The Monitor Hangs Out
Classrooms and projectors go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? Well, a new generation of inexpensive flat-screen monitors and TVs could make that adage obsolete. The problem is how to set up a 60-pound display for the whole class to see. The answer is purpose-built mounting hardware that can stand up to the stresses involved and allow the screen to be moved around.
It’s a well-kept secret that most big monitors and TVs (plus a good deal of smaller ones) have mounting screws on them that, thanks to standardization by VESA, mate with the mounting hardware. The only question that remains is how big do you want to go?
For really big screens, Premier Mounts’ AM501 comes through with the ability to securely hold up to a 500-pound display. It can accommodate a screen size of between 80- and 90-inches and the monitor can be set up in portrait or landscape orientation. It sturdily holds the display in place yet can tilt up and down 4-degrees and swivel 90-degrees to provide a variety of viewing angles. It costs $1,600.
By contrast, Ergotron’s Neo-Flex mounting kit has a cantilever arm that allows the screen to pivot out from the wall to divide the room into two separate teaching areas. It can also fold right up against the wall providing a good view for all in the room. It’s “X” mount allows the Neo-Flex to work with monitors and TVs from 23- to 42-inches and tops out at 80-pounds. The kit costs $179.
Visicec’s VFS-DH desktop stand doubles up on monitors by accommodating a pair of 24-inch screens, creating a roughly 42-inch composite display that can show one large image or two independent items. It may have a black line down the middle where the monitors meet but it is a unique way to display how a science experiment works or show the video of a political speech on one screen and the text on the other. Made of extruded aluminum, the mount can be adjusted so that the screens can move up to 20-degrees in any direction, handle up to total of 26.5-pounds and work with touch-screens. It occupies a modest 16.6- by 12-inches of desktop space and sells for $239.
The WLB243 may not be able to support the big screens, but it is the cheapskate’s choice because at $7, it’s less than the sales tax on some of the others. Small and light, it is made of powder coasted aluminum and is able to securely hold up to a 35-pound 24-inch monitor or TV the kit has a universal “X” mount. The screen can be swiveled, tilted and panned so everyone gets a good view. In addition to all the hardware you’ll ever need, it has a secret weapon: a bubble level to make sure it sits straight.
What if you don’t have any walls big enough to mount a monitor? Chief’s MCSV mounting hardware can let it hang from the ceiling. The mounting kit allows the display to be rotated between portrait and landscape orientations. At the touch of the fingertips, it can tilt 5-degrees forward or up to 20-degrees back and tops out at a 55-inch screen that weighs 125 pounds. It costs $140.