Types of TV Wall Mounts: Bracket Terminology

TV Mount Installation

Posted on 06, April, 2016

Last Modified on 01, March, 2023

You thought shopping for the TV itself was hard enough, then you started looking at the mounting options and eventually had to dust off the dictionary. What is an articulating wall mount...exactly? What's the difference between articulating and full motion? How do I decide between pan vs. tilt? In essence, how do these different features describe how the TV is able to be repositioned while still screwed into the mounting bracket? We're going to break this down and simplify these terms so that your new TV is quickly up on the wall where it belongs!

Let's first look at some of the common terms that describe how the mount's design allows the TV to move. It's good to note that these definitions apply not only to wall mounts, but also to ceiling mounts, desktop stands, floor stands, corner mounts and any other TV or monitor stand.

Panning: A left or right angled movement.

Panning allows you to angle the TV from side to side to orient it towards the left or right side of the room. This motion can double or triple the viewing radius of the TV!

Panning Wall Mount

Tilting: An upward or downward angled movement.

Tilting mounts allow you to angle the TV upwards to an audience above it (unlikely), or downwards to an audience below it (much more likely). This is commonly used in bedrooms to orient the TV downwards towards the bed, or in environments like restaurants and airports where TVs are mounted above customers' heads.

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Tilting Mount Demonstration

Swiveling: A left or right angled movement on an extension.

Swiveling is very similar to panning, and often the words are used interchangeably. In general, swiveling capabilites allow you to move the TV from side to side without angling the TV left or right. In other words, the TV's back can remain parallel to the wall, but the screen has shifted left or right.

Swiveling Wall Mounts

Articulating: Full freedom of movement.

Articulating TV mounts are on an arm or extension that allows you to do all of the above (pan, tilt, swivel). Articulating mounts are often called "full motion" because they allow for the widest field of view out of all of the bracket types!

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Articulating Wall Mount

Rotating: Switch from landscape to portrait, or anywhere in between!

Rotation simply allows you to spin the TV so that it's short and wide or tall and narrow.

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Rotating Wall Mounts

How can this help me?

Now that you know the vocabulary, you'll be able to use this information to find a mount that does exactly what you need it to do. If you're buying a flat screen for a lobby or living room, choose a panning mount so that the TV to be fully viewable from several different seating areas. Mounting TVs in hotel rooms? Make sure that the TV can angle towards the bed so your guests don't strain their necks with a tilting mount. If the monitor will be used for web browsing, there is a good case for rotating it from a landscape to a portrait position! Try a rotating mount or rotating desktop stand. Of course, an articulating mount will generally deliver all motion types. When the mount has the proper mechanics, you'll find that it's a dynamic and flexible piece of equipment despite being fixed to a wall or stand.

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