Home Theater TV Installation Tips

Looking for a few TV installation tips?
Some of the info here may seem like common sense -- but I've gone on service calls where common sense isn't all that common. Here are a few tips to help your TV installation go a bit more smoothly and safely.
TV Placement is important
Place your TV so there is little or no reflection or glare on the TV. Window reflections are distracting. Place it away from high-traffic areas for safety and less interruption of viewing purposes.

Of course try to position your TV so that the majority of your seating has a decent angle for viewing. Logically that would be on a short wall of a rectangular room.

Keep your TV away from heat sources. Electronics like cool environments. Which brings me to a personal annoyance. That's the the growing trend with flat panels of mounting them over a fire place mantel. I don't feel that's a good idea for a couple of reasons -- heat and sightlines. The heat is self-explanatory and I prefer my TV be at eye-level rather than having to look up to see (unless that TV is in my bedroom).

Whether you are hanging your flat-panel TV over a fireplace or on a wall -- hang it securely. On a wall - find the wall studs and use them. Most all wall mounts require the use of two studs for good reason -- you don't want your pricey new baby falling off the wall. Using a Stud Finder is much more reliable and accurate than tapping on a wall to locate the studs. Also be sure to locate the center of the stud and insert the screw and/or bolts squarely into the center of the stud to prevent angling into it which would provide much less structural support strength.

If you're mounting your HDTV on brick over a fireplace you'll need a masonry bit for your drill and considerable muscle if you don't have a hammer-drill. Be sure to properly seat the inserts in their holes and use the biggest bolts you can to anchor it -- especially if it's a plasma as they are generally much heavier than LCDs. If you think it's brick over the fireplace - make darn sure it's really brick and not some sort of fake-brick-looking Z-Brick type facing. If it is brick facing you must locate at least two underlying wall studs for anchoring your mounting bracket's lag-screw bolts.

Use a socket attachment and a corded power drill
You will at least want to use a socket and a ratchet wrench. A socket attachment will help prevent "ramping-out" the heads on the mounting screws by providing a more secure grip on the outside of the bolt rather than the inner Phillips head grooves. Also a corded power drill will provide much more long-lasting torque than your arms. Considerable torque is needed to insert the long-threaded TV mounting bolts into wall studs. The first half-inch or so into the wall is relatively easy - the last inch or so is pretty tough to nearly impossible to do with a manual screwdriver.

It's done with smoke and mirrors
Well a mirror anyways - smoke is not so much a good thing around electronics. After your HDTV is mounted - a hand mirror is handy to have and in some cases is a must-have so you can see the TV's rear A/V connections to connect cables especially if you mount over a fireplace and the mantel prevents you from getting your head underneath where you can directly see the various audio and inputs. If at all possible - connect your power and interconnecting cables before hanging your TV. Buying cables a bit longer than needed will make connecting any component a bit easier.

Read onward for how-to tips for audio-video components.

TV Installation Tips

Home Theater Installation Tips

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