FROM MILK CRATES TO MANTELMOUNT: A PERSONAL JOURNEY
I own a MantelMount Pull Down TV Mount™. It has completely changed my TV viewing experience. No more sore neck. Great viewing angle. TV looks great over the fireplace, easy to pull down when I want to watch. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that MantelMount has changed my life. (What that says about the quality of my life is a subject for a different day.)
It wasn’t always this way. Up until MantelMount, my TV mounting history was a sad tale of weird viewing angles, damaged TV’s, and poorly-made furniture. As I reviewed this history, I could only shake my head and marvel at my ignorance. Frankly, when it came to creating the optimal TV viewing experience, I didn’t even know what I didn’t know.
The first TV I could claim as my own was in college - a small, 12-inch black and white that got just two channels and was missing the volume knob. I had it mounted on a milk crate in my dorm room. There is no worse way to watch a TV. I usually watched it while leaning off the side of my bed, with the upper half of my body almost touching the floor. Because I was young and relatively limber, it didn’t really bother me very much, though getting into that position today would require some heavy construction equipment and a handful of painkillers.
When I got out of college, I rented an apartment where I bought my first color TV: a 19-inch Panasonic. With very little furniture and almost no floor space, I elected to place it on one of those horrible end tables that has a magazine rack on the bottom. The viewing angle actually wasn’t too bad; the problem was that the table had a very small footprint, so even though I did my best to center the TV on the table, it was always in danger of being knocked off the table from the slightest contact. I’m not sure how many times it fell, but I stopped counting around 20. Amazingly, it always worked after each losing battle with gravity - until the last fall, after which I gave it a proper burial.
When I got married and bought my first house, I graduated to the big time. I bought an “entertainment center,” one of those big, bulky oak pieces roughly the size of a German Panzer tank. The TV went in a big section on the right; there were shelves and drawers on the left for all my stereo components, vinyl records, and VHS tapes. There were a few issues with this set-up. The TV sat too low in the unit: after about an hour of viewing, it felt like my chin was bolted to my chest. What’s more, my wife insisted on keeping dozens of photos – kids, relatives, pets - on top of the unit, which always proved distracting. It was really hard to enjoy an episode of Full House while I had to see 350-pound Aunt Jennie staring at me out of the corner of my eye.
In my current home, I went for the classic mounting scenario: above the fireplace. As in many homes, it was the only free wall space we had. I didn’t think much about the height until I started actually watching TV. From the first minute of the first show, I thought, “This is way too high. I need to do something about this.” Springing into action, I proceeded to do nothing for the next eight years (I am nothing if not methodical).
But about a year ago, I found out about MantelMount. In fact, I saw the company at a trade show I was attending (CEDIA 2015). The concept was so simple and had been engineered so expertly. Move your TV down to watch, move it up when you’re not. Easy to pull down. Easy to install. Even heat-sensing handles so you could put it in front of a fire if you wanted. It was love at first sight. I purchased a unit, put it up, and my TV viewing has been, quite literally, transformed.
When it comes to my TV mounting journey, I am reminded of the line from the old Grateful Dead song, “Truckin’ ”: What a long, strange trip it’s been.