What goes up, must come down. But when it comes to the innovative TV mount installation that Joe Courtney of Bigfoot Concepts created for one of his customer’s “mini” home theater, it would be more accurate to say that what goes down, must come up. That’s because a critical part of the installation is the MM540 MantelMount unit that goes beyond the traditional swivel mount in terms of functionality.
The MM540, like all the company’s mounts, allows a user to install a television high up on a wall (quite often over a fireplace), lower the television to eye level while also being able to tilt and swivel. However, Courtney’s installation called for something just a wee bit different. In fact, it was the exact opposite. In this case, the mount was put in so that when it was time for viewing, the mount could be pulled up to eye level.
Finding a Suitable Home for Samsung’s ‘The Frame’
Scottsdale, Arizona-based Bigfoot Concepts is familiar with challenging installations. A former professional basketball player, he started a custom homebuilding business in 2001 after his retirement. Courtney’s company evolved to include designing and building unique home theater systems. But being a custom home builder, he had a wealth of architectural and construction expertise under his roof as well.
Over the years, Courtney has also found that many customers want something a bit less involved – such as making over their family room and turning it into a “mini” home theater. One customer came to him with just that type of project in mind. But due to several logistical issues, a traditional TV mount wasn’t going to cut it for this installation.
This customer had purchased a Samsung ‘The Frame’ to replace his existing television. However, his current model was in a permanent static position below eye level. As a result, mounting The Frame in the same spot as the previous TV was not an option. Plus, there was a large picture window above the mantel that the customer very much wanted to keep, leaving little space above to mount.
This is where some ingenious carpentry by Courtney and creative use of the MantelMount MM540 came into play.
Carving a Secure Niche in this Over-the-Fireplace TV Mount
Courtney began by tearing out the existing box fireplace and replacing it with a lower, more modern version centered in the space and dropped down to the floor (the previous fireplace was mounted to the right of the TV and did not make for an eye-catching arrangement). The Frame was then mounted just above the fireplace, within a cleverly designed arrangement; in fact, the TV sits in a cutout space – which includes a cutout in the mantel as well – that lets the TV sit almost flush with the wall, with only the thickness of The Frame standing out.
In addition, Courtney designed cabinetry around the structure to house left, right, and center speakers as well as a subwoofer. Behind the wall, beyond the depth of the fireplace, there’s a compartment for storage of various audio components. This holistic approach to the installation, which incorporated TV mounting and a full reconstruction of the wall to accommodate it, has made the area a functional and visual masterpiece.
Tying together this novel configuration is a MantelMount pulldown mount, built right into the framing of the new “wall”; the MantelMount is actually screwed into the framing so that it is securely positioned while still being able to swivel, tilt, raise and lower.
When in the “up” position, The Frame is directly at eye level. The TV does block about one-third of the window view when it’s on, but that’s no problem; when watching their favorite programs, looking out the window is not much of a priority. Then when put into the “down” position, The Frame is completely out of the window’s space, allowing the customer to enjoy an unobstructed view of the outdoors. In fact, the unit can be lowered so that The Frame is basically resting on the floor.
Unconventional Mounting Becomes a Conversation Piece
“He [the customer] absolutely loves it,” Courtney remarked. “He had been investigating multiple ways to handle this job and he wasn’t having any success. Now, he and his family can watch their Frame TV from an ideal position. And when the Frame is pulled down, it gives them a full view through the window. It solved all his pain points. Needless to say, I will always look at a MantelMount when movement of the TV is required – whether it’s up or down.”
Interestingly, when the Frame TV is down and out of the way, it creates the illusion that there’s a piece of artwork on the floor. Did that seem strange to the customer?
“Not at all,” Courtney asserted. In fact, he seemed to really like the unconventional aspect of it. He was just so happy to have a solution for mounting the TV that gave him a good viewing angle but didn’t block the window. I don’t think having a painting on the floor was of much concern to him.
“It’s certainly an interesting conversation piece,” he noted.
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