Can a TV Wall Mount Fail and Get Your Flat Screen Smashed to Bits?

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This article’s title was actually a question put forth by a member of a forum on electronics that I often hang out in. It’s also something that I’ve wondered about myself as I also use one for one of my LCD flat screens. Of course we know that a TV wall mount is bolted onto the wall and most should be designed to stay bolted forever but when I did some research bout it, I suddenly realized how serious the topic really is and it should be something TV owners need to think about carefully. It’s certainly not something that happens a lot. But when it happens, it will surely be a pain. The following are what I’ve learned in my online research on the matter:

  1. The worst case scenario would be when a TV wall mount breaks or get unhinged by the unit’s weight and falls on something living. This includes the danger of the unit falling on a pet or a human being. Sometime in 2009, something like this happened with tragic results. The TV came loose from the wall and fell on a 2-year old boy whose injuries proved to be fatal. Another case I’ve found involved a 120 lb. plasma unit falling on its owner’s head but fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously hurt.
  2. It will surely be a stressful and possibly costly accident because there’s always a big question mark whether warranty or insurance will cover the damaged unit in such an incident. It’s mostly certain the TV manufacturer’s warranty will not cover wall mount failure because that’s obviously not their fault. Going after the wall mount’s manufacturer will probably your best bet but there will be the question on whether the wall mount was at fault or was it a problem with the installation. If the installation was done incorrectly, then manufacturer might be free of liability.
  3. The best way to go about installing a TV wall mount is to have it installed professionally, either by the retailer or the manufacturer. That way you can eliminate negligence on your part when it comes to installation and liability in case of mount failure will stay with manufacturer/retailer.
  4. Try not add to the mount’s load by hanging stuff on it but most of all, tell the kids not to play it hang out under it. Considering the immediate area under the TV as a no play area.
  5. Get the best kind of wall mount you can buy and see number 3.
  6. If you have to do the installation, follow the instructions to the letter! Do not compromise with the tools and materials that you use. When in doubt, consult a professional.
  7. You could do away with wall mounts and go for possible alternatives like TV lift cabinets that don’t require you to precariously hang anything on the wall.
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A Wireless and an Almost Wireless LED Monitor from Samsung and AOC

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Do you know that you can now do away with the clutter of cords and wire that usually comes with using flat screen displays with your computer or laptop? Well, if you’re like me who’s tired of all the ugly tangle of cord then you might appreciate what AOC and Samsung have come up for us. Yes, these two companies are currently selling a couple of neat LED backlit flat screen LCD displays that have eliminated this problem. Well, at least the Samsung has totally solved the problem with wireless technology while the AOC nearly got there. I will explain that one in a bit but let’s start off with the Samsung.

The Wireless Samsung C27A750X

This LED-backlit LCD flat screen monitor is basically a docking display and computer monitor rolled into one. It uses wireless technology to hook up with your laptop, notebook (or even desktop) so you can use it as a docking station and a display extension. This means you don’t have need to get a docking station so you could extend your displays. You just need this one Samsung! Definitely a boon if you use a small-ish notebook/laptop for your mobile needs but would want something bigger when you get home! It is 27-inch with a full HD (1080p) resolution so you’d get ample pixel space if you need it. Wireless connection for this unit is achieved using a USB adapter that you will need insert into one of your notebook’s USB ports. You could also hook it up via wired USB cable if any situation warrants so. And since it’s also a docking station, it comes with a sufficient number of the standard connectivity features like USB3, USB2, HDMI, etc. See following unboxing video for the Samsung C27A750X:

Related: Using a 4K TV as your computer monitor

The Almost Wireless AOC E1649FWU

If you’re not really looking a monitor with docking capabilities like the Samsung then the AOC E1649FWU might be good enough if you could get over the fact that it isn’t really wireless in the same sense as the Samsung. But it does have one very neat capability; that is, it does not require a power cord. It gets all its power from the wired USB connection to your laptop/notebook. It’s value is in its portability and it works well as a presentation device. Just prop it up on a table and you can run your presentation. It has an auto-pivot feature to re-orient image depending on whether it’s in portrait or landscape position. Resolution is 1366 x 768 so it should be nice for casual viewing or showing of images but feedback from users indicate it’s really not for high-quality image or video editing work so be advised. Well it’s also way cheaper than the Samsung so features should be limited.

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LCD vs. LED vs. OLED Flat Screen TVs

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If you’re looking for a new flat screen TV for your home then I’m sure you’ve been bombarded by almost countless options available to buyers today. Even if you’re out to buy with very specific criteria (price, TV size, energy efficiency, etc.) in mind they do not really make it an easier decision for you. One of the things that you will need to figure out are the names. You’ll need to sort through the nomenclature that will create a bit of confusion. I mean, do you know the difference between LCD TVs, LED TVs and the newer OLED TVs? If the answer is no then please keep reading.

