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Engadget HD Review: Sanus VMDD26 articulating wall mount

Ben Drawbaugh

Since mounting a TV on the wall is all the rage these days, we decided to check out a mount that really makes wall mounting make sense. Sure, wall mounting is worth it to most people just because it looks cool, but how practical is it? It's very practical if you decide to use an articulating mount 'cause it gives you flexibility that would otherwise be unobtainable with a table stand. For starters, every TV has a sweet spot and that's usually right in the middle, and because most HDTVs are not in dedicated home theaters, you can't always position your seat to ensure you're in the spot. Or, maybe you want to move around 'cause you're watching the big game while eating, or you just have to get as close as possible. With the Sanus VMDD26 you (as in by yourself) can move the HDTV as far as two feet from the wall for that movie theater feel, or tilt it down so the HDTV can be mounted above furniture without forcing you to watch at an angle.

Gallery: Engadget HD Review: Sanus VMDD26 articulating wall mount | 16 Photos

We have to say that this mount is very impressive, but it has a price to match. It has so much flexibility we'd be surprised if it didn't satisfy even the most demanding owner. The only place this mount won't allow you to put the TV is flush against the wall, as the closest we could get it was 4 1/4 inches -- more on that later. It's well built and includes just about every bit of hardware required to mount your HDTV including; misc bolts for the the HDTV, wood lag bolts for the wall, Allen key for assembly, wire ties, wire tie mounts, and spacers. There's no question that this thing is heavy duty and up to the task of holding up to the specified 175lbs, 63-inch HDTV; especially when you consider the mount itself weighs 61lbs.

Assembly is more complicated than just about any other mount we've used, but at least the directions were comprehensive and easy to follow. Like most mounts, it includes a wall plate to simplify installation, but figuring out how to assemble the multiple pieces on the back of your HDTV isn't as easy. Finally, you'll have to get your friend to help you hang it on the wall plate -- assuming you can't lift 250lbs by yourself that is.

Once you finally get this thing mounted, you can really see this mount shine as it seems to make any big screen flat panel HDTV float in the air. The movement is super smooth and effortless and among other things, this makes the job of wiring very easy as you can move the set out of the way to run wires. This flexibility combined with the included wire management makes it really easy to achieve a clean install. We did learn a few lessons along the way we'd like share; like don't mount your power and connections centered behind the TV where they'll get in the way of the mount's arms, instead place them under the mount where there is plenty of room.

Pros: Very flexible, solid construction, included wire management.
Cons: Price, difficult installation/assembly, minimum distance from the wall.
In the end, the flexibility of this mount is hard to beat and includes everything you need for a professional install, but we can certainly see where some would shy away from the MSRP of $619.99 -- luckily it can be found online for far less.

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