After all of our research and testing, we feel the best tilting TV mount is the Sanus VMPL50A-B1. This UL-approved mount is designed for TVs ranging in size from 32 to 70 inches and can hold up to 130 pounds, which is more than enough for any TV. The Sanus has among the thinnest profiles of the tested mounts, holding the back of the TV about 1¾ inch off the wall. Yet, when tilted, there is still room to get a hand behind the TV for wiring purposes. Installation was quick and easy, and the mount is fully adjustable once the TV is in place, both side to side (in case your studs aren’t in exactly the right place) and, with two bolts, to correct the level. The tilt tension knobs, which set the tightness of the tilting action, can be adjusted by hand, but if there’s not enough room, they can also be adjusted with the supplied hex wrench (this is harder with larger TVs). The VMPL50A-B1 is compatible with 22 VESA patterns and came with 10 bolt sizes, the largest selection of any tested mount.
The VMPL50A-B1 can tilt 9 degrees forward and 10 degrees back. This was similar to the other tested mounts, most of which could tilt forward and back anywhere from 7 to 10 degrees. Depending on the size of the TV, this can give you a couple of extra inches of space to squeeze your hand in to plug in a new component. Some mounts offer a little more tilt than the VMPL50A-B1, but we don’t feel that a degree or two is going to make a huge usability difference. One thing we did like is that the VMPL50A has a nice range of tilt up and down, and it can be adjusted with just one hand on the TV.
On all of the mounts, knobs on the monitor brackets control the tension of tilt; bigger, heavier TVs need tighter tension and smaller, lighter TVs need less. The VMPL50A-B1’s knobs are unique because they can either be turned by hand or, if your hand can’t fit behind the TV, with the included hex wrench. With larger TVs, making this adjustment can be difficult even with the hex wrench (and most mounts have instructions to set the tilt tightening knobs before mounting the TV to the wall plate).
The same hex key can be used to adjust the side-to-side level of the TV once it’s installed on the wall. The included hex key has a ball end, which makes it easier for the hex key to turn the bolt while coming at it from an angle. The level adjustment bolts are very close to the wall, so this was a nice little touch.
As with the majority of the mounts, installation was relatively easy. The process is the same with all of them: First mount the wall plate to the wall with four bolts (always into studs or solid masonry), then attach the two mounting brackets to the back of the TV and, last, lift and set the TV so the brackets hang off the wall plate and lock them in. We liked that the VMPL50A-B1’s brackets lock in place with an audible click. Getting the TV up and hooked on the wall plate is an awkward maneuver, and it was a relief knowing when it was properly secured. It’s also nice that it locks in automatically. On some of the other models, the brackets need to be secured with a tightening screw that’s a little more time-consuming.
The VMPL50A-B1 is compatible with 22 VESA patterns (the varying bolt patterns found on the backs of TVs), and it comes with the largest bolt selection of the tested mounts. Most mounts come with seven or eight different-size bolts, but only the VMPL50A-B1 and the Rocketfish RF-TVMLPT03 come with 10. This simply gives a greater chance at a successful installation the first time through without having to call the manufacturer to request bolts that are compatible with your TV.
The VMPL50A-B1 can mount into a wood stud or concrete block wall. Like the majority of mounts, it is not to be used with metal studs. All of the appropriate hardware is included, which is something we can’t say about all the mounts we tried. If you’re looking to place your mount on a brick wall, Sanus recommends hiring a professional due to the natural inconsistencies of brick.
The VMPL50A-B1 does not come with a mounting template to assist with the drill hole placement. This honestly didn’t make any difference to us. The wall plate is light and easy enough to maneuver that we actually preferred directly using that rather than the thin, floppy cardboard templates that came with some of the other models.