Old and new LCD TV backlighting

The liquid crystal display (LCD) is a type of display technology that usually requires some sort of illumination to create images. The pixels in an LCD display can produce the color required to produce images but they can not be seen if they do not get illuminated by a separate light source. The older generation of LCD TVs were lit by fluorescent lamps. These lamps were referred to as cold cathode fluorescent lights (CCFL) that are usually installed behind the LCD screen panel to provide the backlighting required to complete the picture being shown. That’s basically the key to understanding the difference between LCD TVs and those referred to as LED TVs. Some manufacturers have misleadingly promoted LED TVs as a new television technology that’s supposed to replace the older LCD TV but the former isn’t really a new technology as it only uses a different form of back lighting, namely light emitting diodes (LEDs), instead of the conventional CCFLs.

This of course was prompted by our ever continuing quest to shrink everything as LEDs, with their small sizes, have enabled TV engineers to reduce thickness and weight of LCD TVs which they named LED LCD TVs or LED TVs for short. The LEDs are usually placed behind the LCD panels in an array configuration or they could be lined up around the panel edges which brought about the “Edge Lighting” classification of LED flat screens. Edge lighting are usually thinner and lighter compared to full array types but the latter are usually preferred if you are after better picture quality. Having the LEDs in an array enable TVs to independently control light output of the LEDs in different areas of the screen. Referred to as the “local-dimming” ability, this gives these types of flat screens improved contrast which makes for better picture quality compared to other types like the edge-lit varieties.

Read: Cheap 4K (Ultra-HD) flat screens priced under $1,000!

One limitation of these types of TVs is that they need to be lit to do their work as televisions. This is in contrast to the erstwhile king of the living rooms, the cathod-ray tube (CRT) TVs of the yester-years, which do not require separate forms of lighting because they produce pictures by creating their own light. The plasma flat screen does the same thing which is the reason why it produces better imagery compared to the older generations of the LCD TV. Plasma screens produces the deepest blacks because it simply stops producing light to do so. Older LCDs create grays at best because they can’t just turn off the backlighting which results to poorer contrast relative to plasma.

OLED TVs: Truly a new flat screen TV technology

OLED, which stands for organic light emitting diode, has been around for a longer time than most people know as we have been using this technology in other fields other than TV dipslays. Cell phone makers, for instance, have been using them for many years in their phones before it was used for TV displays. Now, OLED TVs are considered a truly new type of TV technology because it no longer uses LCD. Instead they use LEDs at the pixel level which means it produces its own illumination which then more akin to CRTs and plasmas and very different from LCDs. OLEDs probably deserve the name LED TVs more than the current crop of “LED TVs” do because they really use, well, LEDs!


And because OLED flat screens do not require any form of back-illumination to produce pictures, they tend to be thinner and lighter than any of their thinnest and lightest LCD counterparts. They also produce more superb images with better contrast and color rendition which should make them great centerpieces in homes. Another new thing that you will see with OLEDs are that some are designed to have curved screens which they say improves the watching experience. The only problem at this point of its life cycle is that they are extremely expensive with current models priced north of $5,000 so they aren’t for everyone yet.

Related: Go future-ready with the Ultra-HD 4K TV

The LCD or LED or OLED TV question

If you’re looking to buy a new flat screen TV then the decision on which one to buy all boils down to your preferences and budget. Each buyer will balance these two factors differently but if money isn’t an issue, I guess there’s really no excuse not to go for the top-of-the-line OLED unit. Samsung and LG are fighting head-to-head in this arena so you should look at their current offerings.¬†On the other hand, if money is a big issue the way it is for rest of us then striking a balance between preference and budget should be the way to go. The great news is that it shouldn’t be hard to find a good unit at any price level out there today. Innovation is helping give us better and better buying options which is always good if you understand what you are looking for. We’re hoping this article helps clear out some of the misconceptions so you could arrive at a better decision in your decision to buy a new flat screen TV.

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Using a 4K TV as computer monitor?

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One of the things people might be wondering about 4K TVs is whether they can be used as full time monitor displays for computers. Well, the short answer, as the following video by MrThaiBox123 of Youtube shall show is YES. This solves a lot of the screen real estate issues plaguing many of us since most laptop or desktop computer monitors hasn’t really gotten past high definition level pixel counts. If you only have a laptop, you could set this up for your home work station so that when you get home, all you do is plug in your laptop and you can have a bigger, more spacious screen to work with. Will certainly come in handy if you’re into photography, graphics and video which usually require ample screen space.

Related article: Using your desktop computer monitor as your TV

One question that might pop in your head is on the cost-effectiveness of such a setup. With most 4K TVs from the likes of Samsung, LG and Sony being sold at approximately $3,000 minimum, would the additional resolution be worth the price? Well, the answer is probably no if you’re looking at those brands. The video looks at a 39-inch unit made by Seiki which is significantly less expensive (at only $499.99 as of this writing) Continue reading “Using a 4K TV as computer monitor?” »

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The Advantages of Expensive HDMI Cables Over Generic Ones? None Mostly!

