it, it’s so simple I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it first. That said, the Down and Out Mount is not cheap, but it does provide something that no other mount on the market does, at least that has crossed my path. It’s constructed of steel and like the traditional mounts of today comes in two pieces; one piece (two in fact) that attach to the back of the TV using the standard screw hole mounts and another piece that adheres to the wall using a set of screws.
At first blush the piece that mounts to the wall, the mount itself, is a mess of screws, levers and bolts. By default it comes fixed in the upright position and until it’s adhered to the wall you won’t understand the simplicity and effectiveness of this mount. That said, getting it on the wall, using the available instructions takes a fair bit of patience and a tad of engineering skills. However, my mounting scenario was a bit unorthodox since the wall above my fire place mantel is recessed, which required me to account for the space above the mounts maximum height. Furthermore, the studs behind my wall we’re virtually nonexistent relative to the range of the mount, which in turn required me to screw pieces of wood to my wall in a perpendicular fashion.
Now, when it comes time for you to mount your Down and Out Mount to the wall you’ll want to consider the depth of your mantel such that you can determine the downward travel distance of the mount. Placing the mount too close to the mantel and the arms will hit the mount. Conversely, place the mount too high and the mount won’t be as effective. Fortunately, Dynamic Mounting provides a handy guide to determine the ideal height of the mount, or at the very least an indicator of how much downward travel distance you’ll be able to achieve. In my case I took this into account as well as the upward or final resting position of the mount since my mantel area is entirely recessed. Nonetheless, I was able to fix the Down and Out Mount to my wall despite these hurdles, so if your setup is anything less it should be a breeze, at least comparatively.
From a construction standpoint the Down and Out Mount is solid. It’s an all metal construction. Two thinner arms provide added support – the Down and Out Mount can hold sets up to 110lbs – which also serve a dual purpose allowing you to angle the TV 15 degrees in the up position or 6 to -4 degrees in the down position. While it may be appear confusing at first, a set of screws allow you to adjust this range of motion, though they’re not easy to reach once the mount is in place and will take some trial and error to determine the best tightness. The majority of the TV’s weight is held by a large metal arm that is hydraulically loaded to keep the TV in the up or down position and allows for a smooth range of motion that can reach as far as 30-inches in distance from top to bottom. To adjust the hydraulic arms counter balance weight, you’ll also need to rotate a large screw hidden in the back of the mount. It too is a bit fiddly to adjust and more so when on the wall – I suggest adjusting it to the lowest setting before you mount since odds are you’ll adhere your TV at the lowest position.
It’s important to note that the Down and Out Mount has a patent, so it’s the only one you’ll find like it. Unfortunately, the mount doesn’t let you adjust the viewing angle from left to right, which is probably the mount’s biggest short coming. Dynamic Mounting has designed the mount such that it locks in the up or down position, provided of course you’ve got the aforementioned screw adjusted accordingly. There is also an integrated cable management system so you don’t pinch cords, though I didn’t find that necessary in the case of my setup.
In terms of performance I really couldn’t be happier with the Down and Out Mount. There is nothing else like it on the market. Other mounts, which mind you could cost the same, simply extend from the wall and don’t address the issues caused by a fireplace mantel. That said, when I extend my 55-inch LED TV, which doesn’t way more than 60lbs from the wall, the mount has a tendency to wobble a bit, but so far, after 5 weeks of use there are no signs of it failing or wearing. Positives aside, the Down and Out Mount instruction manual is not on par with the cost or the flexibility of the mount. My instructions were something of a photocopied version and while they made more sense after I had mounted the Down and Out Mount to the wall, it would have liked to see a more simple step-by-step approach to mounting the mount in my scenario as well as a breakdown of all the screws and pieces that can be adjusted on the mount.
The Down and Out Mount performs like no other mount on the market today. Anyone planning to mount their TV above the fireplace should, at the very least consider the Down and Out Mount as a top option.
- Only mount that can move the TV from above or below the fireplace mantel
- Solid metal construction that will last
- Relatively simple to install
- Confusing instructions don’t reflect the high price of the mount
- Can’t angle the TV left or right