Here’s What Happens When Standards Aren’t Followed. A VESA Mounting Story.
Yes, you may read this declaration of the demise of the long-standing VESA mounting standard as controversial, but please read on for context that starts with a bit of a semi-fictional, historical journey.
The Way VESA Was
Just a few short years ago… the grass was green. The sun shone. It was a beautiful day. In a van with minimal tools, a technician headed to a site to install a display he hadn’t seen. He wasn’t worried, however, because the VESA mounting standard was on his side! VESA, as it is known, is actually a wonderful invention; the Flat Display Mounting Interface standard. Backed by VESA, the technician knew the display he had never seen would fit on the mount, and in the end it did. VESA is a great system as it just works perfectly when everyone is on board.
The next day he had another install and again he headed to the site. In his truck were brand new models of a display and mount still in their boxes. On site he measured to the display center point and marked it. Taking out his tools he began to studiously install the mount perfectly plumb, level and true. He then opened up the next box and carefully pulled the display out. He laid it down on a soft cloth, and went to attach the mounting brackets… but they didn’t fit. The holes were not centered on the display vertically. The back of the display wasn’t even flat. After finding this he proceeded to add spacers to push the TV outwards to get it flat. Then he went to install the brackets and ran into a problem. The arms were not long enough to get the display to be centered vertically. And so it happened; the death of VESA and the start of installation chaos for integrators.
The Way It Is Now
A once-great standard, VESA is no longer being followed by most displays available today in three ways.
Most flat panel displays are no longer flat on the back. In the VESA Standard the display mounting holes were to be the farthest back surface of the display and they were to be all within 1mm variance of flat. There are now displays with mounting holes offset more than an inch from the farthest back part of the display. Further some of those holes are on a curved section not even perpendicular to the display image exiting on an angle. This makes mounting particularly difficult.
Many displays are no longer compliant because the mounting points are no longer being centered vertically. And there is no consistency to mounting-hole placement. Displays may have the holes significantly moved upwards or downwards on the back of the display. In fact, right now there are 65” monitors where the bottom mounting holes are ABOVE the center line of the display. Inconsistency makes it difficult to design a mount ahead of time that will align properly. Many mounts are not capable of that amount of adjustment. Integrators don’t want to have to carry multiple adaptors, or cut parts to accommodate different displays.
Mismatch of Weight and Design
Lastly is weight. This is mainly a deviation away from Part E of the Standard which states: only displays 23”- 30.9” are to use VESA patterns UNDER 400mm, limiting the weight to 22.7kg, (50 lbs.). However now you can get 75” displays that have a 300 wide VESA pattern even though they exceed the 50 lb limit. So these displays have a smaller mounting pattern to hold a larger weight than the standard ever intended.
Not Quite The Conclusion
The world of displays, once known for being based on a stable, usable standard, is in chaos. VESA is dead! The remaining parts are being eroded more and more each day, making installations and designs more difficult and costly to manage in both time and money. The reasons why this is occurring are not likely to change. Accepting unpredictability does not have to be the end of the story.
Part two of this blog will attempt to bring order to chaos.