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While shopping around for an HDMI cable, I stumbled onto a very interesting experiment which set out to answer whether pricey HDMI cables do have any relative advantage compared to their more inexpensive generic counterparts. All of us HD enthusiasts can relate to this, can’t we? Seeing as to how varied the prices of these things are out there, I was quite interested with the results. As for me, in choosing between a $200 and a $12 cable, I’d love to have some hard facts as to why I should go for the wallet-breaker over one that I could buy without batting an eyelash. What’s up with these expensive cables anyway?

The experimenter in this case is a guy named Zsolt Malota who runs an audio-visual installation outfit, a business which he started in 1995. His hypothesis was that HDMI cables of the same category but varying in price points should perform similarly under normal circumstances. Parameters that he needed to measure were related to image quality like image brightness and color rendition and he used some really fancy gear and software for the comparison.

Materials, Tools, Software

calib-5Materials for this experiment were composed of, a 2 mtr. cable bundled with a Toshiba BD player box (BDX1200Y), a generic HDMI cable (2 mtr., $12), a WireWorld cable (5 mtr., $140) and a fancy Audio Dimension cable (5 m., approx. $200).

Image quality was measured using an X-rite i1pro Spectrophotometer, an X-right Hubble Colorimeter (mounted on a professional Benro tripod setup) and a Quantum Data QD780 signal generator. Television used was a Samsung PS50C7000 plasma screen TV. A laptop with a commercial installation of a Calman calibration software.

The spectrophotometer is a device that measures light values (brightness) while the colorimeter measures the different visible light wavelengths (color values). Used together, an observer will be able to measure the correctness or accuracy of color rendition on a TV screen.

Results

After feeding the the readings into the software, it is pretty clear that the cheap HDMI cable doesn’t seem to have any any significant drawbacks as far as image color rendition/reproduction is concerned as either of the cables showed color readings that fell exactly where they should in the gamut color charts. Meaning, the $12 cable performed just as good as the $200 cable. See the gamut charts produced by the software over at Zsolt’s thread at the Overclockers forum where he reported his results.55-33021-iibuy-12dollarThis basically tells you to save your $200 for something else and just go get the cheap one for your HD home theater set-up! Jason Imms of Tested.com, however, suggested that there may be situations you’d want a pricier cable such as when there’s a need to lay down the cables inside of walls or underneath floors. In such cases, you’d want cables that are manufactured with top quality durable materials that will stand the test of time. It’s expected that the cheap generic ones are probably not built to last so better keep that in mind if you’re shopping for one.

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How to cut on cable TV expenses

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Cable television remains to be one of the major sources of home entertainment. However, recent years have seen the rise of the Internet as a major source of media content such that if you are looking to watch something you no longer necessarily have to grab the remote and turn on that TV. Apparently, cable subscription is no longer as necessary as it was a decade or so ago. As a matter of fact, it is now entirely feasible to let go of your subscription and entirely depend on online sources for your favorite TV shows!

fd3c7c294ecdcba5d19085d2031122b9.pngSo yeah one way to cut on cable costs is to quit subscription altogether and just rely on alternative content streams. As suggested in one of our previous articles, one option is to turn your computer into a TV by getting access to TV channels via the Internet. This route usually involves the use of software (which usually entails a one-time fee) that collates digital content from television channels all around the world. Take note however that most of these services may not provide premium content so forget about getting free access to the latest season of your favorite HBO series or that blockbuster boxing or MMA match.

For premium content, you might want to look at streaming services provided by the likes of Netflix and Hulu which also charges for content but at comparatively lower costs. If you do not mind watching your favorite shows a couple of days late then these guys should be perfect for you. The best thing about this is that you no longer have to pay for cable channels that you aren’t really into and just pay for shows that you really want.

Can you cut down cost by getting an a la carte cable deal?

A recent CNN article discussed this to address increasing concern about the price of cable deals. Apparently this isn’t going to work as the price of cable bundles aren’t really linear. In other words, reducing the channels in your cable package won’t necessarily correspond to a proportional increase in price. A la carte deals could work for really light viewers but most will probably end up paying more because providers, individually speaking, will likely charge higher to cover lost revenues as an effect of the a la carte system. For example, ESPN is reported to have 100 million home subscriptions and earning about $6 for each but only 20% of those homes are avid sports fans. This means heavy losses for ESPN in an a la carte system. It is indicated that only about 20 channels will survive if such an option became widely available.

Cut subscription and find a better one

If you’re not happy with the service you’re getting with your cable then it’s probably high time to stop giving them your money and find a better service somewhere else. A recent report in Yahoo!Homes suggests that there is indeed no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a cable company. In fact, as such companies improve their infrastructure, systems and services in the hopes of retaining customers, you will likely find deals that are cheaper than the one you are currently in. No company wants to be a target of Facebook pages like this I hate Time Warner Cable page so chances are, a better option is available for you somewhere.

Cutting your cable television expenses isn’t rocket science. The ultimate solution to saving some money while still getting your television content needs is to simply stop subscribing and get your TV cravings from somewhere else. Taking the online route does have its downsides. And one glaring downside is that if you’re a heavy sports watcher who follows a lot of live games, taking the Netflix or Hulu route will never sate your appetite as these providers do not provide live games. Just find a better deal if you’re heavy on sports.

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