Friday, March 30, 2007

Enclosure gets flat TV closer to wall


This is a preview, not a review.
While TVs are undeniably getting thinner, they are still not wallpaper thin; and mounting hardware and cables will put even the thinnest plasma or LCD TV several inches away from the wall. They look OK head-on, but can look really crappy from the side.

Mount-maker Chief Manufacturing has a better idea.

They make a super-sturdy steel in-wall box that can fit between your wall studs, and hold and conceal a swing-arm wall mount and cables. Instead of the usual three to six inches of separation, with the Chief MAC-500, you can get your TV within a half inch of the wall, and it will look fine from the sides.

The MAC-500 can be used in new construction, renovation, or in existing walls. The unit is compatible with most 26-40" flat-panel displays attached to a Chief JWD mount. It can handle TVs and mounts with a combined weight of up to 75 pounds.

It's designed to fit between studs installed on standard 16" centers. In an existing wall, cut out the sheetrock or other wall material and add top and bottom headers (cross beams) for support. The package includes trim to finish off the installation.

Price is about $200, not including the TV mount. It's available at BestBuy and elsewhere. You can pay an audio-video expert to install it for you, but any reasonably handy person should be able to DIY it.