Stacked Stone - hanging plasma tv

So we moved into a newly built house and I need to mount my 50 samsung plasma. I've mounted several plasma's before, but always through wood or drywall (where its easy to find the studs)The trick this time is the face of the fireplace is stacked stone - but its more like a veneer, its real stone but its adhered to the wall. I have a built in tube to run the cables and have an outlet for power. I can open the cover for the tube and see where the studs are but i have a few questions:
1. Do i need to use some kind of padding behind the mount since the stone isnt level
2. Can i use normal cement drill bits to go through the stone (have used similiar on basement walls/floors)
If i have to ill get a pro, but have enough knowledge myself - have finished basements, framing, eletrical, plumbing that i feel confident, just concerned about drilling through stacked stone and padding or spacers behind mount.

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Hanging Tv

are you sure its real stone ? often this is actually fake ' ' stone look ' ' and is made from a whipped concrete
induceing air to keep it light. todays fake stone - well,,, sometimes you cant see a difference till you pick
one up.
since the mounts I have seen have multiple vertical mounting holes. you could try and align the
wall mount rig so at least the top two and maybe one bottom will be over a joint tween the stones.
this will make it easier to drill thru the grout (concrete mix) to hit a stud. use a slightly smaller size
bit to drill since most concrete drilling ends up larger and should fit the bolt closer. plus it can always
be drill wiggled larger if too tight - but harder to shrink LOL
this should give you a solid connection and not have to worry about the brick comeing loose from the
wall for whatever reason. (depends on quality of labor that set the rock and backer board)
personally - I am not too keen on putting a tv above the fireplace - thats plastic above heat.
and over time will it have any effect on the screen outer layer ? just my thoughts on that LOL.

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Just a thought...

Another reason to consider drilling through the mortar, if possible. Say, you change your mind, or sell your house, or something. It will be a lot easier to repair a hole in the mortar than it would be to replace a stone with one that matches.

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forgot to mention - since u are working on stone - uneven surface.
where the lag bolt goes thru the mortar - its probably the lowest point. you
can use maybe a 1/2dia. piece of plastic pipe as a spacer from the mortar to the
mounting rod - can be shaped and painted to match the stone.

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