One of the benefits of the advent of flat-panel TVs is that you can attach them to walls. This not only creates that much-vaunted “video window” that SciFi has touted for years — along with adding a striking decor touch — but totally eliminates the footprint that placing it on a TV stand or cabinet creates. Add any number of TV mounts designed to use with pretty much any flat-panel now out, and what could be better?
Or worse, as the case might be. Especially if you’re living in an apartment. Mounting a flat-panel to the wall requires a few holes and some hardware — certainly not a big issue for anyone who has some experience with puttering around the house, but it also creates a few possible issues that could be problematic. Taking them in order of possible annoyance, the landlord may not take kindly to y our making holes in the wall, and exact a price for when you move (i.e., keeping your security deposit to start). Not knowing where the electrical wires in the wall can be deadly if drilled into — you’d think that couldn’t happen since you’re just looking for the wooden studs inside the wall, but too far too many, the “ignorance is bliss” is a lifestyle.
So what can you do, other than give up and use a cabinet or TV stand which removes any free space from its top in order to hold the TV? You can get one of Sanus’ FMS furniture mounting systems, is what. Specifcially the Furniture Mount System FMS01-B1 flat-panel mount.
Bear with me on this. You’ll first have to buy your A/V furniture (for example, a cabinet) from Sanus, because there needs to be FMS compatibility. But you’ll be getting high quality A/V furniture, not junk from some big-box store. And the same lack of major assembliage that was needed for the furniture applies to the Furniture Mount System FMS01-B1 — if you can follow some obvious diagrams and keep your calm matching numbered pieces against the pictures, you’ll be done in no time.
So I’ve got the Sanus cabinet that was assembled last week in position in the bedroom — I’ve already placed all the components needed to “drive” the flat-panel example I’ll mount inside. The FMS can handle between 32-inches and 60-inches (weight up to 130), so you’re not restricted to some tiny display.
Removing all the parts form the long rectangular box, I can see that a bit more effort is involved here than was the case with the cabinet — in that I’ll need a few tools (would need even more if I was wall mounting, so man up). The interesting thing to me is that the connections (or “mounts”) that go between the flat-panel pillar and the cabinet do not require drilling — that’s part of the whole “FMS” system I guess. Basically you’re relying on properly attaching plates onto the back that hold themselves in position (there’s that whole “FMS” bit again). This is a whole lot easier to do than talk about, btw.
So the procedure is straightforward, if a bit more involved than the cabinet was. First I assembled the pillar and supporting parts for the plate that is going to hold the flat-panel. Hardware attaches to the flat-panel’s back to match that of the pillar and the two are mated together. Expect to spend time lining up the flat-panel with the pillar so it gets done right — if you can get another person to work on this with you at this stage, you’ll be golden. And while flat-panels are incredibly light these days, compared to the old CRT models, I do not suggest you mount the pillar and flat-panel together first. It will make connecting the pillar to the cabinet many times more difficult than it needs to be.
Once the flat-panel is mounted, route the wiring so it is not sticking out and plug the TV in — again, you should be sensible and place the cabinet where it is going to go first (who needs the added strain of trying to move a cabinet and mounted flat-panel). Keeping it about a foot from a wall, if that’s its destination, will give you more than enough “wiggle” room to maneuver; then moving it back a bit more is all that needs to be done (if you’re on wood, or even carpeting, those floor moving “coaster” you can get will really do the trick to let the cabinet be moved without scratching).
Bottom line: The Furniture Mount System FMS01-B1 goes great guns with Sanus’ FMS-compatible A/V furniture. You get the best of both worlds: a “floating” flat-panel HDTV that doesn’t require being wall-mounted. For those looking to gussy up their home theater, see Sanus’ line of A/V furniture first, then go this alternative to wall mounting your flat-panel.
- Straightforward assembly
- Drill free mounting
- Tilts/swivels without tools
- Furniture must be Sanus FMS compatible
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.