11 Things You Should Never Do to Your Flat Screen TV
Although they’ve become the standard, flat screen TVs do require some care and attention, so we advise you to never do any of these things to your beloved TV.
Never mount a TV above a fireplace
A fireplace is an aesthetically pleasing and cozy centerpiece in any living space. The downfall? It may leave you with a conundrum: where oh where to put the TV? Let us help you: anywhere but above the fireplace! The fireplace can warm up your flat screen TV and consequently shorten its lifespan. Plus, if you use the fireplace, soot can get on and into your TV. And if that doesn’t convince you, then think about how uncomfortable it will be to have to look way up there when watching the big game. Instead of the TV above the fireplace, consider one of these unique TV installation ideas.
Never expect a home theater from a flat screen
Nothing is worse than turning on your TV, finding where you left off on your current Netflix obsession, and then cranking up the volume and craning your neck to hear the whispered dialogue. TVs have gotten thinner and sleeker and so have their speakers. At this point, nearly all speakers aren’t designed to produce excellent sound. Make your life infinitely better with an inexpensive solution: a sound bar. Ask your TV salesperson about this. Plus, learn the things TV salespeople won’t tell you.
Never clean with chemicals
If you’re someone who loves a spotless house and smudge-free screens, you may feel the need to take out your most dependable cleaner and give your flat screen TV a spritz and a quick wipe with a paper towel. Don’t do it! Harsh chemicals can damage the screen and paper towels and other abrasive materials can scratch it. Instead, follow the more traditional cleaning method:
- Turn off the TV.
- Wipe it down with a dry, clean rag or duster.
- If absolutely necessary, dampen your dry and clean rag with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, and then clean the screen.
Never assume you’ve mastered mounting
One of the biggest benefits of the flat screen TV is the space you save by mounting the TV on the wall. But mounting a TV properly requires very careful attention to detail and a good understanding of how structurally sound your wall is. The worst thing you can do is feign confidence when you’ve never done it before. So, choose your TV placement carefully and find the right studs. Resist the urge to use wall anchors because they won’t work unless you use a Moen SecureMount anchor. Here’s a step-by-step guide to mounting the TV on your wall.
Never underestimate the tipping potential
Flat screen TVs may be lighter than their predecessors but they still pose a danger, especially if you have young kiddos who like to climb furniture. If the TV isn’t mounted on the wall, it’s critical that you have a solid TV stand that’s the appropriate size for your TV. You can be extra certain of this if you build it yourself! An extra safety precaution is to purchase safety straps that will anchor the TV to the wall or mount your TV to the wall and stop worrying about it tipping over.
Never expose the mess o’ wires
Nothing is less attractive than sitting down to watch your crisp, clear, flat TV screen only to be distracted by an ugly mess of wires. It may be stressful to untangle and organize those wires and cables, but it’s even more stressful to look at them all the time. Wiring the TV correctly is an important first step and then hiding the ugly wires is a critical second step. Try sneaking them into your TV stand, zip-tying some together, or hiding them by DIYing this clever and simple contraption.
Never forget the surge protector
If you bought your flat screen TV from a retail store with the help of a salesperson, it’s likely you heard a pitch for an extra powerful and fancy surge protector. While you don’t need the $100+ option, you definitely need an option. So, if you haven’t purchased a surge protector for your TV, buy one now and set it up correctly. It will protect your flat screen TV and other expensive devices from any surge of power that could destroy them. If you really want to play it safe, then consider getting a house surge protector. Check out this guide to setting up a surge protector correctly, and find out the truth about these potentially deadly myths about electricity.
Never choose an awkward placement on the wall
If you gather people to watch the likes of the World Series Game 7, award shows, or the Summer Olympics, you’ll want to make sure everyone can settle in and see the screen. Too often, flat screen TVs are placed too high or too low, which results in an audience with stiff necks. Guidelines say 56 inches from floor to center of TV for a 42-inch TV, 61 inches for a 55-inch TV, and 67 inches for a 70-inch TV. Another awkward placement: The TV seems correctly positioned but then the afternoon sun prevents actually seeing the afternoon game. Make sure you’ve considered how your windows and the sun will impact your ability to see the screen, unless you don’t mind having the windows covered with shades, blinds, or curtains. Try these 7 genius ideas to get everyone in front of the TV.
Never neglect the calibration
Most flat screen TVs today come with pretty accurate settings for color, brightness, contrast, etc., but if you have the patience and ambition to perfect the calibration, then get to it because it will ultimately make the viewing experience better. You can hire a professional to do this for you or you can do it yourself, but be sure to educate yourself first! If you’re trying to save money on tech, it’s probably not worth buying a used TV if you want proper calibration. These are the 4 tech gadgets you can totally buy used—and the 3 you definitely shouldn’t.
Never cook your gadgets
Flat screen TVs are only as great as the gadgets that support them. Well, maybe not all the time, but TV gadgets need just as much attention and care as the TV itself if they’re going to last. Placing your Playstation, Apple TV, and/or Blu-ray player (if you still have one of those) in an enclosed TV stand or cabinet will limit airflow to the devices, thus raising their temperature and shortening their lifespan. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: high temperatures can kill electronics.