What mount type should you choose - wall? Ceiling? What hardware do you need? More importantly, how should you go about actually mounting and installing your new set?
Of course, you could probably call a professional installer but this costs money and spoils the fun for do-it-yourselfers.
A new Web site, www.mountingtips, is providing free expert advice on placement, mounting and installation of home-theater equipment. Featuring practical "how to" installation tips and an online forum for visitors to exchange information, the site is invaluable when upgrading to a flat-panel television.
"In their eagerness to purchase a flat-panel television by the holidays or Super Bowl Sunday, many consumers neglect to consider the mounting procedures involved with such a large piece of equipment," said Jason Cole, marketing director for Premier Mounts, a manufacturer of TV mounting systems and sponsor of the new Web site.
"Many people envision where they want their new television to go; they just have no idea how to mount it. We believe that the thrill of buying a flat-panel television shouldn't be denigrated by a negative experience hanging the equipment," he said.
Here are a few tips from the new Web site for households getting ready to or that have already purchased a flat-screen television:
* Practice makes perfect. Hang a poster or picture in the place you're thinking of hanging your TV if you are unsure of where to put it. Leave the "filler" there for a few days, and if it still looks good after the trial period, chances are strong your TV will look good there as well.
* Hang it right the first time. Rather than hanging your television once and later deciding you want it at a different height, aim to have the middle of the television eye level when sitting on the couch. This way you won't find yourself straining your neck. Some feel hanging a television at this height will make it seem too low, taking away some of its decorative appeal. If that's a concern, try hanging your television so the bottom of the screen is at eye level while you're sitting.
* Eliminate "cable" TV. Make your wall-mounted plasma or LCD television more aesthetically appealing. Few things look worse than a flat-panel television with cables dangling underneath. While most mounts enable you to hide cords within the mount itself, others may not. In such instances, it's often best to cut a hole in the wall behind the screen and snake the wires through the wall to where your A/V gear is. However, Premier Mounts recommends consulting an electrician for such a job as well as your building code, which might prohibit running power cables inside a wall.
* Take your time. While it's natural to want to get your flat-panel television up and running as soon as possible, keep in mind mounting typically takes a professional a couple of hours. Do-it-yourselfers should set aside twice that amount of time.
Of course, if the tips on the Web site don't get you through the job with your home and dignity intact, you can always chime in on one of the site's forums to get some help from others. For more information, visit www.mountingtips.com.