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      12-18-2006, 04:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mikeman
i bought a 32 inch lcd. install looks pretty easy to me but best buy wanted to charge $500 to install it and hide the wires. is it hard enough that i would have to pay the $500.
There are several ways to do what you want assuming you are wanting to have the LCD mounted to a wall. One is where the wires are still visible. Another is where the signal wire is hidden but the power cord isn't. Still another is where all of the wires are hidden.

I'll start with the easy one, wires visible. Determine the best, optimum, never-want-to-ever-move-it location on your wall. Depending upon the wall makeup, you may have studs behind drywall, you may have masonry behind drywall, you may have stucco. If masonry there is not much limitation to where to put the unit. With drywall or stucco, you want to locate a stud into which you drive lagbolts to mount the bracket for the strongest mounting. You can, depending upon the weight of the unit, get by with using toggle bolts into the drywall if the drywall is at least 1/2" thick. Toggle bolts will require a larger than normal hole but this is because you'd be pushing a spring loaded hinge piece through it. Follow the directions for the LCD mount and let the wires droop where they may. Remember, wood framed houses in the U.S. generally have studs every 16 inches.

The second way is to let the power wire droop and hide just the signal wire. Do the same as in the easiest method above only before mounting the bracket, you need to put in a fixture box into which you can run the signal wires. Best to have this embedded into the wall like the light switches and receptacles. There need to be two: one from the screen into the wall and one out of the wall to your receiver/cable box. Two ways to do it here: one is to use a cover plate with a hole and run the wire straight, uncut, from the TV to the receiver. Another is to get the F-type plate and connect one end of the cable to the TV plate and the other end to the receiver plate. You need another cable to go from the TV to the wall and a third cable from the wall to the receiver. You can expect a slight drop in signal quality each time you make a physical connection; depending upon the severity you may never notice. The power cord drops to the outlet and remains visible.

The third way is the most time consuming and expensive but overall a better choice if you intend to leave the TV for numerous years (renters shouldn't do this). It also provides much more options with where each end of the cable goes. The expense comes because you need to have an electrician extend the circuit from down near the floor to one side of where the TV mount is up on the wall (whenever you have electical work done, ensure the electrician is certified and abides by all of your local building codes). You are essentially hiding the power cable and receptacle behind the screen. You also would want to hide the signal cable as in option 2 above which means you will end up with two outlet boxes high up on the wall but still hidden by the screen.

A fourth, less expensive but also less desireable option would be to get some PVC trunking that can be mounted vertically to the wall centered on the screen. Both the power cord and the signal wire can be inserted into this. While it looks tacky, it looks alot better than two cables dangling against the wall. This may, however, be the best solution for a masonry wall.

If I recall correctly, stucco is something of a lath and plaster concoction which wouldn't hold worth crap with the toggle bolts mentioned earlier. You'd need to find a wall stud.
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