Thursday, September 04, 2014

Review: Cheetah Mounts APTMM2B TV Wall Mount

Bowen had gotten big enough that he could now stand up and push the TV on it's stand. That by itself isn't dangerous, but if he pushed it hard enough and the TV tipped over and fell on him, that's pretty dangerous. The obvious solution, then, is to mount the TV on the wall.

The Cheetah APTMM2B is the #1 best seller in that category on Amazon.com. At $28.69, it's cheap, and comes with a magnetic level, though I ended up having to buy a magnetic stud finder. Furthermore, what the reviews don't tell you is that to complete the mounting of the TV, you'll need a long screw driver, which is $4.99 at Harbor Freight tools or $12.50 at Amazon.

The mount is surprisingly light for having to hold up to 165 pounds of weight and a 65" TV. What it does is to mount directly onto the studs in the wall (hence the stud finder), which bears most of the weight of the TV through the mount. The mount comes in 4 pieces, and you assemble it yourself and then mount onto the studs through the drywall with the provided large screws. When you're ready to mount the TV, you mount the provided brackets onto the back of the TV, attach all the cables and wires you'll need to connect to the TV, and then lift the TV and put it onto the mount. This is a two person job, and it's best that both of you are pretty strong. I tried to do it myself and it exacerbated my back problem last year.  If there's a problem with the angle, you have to take the TV down again, adjust the angle of the brackets, and then put it back on.

When all that is done, you reach back with that long screw driver, and drive the screws back past the lower retaining lip to retain the TV. This last bit isn't important if you don't live in earthquake country, though it does help make the TV darn near impossible to steal. In fact, I don't know if I could remove the TV now that I've gotten on, since it took a good 20 minutes to screw in those screws with that unwieldy long screw driver.

Am I happy with the mount? It works, it flushes nicely with the wall, and it does the job of keeping Bowen from drawing on the TV or knocking it back down. It seems pretty sturdy, and the 42" TV stayed on the wall during the recent earthquake. However, when I wanted to replace the 42" TV with a 60" TV, taking down the TV and putting up the new one was a major pain in the neck, and screwing in the retaining screws at the end was an arduous and frustrating experience, and I'm not going to install any more wires at the back of the TV any more. I'm not sure I would buy this mount again, given these problems. It's more expensive to buy an articulating wall mount even if you don't need the articulating features just for the ease of use when it comes to installing new wires and HDMI thingies, but that might be a better choice.

Not recommended.
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