Atdec Telehook TH-1040-VFM Review
Articulating Wall Mount, $169
As the new HDTVs become thinner and lighter, the mounts to hang them on a wall are becoming more compact and easier to install.
Only a couple of years ago, with many larger TVs weighing around 100 pounds or more, it seemed like you needed a degree in structural engineering just to attach the mounts - that could easily weigh 75 pounds themselves - to the wall.
But with many 40" TVs tipping the scales under 50 pounds, solutions like the Atdec Telehook TH-1040-VFM have become prevalent for DIYers.
In fact, the TH-1040-VFM affixes to the wall with two screws and it provides a fully articulating arm that allows you to move the TV in a wide range of positions, including portrait mode.
Atdec rates this Telehook as capable of handling 40" flat screens up to 55 pounds, but I encountered a limitation on which TVs worked with this mount. As I will discuss in detail later, the mounting plate on the TH-1040-VFM does not accommodate some of the common screw hole patterns on many larger TVs.
Out of the Box
The Telehook TH-1040-VFM package includes all the basic materials, the mount, the VESA plate, an assortment of screws and spacers, a couple of allen wrenches, and a tightening tool.
I especially like that the drilling guide thoughtfully provides double sided tape to stick it to the wall and a little attached dust collector.
From your toolbox, you will need a power drill, a Philips head screwdriver, a spirit level, a 9/32" drill bit (for wood stud walls) or a
7/16" masonry drill bit, and a 1/2" socket wrench. I also suggest a stud finder and a pencil.
The silver metallic articulating arm resembles a human arm with a shoulder joint (180 degree rotation) attached to the wall, an elbow joint (360 degree rotation), and a wrist joint (180 degree rotation) that holds the plate.
The VESA ball mount also allows the TV to rotate a full 360 degrees, (so you can position it in landscape or portrait mode), and tilt 20 degrees backwards and forwards.
When fully extended, the TV is about 17" away from the wall. When collapsed, the face of the plate snuggles in to only about four inches from the wall.
The Atdec designers have added screw down black cable covers on the top and bottom of both parts of the arm.
With the wide range of flexibility of this Telehook, when you are planning where to locate it, about the only consideration is height. The arm itself extends straight out perpendicular to where the mount is screwed to the wall.
Before we go any further, we need to talk about the VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) plate which screws on to your TV or monitor. To make life easier, VESA has settled on some standard hole configurations that most TV manufacturers adhere to when placing mounting holes on the back of their TVs.
Of course, not all mounting plates can accommodate all of the VESA hole configurations. The Telehook TH-1040-VFM plate provides hole configurations at 100x100mm (4"x4"), 200x100mm (8"x4") and 200x200mm (8"x8").
That might sound like a good choice and it is for smaller TVs, but alas of the seven TVs in the office right now, only one, a 24" ViewSonic had a compatible hole pattern. And when I tried to attach the plate, I noticed that it partially covered the TV's power socket.
Atdec does sell other Telehook mounts, like the TH-2050-VFM, that have wider hole configurations.
The simple lesson here is that you need to make sure the mounting plate and your TV have compatible hole configurations. If you have a TV that doesn't follow the VESA standards, then you need to buy a universal mount that will adjust to your screw holes.
Once you decide on where to place the mount and find the nearest stud, installation is easy, assuming that you have all the suggested tools.
You simply attach the drill guide to the wall, make sure it is level horizontally, and drill your two starter holes. (If you are going into masonry, you need to insert the concrete anchors.)
Detach the guide and line up the mount over the holes. Move the wall plate cover down the arm and start screwing the mount into the wall.
The mount is light enough that one person can handle it, though it's simpler with a helper. Once tight, you can slide the plate cover back in place.
The VESA plate easily detaches from the end of the arm. I will not detail the combination of washers and screws to use to attach it to the TV. The instructions in the box are clear and complete.
To slip the plated TV back onto the arm, I definitely advise using two people. Once it clicks into place, you can install a security screw.
If you do wish to rotate the TV into portrait mode, Atdec furnishes a tool to loosen and then re-tighten the tension plate.
Hide the cables under the covers while leaving enough slack for movement and you are ready to articulate to your heart's desire.
At an MSRP of $169, the Telehook TH-1040-VFM might seem a little pricey, especially if you are planning on mounting a TV that costs about twice that much. Then again, this Telehook is a solidly made, fully articulating mount.
A quick tour through a few Internet stores and I found the TH-1040-VFM selling in the $90 to $100 range, which is a very appealing value indeed.
The sleek, stylish Telehook TH-1040-VFM with its articulating arm makes a versatile wall mount for TVs up to 40" that weigh less than 55 pounds. Before you buy, confirm that the mounting plate fits your TV's screw hole pattern.