Cheetah Flat Screen TV Wall Mount and Bracket Review
Why Use a TV Wall Mount or Bracket
Well, you've got your new LED or Plasma flat screen TV. Now what do you do with it? That's where a Cheetah TV wall mount or bracket comes into play.
Yes, you could set your new TV on a table or entertainment center, using the built in stand that comes with it. It's shaky, prone to falling, and within easy reach of small children. Not a particularly good answer for many people.
Or you can hang it from the wall. For many, this is an ideal solution as it raises the TV out of reach of children, many brackets are movable and allow the TV to swivel or tilt, and it doesn't need a large cabinet to hold it. The biggest objection may well be cost; a 55" or 60" TV will require a heavy duty wall bracket that will set the owner back around $350 in most stores. After already putting out $2,000 for a new 3D TV, some extra viewing glasses, a 3D movie or two and a new 3D blu ray DVD player to play them on that extra $350 for a wall mount is a little steep. That's where the Cheetah comes in.
Cheetah Brand of TV Wall Mounts
Cheetah is not a well known brand and few stores carry them. Nevertheless, they are readily available online at around one fourth the cost of store brands. In spite of the extreme low cost, however, there is no compromise in quality except for the instructions. Instructions are not very well written but do not present an insurmountable problem, either.
Many other reviewers report trouble hanging the heavier models, and often report that the mechanism does not move smoothly after installation. My own observations on the Cheetah APDAM2B model follow this short section.
The bracket shown below is mounted with a 55" TV in the photo above. It is placed in the corner of a room and the extension capability lets the TV come out from the wall and rotate to face the center of the room as well as tilt down slightly to directly face viewers sitting down. The TV was rotated away from the viewing area in order to expose the bracket for the photo.
Installing the New Cheetah Mount
Opening the box resulted in an immediate impression of quality. The mount is very heavy at around 30 pounds, and seemed very well made. There was plenty of hardware for a variety of mounting options, such as block or brick as well as wood studs and there is a variety of smaller screws to actually mount the TV in case it didn't have any. The package included a small level - checking it with a very high quality level showed a perfect match. Although a couple of other reviewers indicated that the movement was very stiff I did not find that at all; it seemed just stiff enough that it would move easily while maintaining position after the TV was hung. I did see immediately that careful measurements would have to be made before mounting the frame - to angle the TV mounting plate (which I intended to do) resulted in moving it to one side as well. There is some adjustment possible in that the the TV does not have to fit dead center of the bracket, but I wouldn't want to move it very far from that center, either.
After taking careful measurements it was necessary to mark the holes for the lag screws. As the mount is quite heavy it would be helpful to have two people; one to hold it in place and one to mark the holes. If that is not possible it might be a good idea to remove the bracket the TV fits onto and just have the back plate to hold in place. The lag screws need to be pre-drilled so as to not split the studs, and it makes the installation of the screws much easier as well even when using a cordless drill or an impact driver as I did. Be sure to check the screws holding the mount together; other reviewers have reported finding them loose although that was not the case on mine. Four lag screws are used to hold the mount to the wall and it results in a very sturdy and strong arrangement. As I hung a 55" TV that weighs only around 50 pounds and the mount is rated for 165 pounds there is little doubt that it would hold the TV quite easily.
Two brackets are then fastened to the TV and slide easily over the Cheetah mount, whereupon two small set screws are tightened to keep in place. These screws do not support the TV but are only there to keep it from sliding sideways on the mount. Overall the mounting procedure was quick and easy.
This is a very heavy duty TV bracket, and judging by store prices worth several times what it is being sold for. Mounting is quite easy although the unit was heavy and a little difficult to hold in place by one person. The smaller versions should not have this problem, but the largest ones do. The level included in the package was appreciated, as was the 10 foot HDMI cable.
There is no question that the model I purchased is adequate to hold a 55" flat screen. It is listed for up to a 65" TV and I have no doubts it would perform well there, too. In my opinion Cheetah makes the best value of TV brackets and wall mounts on the market. Should I need another I know where to find them.
© 2011 Dan Harmon