Modern TVs can be integrated into the home a lot of different ways. Before we go over each, here are some tips for traditional display hanging…
Hanging your TV
- Metal studs (commonly found in NYC high rises) are not designed to hold the weight of a TV. Attach a back board to the metal studs and your bracket to the back board for an installation that won’t sag the moment someone accidentally leans on it.
- Cleaner than a hole in the wall for your cables is a larger hole for a back box that has a bracket and cable management built-in. If done right this will allow your TV to sit completely flush to the wall.
- Look at your power cord ahead of time. Some razor thin displays can come with surprisingly bulky power supplies that can be difficult to hide (and hiding them behind the wall has to be done to electrical code.)
- Make sure you leave enough slack so the TV can be pulled out far enough to access the back.
- HDMI signals become unreliable after 25 feet. To hide your components in another room or closet we recommend running Cat6 (reliable up to 300 feet) and using a balun to convert the HDMI signal on both ends. (This solution future-proofs for 4K adoption, but not the eventual 8K standard without compressing the image. For 8K you need to run fiber, but converting it properly is challenging and requires more expensive equipment.)
- Using a video matrix becomes financially advantageous after three or four TVs. This allows you to share sources instead of replicating them for each TV, leaving you with less to hide and lower monthly costs for certain sources.
- Benefits: Cleanest way to get video into the bathroom, or to position as a room’s centerpiece without dominating attention.
- Challenges: You have to choose between slightly better mirror or slightly better TV, and slightly better mirror is crucial so that the display is truly invisible when turned off. Also audio, video sources and control must be run elsewhere.
- Conclusion: Ideal for background entertainment or information in smaller spaces like bathrooms. Living room applications are best suited for those who don’t mind taking an unavoidable hit in brightness levels.
Note: There are two types –
Real framed art that moves, and fake art that rolls up like a shade.
- Benefits: Opportunity to display high quality video and real art in the same space.
- Challenges: The roller options use fake art and sometimes shadowbox the canvas away from the frame edge, which looks terrible. The versions that move the canvas above or to the side of the display require ample clearance.
- Conclusion: Terrific solution for those with real art and a limitation of space. A less satisfying solution for those who order art for the purpose of covering their TV.
- Benefits: Ability to hide your TV in plain sight by displaying digital art with a natural look and minimal glare. Different matte styles and a very thin frame make for a believable experience.
- Challenges: It needs to be tuned to the room’s ambient lighting (we go in depth about this here), and power and connection cables need to be completely hidden to pull off the illusion.
- Conclusion: Not the best TV and not the best digital art display, but a really nice compromise between the two. White and black frame options make it a great feature among a group of hung pictures.
- Benefits: No wall required, the ability to place your TV in he middle of the room, and myriad options (under bed, drop ceiling, furniture.)
- Challenges: Furniture options require the lift to be bigger than the TV and the cabinet to be bigger than the lift, resulting in a huge cabinet that can’t really double for any other purpose. Under bed lifts need a lot of clearance. Finally, motors for larger displays tend to make noise.
- Conclusion: A slick solution for rooms with lots of windows and no wall to hang a TV, but patience required as these things are pretty slow.
- Benefits: A built-in feature in some upcoming displays that offers an alternative to the giant black rectangle when not in use.
- Challenges: By building the image based on a picture you take, it’s unlikely version 1.0 will look believable.
- Conclusion: Samsung’s latest Ambient Mode is a clever feature that will at minimum allow walls to have a more uniform look at a glance.
- Benefits: Ability to blend indoors and out with a rugged display that automatically adjusts its brightness as surrounding light changes.
- Challenges: Cover must be used consistently or the display will need to be wiped down between each use. Extending audio and control outside required.
- Conclusion: Not inexpensive, but one of the most figured out video applications for the home, built from the ground up for outdoor use.