Tech Guides

HardwareZone's HDTV Buying Guide Essentials

By Andy Sim, Ng Chong Seng & Vijay Anand - 11 Jun 2011

Installation Considerations

Installation Considerations & Picture Settings Tweaks

Planning doesn't stop with your HDTV purchase. For instance, there are other factors to consider such as wall installations and cabling issues before you bring that LCD or Plasma TV home. For aesthetic reasons, wall-mounting the TV is perhaps the best option, although a rack-mounted display can be equally pleasing if done right. Here are some tips to take with you when sourcing for an appropriate HDTV model. We've also prepared a few pointers below on how to quickly tweak the settings on your new TV for a better image.

Everyone would love to have their TVs appear like a giant picture frame hanging on the wall. But if that isn't possible, the next best option is to rest the television on a cabinet. Besides, it's easier to conceal the cables this way too.  (Image source: Philips)

Wall Installation

Some TV vendors offer complimentary wall brackets and installation services with each HDTV purchase, while others might sell you the brackets at discounted prices. If you prefer to obtain your own, ensure the bracket is designed to carry your TV's weight, and both TV and bracket are compliant with the VESA mounting standard. When considering wall-mounts, there are factors to take note of, such as wall space and the type of bracket used. Essentially, there are two kinds available in the market - fixed and adjustable. The fixed type is recommended if your TV bears a slim profile and is comfortably viewed from where you are seated. For "higher" installations, it's best to obtain adjustable brackets with tilt functions to avoid overstraining your neck and eyeballs. Sometimes, it would be nice to have the TV tilted in a different direction, for example, if you're at your dining table instead of your sofa at the living room. For situations like these, you'll likely need to have a bracket that allows for tilt, swivel and arm extension.

Viewing Height

The rule of thumb is to position the center of the HDTV's screen at eye level to avoid eye and muscle fatigue in your neck. Then again, we all have different preferences for our popcorn moments. Some prefer to tilt their head upwards slightly, whilst others are happier with a little downward tilt. Whichever the case is for you, do take note of your eye level when seated before you finalize the TV's placement. 


Unsightly cables aren't an issue if you plan to build a feature wall for your TV. Otherwise, exposed wires can be an eyesore especially with wall installations. The most obvious solution is to slap on a PVC trunking strip to conceal the wires. However, even the most basic trunking job requires some understanding of assembly work. Engage a contractor if you aren't confident with drills and such. Apart from that, be sure to measure the distance between your TV's connectors and AV peripherals as well. The cables (HDMI or otherwise) have to be adequately long enough to cover the distance. The same principle applies to TVs resting on a cabinet too. 

To summarize, comfort is of the utmost importance when ogling at your HDTV. Mount it too high and you'll have to crane your neck. Too low and you might have to slump down or change your furniture. Common sense applies too, of course, such as how you should avoid placing your TV under the sun's rays or restricting the air-flow around the HDTV set. It doesn't take much, but a little planning goes a long way in determining your long-term experience with the goggle box.