Greetings all. No big "theater" story here, just a long overdue elimination of my tv niche/nook above our gas log fireplace. We didn't use the fireplace much, so no loss there.
During the last couple of years, I've seen some other tv niche installations where the entire flat panel display was simply placed inside the niche itself - each was installed in a niche designed for a CRT - a FP in there just didn't look right to me because the niche was so small to begin with. We had a 32" CRT in our niche, and placing a FP display IN there just wasn't going to cut it - I'm one of those guys that if I spend money on an "upgrade", it has to be an UPgrade!
. I just couldn't see spending $1k or more on a tv that would fit inside the niche, only to have LESS screen real estate than I had with our CRT.
So, with that in mind, I set about conjuring up a way to upgrade - and - make it look asethically pleasing while being physically po$$ible.
Here's what I started with - 32" CRT in our tv niche; sorry, a small cell phone pic is all I had left.
In my case, the niche is in the center of our house, and the niche was only attached to the studs forming the forward wall - it wasn't attached to the side or back wall studs, yet it was plenty strong for a CRT, or anything where the footprint of the device concentrated the weight towards the front where it was attached. (Boy, I wish I could speak with our builder now...)
One idea from a co-worker (in the same situation) was to mount an articulating mount on the rear wall of the niche, and extend the arm out beyond the "face" of the niche. Although possible, I wasn't comfortable with that - I didn't want the arm extended all
the time and concentrating all of that weight on the back of the niche, so after much head-scratching, I eventually came up with this plan:1:
Reinforce the niche (3/4" plywood) so the load is shared by the surrounding studs.2:
Fabricate a wooden structure that permitted me to attach an articulating mount to it3:
Attach this structure to the existing niche in a way that also achieved #1.To address #1
, I added a simple 2x4 "T" above the niche. This T is attached to the niche via 3" wood screws from inside the niche going up into the T. The T, in turn, is attached to the surrounding studs with those brackets used for framing - Simpson Strong-Tie
Here's a view looking down onto the top of the niche from the attic:
Once I completed this, the niche was much stronger, and didn't flex with my weight on it.
#1 solved.To address #2
, I fabricated a modified "H" out of a 2x10, and eventually mounted my Peerless PLA50
to the "cross-piece" of the H. The cross-piece is supported on either side, and attached to the "legs" of the H with perforated steel angles. These angles are bolted through the legs of the H and through the niche.
Things to note on the H:
*If you look carefully at it, you can see where I installed the cross-piece of the H at a slight backwards angle, so that the tv naturally wants to retract - not extend (look at the vertical pencil marks just forward of the angle bracket).
*Also visible on the cross piece are the pencil lines for the Peerless wall bracket holes; the upper holes I slotted for vertical adjustment when I test mounted the tv. This allowed me to get the vertical positioning correct before drilling the final 4 holes for the wall bracket.
#2 solved.To address #3
, I attached the H to the niche on the front side with 2 lag bolts on each side into the studs (these are the empty holes near the front of the 2x10 visible in picture above). The balance of the hardware (qty 6, 3/8" bolts) is through the legs of the H, and secured with nuts & large-area washers. Four of those bolts are through the steel angle brackets supporting the cross piece of the H.
So, in a nutshell: to support and spread the load, I ended up attaching the H to the front studs with lag bolts, bolts through the H to attach it to the niche, and the wood screws up through the niche into the T reinforcement.
The final product is the last picture...
Overall, I couldn't be happier with the tv (Panasonic TH50PZ850U) or the way the mounting turned out. If I had my way (and I might), I'd mount it lower over the center channel speaker, and move the speaker above the tv, but I'm going to watch it like this for now.
FYI, its connected to:
Onkyo 601 AVR (setup in 6.1 and soon to be axed for a 7.1 AVR)
Panasonic BD55 Blu-ray player
Definitive Technology 6.1 Speaker setup:
BP2006 fronts (2)
ProCenter 100 (1)
BP1.2x Surrounds (3, soon to be 4 for 7.1)
Time Warner HD Cable
I hope this thread is beneficial to others. I over-engineered it, but I'd like my baby
to remain up on the mount until I unbolt her and bring her down...she's not permitted to come down on her own volition.
. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. I'll post some additional pics with the arm extended and the tv mounted in my next post.