A flat-screen LCD, LED or plasma TV may be an expensive investment for your home, but it can provide hours of relaxation, entertainment and enjoyment for your family every day. It offers high-quality, crisp, clean and clear images with amazing colors, and the large screen makes you feel that you are part of the action on the set. Many of the new TVs feature options that allow you to use them for CDs, music players, USBs, games and more. That versatility is one reason that screen protectors may be necessary for the newer televisions, which are more vulnerable to damage than are the older models. The new, thin, flat-screen TVs look stylish, but the qualities that make them attractive make them more fragile as well.
Causes of Damage
Because television sets are costly these days, it makes sense to protect your LCD, LED or plasma screen from the damage that can so easily happen. In their enthusiasm, excited children playing Wii games toss the controllers at TVs, and sports fans who get upset at coaches or referees for their decisions throw remotes at them without stopping to think about the possible consequences. Children use the flat screens as roads or landing strips for their toys, and pets may jump up and damage the screens with the pressure of their paws or by scratching. Even wiping dust from screens may cause permanent scratches, and moisture can be harmful for the screens as well. Anyone can accidentally bump into the screens, and most warranties do not cover damage caused by accidental screen contact. Thousands of people ruin their flat-screen TVs every month due to carelessness, ignorance or clumsiness, and thrown Wii controllers or remotes cause more of that damage than do all other accidents combined.
Prevention is the Only Solution
You cannot repair damaged LCD TV screens or replace them separately, so a good-quality screen protector is an excellent investment that can save the cost of a new TV in the future.
Screen Protector Material
TV-screen protectors are made of optical-grade acrylic cut and molded appropriately to fit on most LCD TV screens. The acrylic is anti-reflective, anti-glare, resistant to scratches and has smooth, polished edges. NASA developed the new acrylic materials, and the automobile industry uses the products as well. The material is tough and reliable enough to provide excellent protection for television screens.
Under ordinary lighting conditions, the screen protectors are virtually invisible when attached to televisions, but some natural or artificial lighting can cause reflections on the protectors. If you have windows or skylights in the room, an optical-glare reducer can cut down on the glare from light to make watching television more enjoyable. However, some TV-screen protectors produce slightly blurry images because of the anti-glare protection, and that feature may not be necessary for your home.
Felt or rubber tabs called bumpers placed around the TV screens between the frames and the screen protectors effectively absorb the brunt of impacts when anything bumps the screen covers.
Velcro hook-and-loop straps attach the screen protectors to the televisions and should be strong enough to hold the protectors securely in place to prevent injury to children or pets that may pull on them.
A good protector for a TV screen should have a thickness of at least 1/4 inch to provide an adequate shield for a plasma or LCD screen. A thin screen protector may not detract as much from the excellent quality that a flat-screen TV provides, but it may not offer as much protection for the screen as a thicker protector supplies. Lexan is extremely strong but only 1/8-inch-thick, and a slight pressure can cause it to bend, which limits its ability to protect the TV. A thinner protector may flex and damage the screen if something hits it, and you may have to choose between the quality of your TV images and the durability of your screen.
To keep your television cool, there should be about 1/4-inch of breathing room between the TV-screen protector and the screen itself.
Cleaning the Protector
You should clean the inside face of your screen protector occasionally, and a protector that is simple to remove will make the task easier.