Regardless of your reasons for wanting something like this, this is how simple it is! However, let me start off by telling you my reasons for making it.
About six months ago, we got fed up with drama surrounding LED projectors and LED TV’s – and our monopolized, malicious and malignant power utility (ESKOM), and so I decided to improvise. Looking back, I’m not one bit sorry!
About 2014 I bought a 32″ LED TV – ESKOM killed that in 2017 with repeated deliberate rolling power blackouts (called “loadshedding” in South Africa). Instead of spending another ten large on a replacement, I opted for a projector. That worked great for a while, until that too showed a flaw – a growing brown spot that burned into the picture film inside the unit! A replacement unit did the same thing – and so, having stretched the patience of my insurance, I decided to forego projectors as well! (I detailed this problem in a review in August 2020.)
While waiting for insurances to sort the issue out, we resorted to watching our series and movies on a laptop! I think you can imagine the adjustment that took – once used to a display image that covered a third of the wall opposite our sofa! The trouble was, laptop and computer LED screens are a little small to see from a table across a room! It surely was frustrating!
I came up with a solution – if the screen itself were closer to our eyes, and about eye-level while sitting, it wouldn’t really matter that the screen was smaller than our previous projector display arrangement!
But how to do this? I thought about suspending a computer screen – I had a few old ones gathering dust in a cupboard since we switched over to laptops – which I could do via a pole hanging from the ceiling. I bet I could even make it look good too! The trouble with that of course, was that it would be in our way when not in use.
Instead, I thought of a way to put it on some kind of arm that could swing aside and be hooked up against the wall when not in use. The weight of the screen gave me pause though, because our walls are plastered with notoriously soft ‘chalk plaster’… nevertheless, I madly went about planning different versions of the same idea…
In the end, I settled on the idea of a double arm with the monitor suspended at the end of it, on a swivel, with a hinge on the wall end, attached to a tall wooden plate. Aside from the hinges and the bracket holding the monitor, the entire thing is made of wood! The base plate is mounted onto the wall with six rawl bolts.
When not in use, it can be swung aside out of the way, and hooked up to the floor lamp with a wire hook. When we want to use it, we unhook it, and it automatically swings down to the forward position right in front of the sofa! Break out the popcorn and cola! It’s movie time!
The screen doesn’t operate in isolation of course – it plays from a Raspberry Pi mounted separately on the wall – but of course that’s not important for this project! You could run it off a PC or laptop, or even a mobile phone or tablet (if you have the right connections) if that’s how you want it! I tidied up the cables leading to power, sound, signal, etc with cable trunking.
There’s a Shoxx speaker mounted behind the screen to complete that “surround sound” experience, and the whole thing is really very pleasant. The only thing we’re considering changing about this set up in future, is to maybe replace the screen with a slightly larger model. Another future improvement I’m also considering is to add a vertical tilt adjustment for the screen, since the image is less visible when you get lazy and lie down on the sofa – but that’s a flaw or feature that differs between makes and models of screens!
Pictures below! Enjoy!
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