What began as an online store selling inexpensive Ethernet and HDMI cables has grown into a multi-faceted AV empire that arguably rivals some of the marketplace's biggest names. I'm talking of course about Monoprice. While Monoprice may be best known for affordable cables and computer accessories, it's the company's home theater wares that have captured my attention as of late, chief among these the Monoprice line of ceiling brackets for front projectors, specifically the 6528 model for projectors weighing up to 50 pounds.
Retailing for $14.85 plus shipping, the 6528 is one of the, if not the single, least expensive universal projector mounts I've ever seen. Like all Monoprice products, it comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, a lifetime warranty and free technical support for life. Monoprice doesn't even charge customers a restocking fee should things not work out. And for less than $15. That's incredible. What's more incredible is the fact that for that same $15 you get a mount that uses all-metal materials, is sturdy in its construction and, while not as "trick" as the competition, still offers a similar level of control and adjustment.
The mount is comprised of three parts: first, the ceiling plate, which looks like every other ceiling plate I've encountered; second, the threaded support pole and adjustment head; and third, the universal adapter plate, complete with adjustable armatures. All three pieces are finished in flat black, though the support pole does feature the Monoprice logo on its face for a bit of contrast. The area between the adjustment head and the universal adapter plate features what Monoprice calls its "fast disconnect mechanism," which is a not so fancy way of saying there is a single connection point between the universal projector plate and the adjustment head for easy installation and tear-down. Monoprice isn't the first to market with this technology, as most higher-end mounts offer it, too, albeit with fancier names and/or slicker application. Speaking of the adjustment head, it's good for up to 30 degrees of play, both roll and pitch, while supplying a full 360 degrees for rotation. The universal adapter plate can accommodate any and all front projectors that have minimum hole spacing greater than 6.69 inches but no greater than 12.59 inches. I tested the 6528 mount on three different Epson projectors, as well as a Panasonic, and each fit brilliantly. Larger projectors, such as my SIM2 Nero or M.150, don't fare as well - though in the case of the Nero, the 6528 mount can accommodate its weight.
In terms of ease of installation, the 6528 mount is simple is as simple does, meaning it's no more difficult or easy to use than any other front projector mount I've tried over the years. The final result is sturdy, secure and clean, provided your front projector fits within the 6528's installation parameters. Monoprice includes all the necessary hardware to get the job done right and there really isn't much to fuss about. Do I prefer Sanus or Chief's adjustment controls for roll, pitch and rotation? Yes, but their mounts also cost multiples more, so they should be more precise and smoother in their implementation. Does the 6528 hinder one's ability to align the projector to its respective screen? Not in the slightest.
Read about the high points and low points of the Monoprice 6528 on Page 2.
For under $15, the 6528 mount from Monoprice is hard to beat if you're trying to get the same functionality as some of the big boys, but don't quite have the budget to spring for a costlier mount.
The 6528 mount has all of the same adjustment features as its competition, including roll, pitch and rotation, but at a lower cost.
The 6528's Fast Disconnect Mechanism makes installing and un-installing any projector a snap, which is especially useful when it comes time to change bulbs or perform maintenance of any kind.
The 6528 comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, as well as lifetime warranty and tech support.
The 6528's adjustment head is permanently attached to the downward support pole, meaning there's no way to increase or lower the mount's overall drop, which rests at a fixed 8.78 inches from the ceiling.
The adjustment points for roll and pitch aren't as smooth or easily accessible as those found on costlier mounts, though they still work well.
The Fast Disconnect Mechanism, while functional and secure, isn't quite as confidence-boosting as other quick-release systems found on costlier mounts.
Competition and Comparisons
Obviously, every company making a universal projector mount is competition for the Monoprice 6528, though few if any can match it in terms of price. That being said, stepping up to, say, a Sanus VP1 will grant you slightly better construction, a nicer finish and more fine-tuned adjustments, not to mention a more robust quick-release plate. But it comes at a price - $249.99 to be exact. Is the VP1 the better mount? Sure, its slightly better functionality and feature set does qualify it as better, even though it and the 6528 achieve the same end result. If I had a costlier projector, for instance, one that cost over $3,500, then I'd probably feel a little better about the VP1. That said, I did mount my Nero ($15,000 plus) to my ceiling using the 6528 for a spell (two months) just to see if it was up to snuff (I made a custom adapter plate out of wood to accommodate the Nero's wider stature). For more on these great mounts and others like them, please check out Home Theater Review's Accessories page.
It's staggering what you can do nowadays with so little money, thanks to companies like Monoprice. While some may see Monoprice's presence in the marketplace as the coming of the apocalypse, I see this as a gateway to get people involved at a low-cost level so that they will, it is to be hoped, move up the ladder at a later date. The 6528 projector mount reviewed here possesses all the same features as its costlier competition, yet costs less than $15 via Monoprice's own website. Is it as good as mounts costing hundreds more? Not exactly, but if the end result is all you're after, meaning you want a safe and secure projector mount with enough adjustment capability to align it with your screen, then yes, it is. While I would recommend it only for smal
l to medium-sized projectors of moderate price, it didn't stop me from testing it on my baby, the Nero 3D-2. It's definitely a worthwhile option.