Studio Décor Design Center, based in Huntington Harbor, is the pristine location and home to many of the brands represented by Studio Décor. Newly added to the main entertainment area of the design center is the Mantel Mount MM860 Motorized Drop Down & Swivel TV Mount. This motorized mount is perfect for high-on-the-wall installations such as over a fireplace and provides comfortable, eye-level viewing.

The mount supports an 85-in. Sony XBR85X950G TV, adding one more element of automation to the Control4 system in the space. This intelligent mount works over IP with most popular home automation systems and includes a number of luxury features. One of the things that really stood out is the noise-free movement when the mount is in motion, thanks to two custom electronic actuators that allow for smooth, barely audible movement. The manufacturer says it has an improved, quieter operation, and they nailed it.

Prior to installation, the homeowner hired an electrical contractor to move the original power outlet to a location where the power cord can be safely plugged into[AS1] . Once this was complete, we called our local integrator, Mike Esparza, Owner of Executive Sound Pros, a Control4 certified dealer based in Huntington Beach, California. The mount was placed over a fireplace; Mike was impressed with the quality of the mount and the ease of installation.

In terms of appearance, we couldn’t have been more satisfied: the mount features a recessible housing that conceals the lifting arm and all electronics when it’s in the raised position. (MantelMount also offers an optional recess box that allows for flush-to-wall installations. So for those perfectionists among you, MantelMount has you covered.)

Once installed and with the TV mounted, we took time to explore all the unique capabilities of this mount to test its power.

Features & Benefits:

Programming the mount was far simpler than we expected, owing to the mount’s plug & play networking capability. In other words, the instant you begin the programming process, the mount is immediately identifiable on the network – no wasting time until the unit is recognized or worse, not being recognized at all.   

Can we talk about the perfect viewing angle? To begin with, the MM860 has a 30-in. maximum drop, allowing users to bring the television down to create a perfect, eye-level viewing angle (eye-level is ideal not only to eliminate neck strain but to provide optimal picture resolution). What’s more, the mount can swivel up to 25 degrees right or left, meaning viewers can get a good view from almost any spot in the room where the television is located.

In fact, they can even get decent viewing from other rooms! For us, this is an important consideration,  since the design center is located upstairs, which serves as both a media room and an entertainment area equipped with a full bar, an epic sound system and, of course, a view of the beautiful harbor. Regardless of whether you are standing at the bar, sitting at the high tops, standing outside on the balcony, or sitting directly in front of the television, the mount can accommodate any angle. Seriously, we tested it.

When activated, the unit’s movement can only be described as elegant. Thanks to the Simultaneous Drop & Swivel feature, the MM860 effortlessly lowers and swivels the television in one quick, fluid motion. Of course, that would mean nothing if the mount banged into the walls every time it went up or down. To prevent such an occurrence, the Soft and Hard Travel Stops (both horizontal and vertical) provide a virtual safety shield that prevents the television from touching the wall or mantel, avoiding any damage to either the television or your home.

A really cool feature is the Power Sensing Technology, which detects when the television is turned on and automatically lowers it to a favorite preset. Speaking of sensors, with our mount permanently fixed above the fireplace, we’re glad we have MantelMount’s patented heat sensors within the frame to detect when the mount gets too warm if we have a fire going; if that happens, the MM860  will automatically return to home base, a safety feature unavailable with other brands. For safety and peace of mind, it’s hard to beat.

The Experience

The MantelMount unit makes the viewing experience much more enjoyable while eliminating annoying neck strain. Our fireplace is pretty tall, but MantelMount provided an elegant solution to keep the existing fireplace while enhancing the theater room experience. The mount was easily integrated into the Control4 system, making control and operation of the mount easily accessible via touch panels or using the app on a smart phone (it can also be controlled through the included 433 MHZ RF remote or IR-based Logitech Harmony remotes). The mount, when in motion, is incredible quiet, powerful, and seamless. We have had multiple guests and clients over to demonstrate it and show off the mount’s capabilities, and the combined reaction of everyone is, “WOW where can I get one of those?”

Final Thoughts

Impressive! The mount seamlessly moves the Sony 85-in. television from its home base above the fireplace down to your favorite setting (movie mode) or any tilt and swivel position via remote or touchscreen…QUIETLY! The MantelMount definitely appeals to a higher-end, luxury client. Based on our experience, it is the future in mount technology.