The Bracket Track
The UFO Universal Flat Panel Mount, a notable early entry for Vantage Point which first landed on retail shelves about four years ago, boasted several innovations that made the job of mounting a one-person operation, he says. The use of lightweight aluminum extrusions and sliding wall brackets to make stud-finding an easier task were two design amenities that resonated with installers right off the bat. “The most unique thing about UFO today is that the entire mechanism is on a hinge that allows the TV to fold all the way down to 90 degrees, with the intention that one person could do all the wiring after the TV was up on the wall, by just tilting it down—where everybody else’s had to have a person hold the TV really close to it, with another person underneath, trying to finagle the wires. We took the initial concept, and improved upon it.
“What’s most important among installers is quick, easy installation,” says Taylor, “and one thing we offer in our Universal LCD Mount line that nobody else does is a rotatable two-piece wall plate. When you install the mount, you don’t have to use any kind of level. The rest of the unit screws onto that plate. Here’s the interesting thing about flat-panel TVs: You can’t tell they’re crooked until they’re up on the wall and you see that top edge. But with our mount, if you see the panel is crooked, you simply reach behind it, loosen two little bolts and straighten it out. With other products on the market, you have to take the TV off the mount, reinstall it, this time using a level, and then put the TV back on it—which could double the amount of time to do the install.”
Besides mounts, other category initiatives for Vantage Point will encompass its furniture lines. “We’ve had mostly open-architecture furniture designs in the past, which we’re now phasing out; the future, for us, is on-wall furniture,” explains Taylor. “People are getting to the point where the Jetsons cartoons are true, and saving space in homes is more important that ever.” Model AWXG03, a three-shelf glass/metal A/V component rack for wall mounting, has been in the line about three years, he says, and has been very successful; and a video version, a two-shelf model (AWXG02) with double-wide glass to accommodate a center-channel speaker, has now been rolled out, featuring two separate rails for wire management.