Tips for mounting that greatest of holiday gifts: a flat screen TV

(ARA) – Flat screen TVs are sure to be a popular holiday gift this year, as they’ve been for the past several holiday seasons. Last year, flat screen prices tumbled before the holiday shopping season, and retailers are likely to offer deals again this year.

If a flat screen is on your wish list, or you’ll be giving one as a gift, you should keep in mind that how you mount a flat screen is almost as important as the quality of the unit itself. A properly mounted flat screen can offer many hours of safe, quality entertainment. Mounting your TV in the wrong location or at the wrong height could mean a poor viewing experience.

Fortunately, your mounting options are nearly as varied – and definitely as high quality – as your choices in TVs. So after the wrapping paper is tossed, and you’re ready to set up your flat screen, keep these mounting tips in mind:

* Don’t wing it. You may be tempted to try perching an ultra-slim flat screen on the mantle above your fireplace, or place a more compact model on top of your bedroom bureau. But even the lightest flat screen can pose a safety hazard if it’s not properly secured. Whether you’re wall mounting the TV or want to put it on top of a piece of furniture, stick with products that are made to accommodate a flat screen.

* Wall mounting is a great way to show off a flat screen, and one of the safest ways to reduce the risk of the TV falling on someone. For situations where you’ll be watching the TV from right in front of it, a stationery mount works well. If you need to expand your range of possible viewing angles, look for a full-motion mount that locks securely to the wall, like the Sanus VisionMount series, which are rated by Underwriters Laboratories.

* Consider the size of the TV and the size of the room where it will be used. You may fall in love with that 52-inch beauty, but is it really going to be that enjoyable crammed into a 10-by-12 bedroom? Keep scale in mind because the larger the TV, the more viewing distance you’ll need to have an optimum experience. You’ll need to consider this when choosing where and how to mount your TV.

* Avoid component chaos. Of course, you’ll want to connect your home theater system, Blu-ray player and game system to your new flat screen and that can lead to a mishmash of cables and components. Consider a specially designed storage unit for components and opt for cables, like the Sanus Elements ELM4308 Super Slim HDMI cable, that are specially designed to work in tight spaces while preserving a neat appearance.

For more ideas on how to mount your flat screen TV, visit