A wall mount is a steel bracket used to attach a flat panel TV or computer display to a wall. In order to attach the bracket to the display, pre-existing screw holes must be present on the rear of the monitor or television. To allow manufacturers of wall mounts to make brackets that will fit a variety of displays, the screw holes must be set in pre-determined, standardized positions on displays and on brackets. The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) is responsible for issuing these standards, and a VESA wall mount is a bracket that complies with these standards.
Originally launched in 1997 as the Flat Panel Monitor Physical Mounting Interface (FPMPMI), later abbreviated to Flat Display Mounting Interface (FDMI), it also shares the name of VESA Mounting Interface Standard (MIS). MIS includes variants, building on the original design of four holes arranged in the shape of a square and a 100 mm distance separating them horizontally and vertically, 75 mm for smaller computer displays. The holes on these displays are usually 10 mm in depth with M4 threads.
As flat panel displays became larger and heavier, MIS standards were extended. The distance between holes increases on larger displays and holes will be deeper with either M6 or M8 threads. A VESA wall mount must be made for the specific MIS standard used on the display for a compatible fit.
VESA WALL MOUNT STANDARDS:
75 mm × 75 mm
100 mm x 100 mm
200 mm × 100 mm
200 mm × 200 mm
400 mm × 400 mm
600 mm × 200 mm
600 mm × 400 mm
800 mm × 400 mm
280 mm × 150 mm
When a VESA standard includes more than one hole pattern, each variation is further delineated by differentiating trailing enumerators. Since the average consumer isn’t expected to know the arcane naming scheme or measure the distance between holes, vendors of VESA wall mount brackets make it easy by letting the consumer know which models a specific bracket will fit. This is typically based on the weight of the display, as VESA hole patterns change based on this factor.
Some wall mounts will hold the TV flush to the wall, while a tilt mount will allow the TV to be tilted downward, for example, for a truer viewing angle. An articulating arm will bring the TV out from the wall, as often seen in hospitals or waiting rooms. A VESA wall mount might also come with a special tool that is required to unlock the TV from the wall mount before removal to discourage theft.
It is worth noting that some HDTV retailers charge premium prices for a wall mount when sold with an HDTV, even though a comparable mount might be far cheaper if purchased independently from another vendor. Any VESA wall mount made for the display will hold it quite securely, whether the price is $40 US Dollars (USD) or $300 USD, so it pays to shop around. Screws are usually included with the hardware, but can also be purchased at any hardware store.