We mentioned Rigidesigns' Para Mount VESA back in January, and since then the company has been kind enough to send out a demo for testing. Has this device fixed some of the vulnerabilities associated with monitor mounting? Let's find out.
One of my great joys in working in production is the never-ending pursuit of optimization in terms of work processes or the tools we use. The Para Mount is a nifty tool (red when purchased) for optimizing the video village, your post-monitor setup or an on-set DIT setup. Yes, there are other monitor brackets out there, but we are just getting to a place where transitioning a monitor from standing mounting to placing a monitor low on a desk is not an issue – the Para bracket helps with this transition.
Para Mount VESA on a 1703-P3X monitor from SmallHD. Image credit: CineD
Para Mount VESA to optimize your monitor setup
The Para Mount for USD 259.00 is VESA 100 × 100 compatible and also available with an optional battery plate (more on that later). For my tests, I used the bracket next to the 17-inch SmallHD 1703 P3X monitor, which weighs a little more than 30 kg depending on the accessories installed. On paper, the Para mount is rated for up to 30kg, and you can feel the allowable weight as you build this device – the aluminum and steel design seems impervious to the rough and tumbling nature of the work on site. I have no doubt that this mount can hold much larger and heavier monitors than the one I tested it with.
There are other select C stand monitor brackets on the market, but many of the monitor brackets are aimed at home users and simply are not suitable for field production work. They also tend to work on stands or desks, rather than both. At $ 259.00, the Para Mount feels like it is at a premium price, and I suspect it has a lifespan that will outlast the many, many monitors that it is used with.
The only plastic part of the bracket is in the lock itself (see picture above). Image credit: CineD
Works on a desk or stand
The Para Mount can be used in two core configurations: either on a stand or on a desk. Simply pull the button (see picture above) to unlock the pivoting movement. With a little physical effort, you can pivot the mount to place it on a desk or stand. The hinge itself takes some force to move between these two configurations and I suggest bolting the bracket to the monitor first to get the leverage required.
A picture of the Para Mount mounted on a commercial shoot with an optional battery wing plate. Image credit: CineD.
Some production-focused monitor manufacturers are getting better with it, but many monitors are still missing 1/4 "- 20 screw holes for mounting accessories, and the Para Mount has all kinds of wireless receiver mounting points on the sides of the unit.
The Para bracket is extended and can either be mounted on the desk or on the stand. Image credit: CineD
Compact bracket, easy to carry, wing plate for accessories
I especially like how compact everything is when you fold the bracket back to its transport setting when the monitor is not in use. Most users will find that the bracket fits easily into the suitcase they carry their monitor in without having to detach the bracket from the monitor. These are little things, but they become one of the less preparation items you need to do before you can start recording that day. So keep in mind that these little conveniences save you time and thus more recordings.
Rigidesigns also sent a $ 79.00 black "wing plate" for testing, which attaches easily to the back of the Para mount and leaves more room for a battery plate or additional accessories depending on the setup. If your monitor already has space for a battery plate, you may not need this accessory as the Para Mount itself has plenty of well-placed attachment points for wireless receivers. The wing plate does not attach well to the Para mount as it prevents the mount from reaching its most compact configuration. However, it only takes a few seconds to remove and store elsewhere in your monitor travel case for later addition.
During the capture, I found that the part of the bracket that doubles as a desk stand is also a safe way to move the monitor from place to place. This carrying solution is better than the handle that SmallHD sends along with the 1703-PX3 monitor, which I've found tends to pinch your hand if you're not careful.
Obviously, a good accessory can mean that you can keep the kit it is used for longer term. With the Para Mount, you'll find that bringing your field monitor into your office for a quick color check of a machining project or for use as a client or director monitor is less of a hassle than it has been in the past. I look forward to seeing what Rigidesigns will come up with in the future to make our local life a little easier.
The Para bracket ($ 259.00) and the additional wing plate ($ 79.00) can be purchased directly from Rigidesigns or through CVP.
Are you using production monitors? How do you set it up for your clients or the director? Let us know in the comments below!