ARE TV MOUNTS UNIVERSAL?

An in-depth look at what universal actually means.

What is a TV?

This might sound like a strange question as everyone knows what a TV is! However, there is a difference in how a TV is used and who uses it. Broadly speaking the usage of TVs breaks down into consumer and professional, while the usage is how long a TV might be switched on for. Professional TVs are manufactured to be switched on 24/7 and therefore have components that are designed for longevity. For the purposes of this blog we will be dealing with professional TVs and to save confusion will refer to them as displays.

What makes a TV mount universal?

When designing a universal mount there is a lot of research on the parameters that the mount has to deal with in normal use. This includes what it can safely support, the main design criteria is weight and size of the display. Universal TV mounts typically have the ability to support multiple screen sizes to offer a sort of ‘one-size-fits-all’ feel to it. However, as displays are typically manufactured in sizes from 10” to 110” you need a range of mounts to correspond to these different sizes.

Where does the term universal come from?

In 1988 NEC Home Electronics (USA) created the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) to promote its introduction of Super VGA (800 x 600 pixels). More standards were added including the fixing array on the rear face of monitors called the Flat Display Mounting Interface (FDMI) or VESA Mounting Interface Standard (MIS).

At the start of the millennium most IT computer LCD monitors used 50x50, 75x75 or 100x100mm fixing patterns depending on the size of screen. However, manufacturers of the then new Plasma Flat TV Displays did not use the VESA MIS standard and each had their own particular fixing hole patterns. Therefore, until the demise of Plasma, mounting solutions in the professional AV industry were dedicated for each make and model of screen.

As LCD technology lay claim to the panel of choice for the AV and IT industries, the number of fixing arrangements were increased by VESA and now the MIS covers all screen sizes and is organised into seven groups. Creating a generic and universally utilized fixing guide. OLED panels have followed this standard so there is now a universal standard of fixing patterns for TV displays, both consumer and professional.

As the display market has changed the design of mounts has had to keep pace. The universal mount in the AV industry came into its own after the demise of Plasma displays in 2010. All follow the VESA MIS standard of hole patterns and sizes, which for common displays of 32” up to 110” range from 100x100 to 1000x600mm.

Due to the sizes of screens, multiple mounts are often seen in universal TV mount ranges to ensure that the mount is not bigger than the TV installed on it. Typically, universal TV mounts cover a multitude of VESA fixings and screen sizes per mount. In order to maintain the display on a level plain when installing (and catering for offset VESA patterns), mounts are generally equipped with left–right and up–down adjustment. Here lies the term universal - it covers a broad range of products and is suitable for multiple brands, styles and sizes. 

Yes, most TV mounts are universal but…

UNICOL would recommend you check the description and capabilities of each mount you’re looking at to ensure that it is suitable for your size, weight and VESA pattern range. And if you’re still not sure, you can still acquire a dedicated mount that will perfectly fit to your TV.

SUMMARY

Up until 1988 and subsequently 2010, mounts needed to be dedicated to each TV display as there was no universal pattern. As LCD took precedence, so did the VESA fixing array that introduced a new standard for mounting. With modern screens varying in size and weight, there’s not a one size fits all option but a series of universal TV mounts that cater for several VESA patterns and screen sizes. So although most TV mounts are universal – it’s still best to check the small print to ensure it’s going to fit your TV.