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Ike Ridley

So you just bought a flat screen TV and no one told you anything about care and cleaning?

“What do you mean, care and cleaning?" some will say. “I grew up with a TV in the house, didn’t I? Everybody knows how to take care of a TV . . . right? You just dust it off every couple of months and don’t let the kids chew on the power cord. . . right?"

Well-l-l-l, there’s a little more to it than that when you own a Plasma, DLP or LCD flat screen TV. Some of it is common sense, but a lot what you need to know is unique to caring for the new television technology.

Special care must be taken when handling a flat screen TV, especially when touching or cleaning the display screen. Thin sheets of glass hold the Plasma cells on a flat screen TV, if they crack, the screen is ruined and cannot be repaired!

(If you’re not familiar with the differences between Plasma, LCD or DLP TVs, you should Google the "123 Guide To Plasma TV.com")

Bottom line: you need to know what you’re doing if you want to protect your expensive new TV from damage. You’re in luck . . . I’m about to tell you!

1) Avoid Touching The Screen!

Handle the TV only by the sides and bottom. Do your best not to touch the screen; don’t rub, scrub, tap, hit or touch it, since this could scratch, mar or permanently damage the screen. I actually want to encourage you not to touch the screen with your bare hands. (Good luck keeping the kids away from it!)

2) Keep Your Plasma TV Upright!

Whether you’re moving it, installing it, storing or displaying it, you should never lay your Plasma flat on it’s face, even if the directions tell you to. The plasma elements that make up the picture are sandwiched between two thin layers of glass. If these glass panels crack, your TV screen will be ruined. Large LCD and DLP display screens can be just as delicate.

3) Clean Your Flat Screen TV Correctly!

Even routine cleaning can present special challenges. You shouldn’t use dust cloths, chemical cleansers, soaps, sprays, alcohol or aerosols. Please don’t rub the screen, just dust it gently with absorbent cotton or chamois only. Clean the frame with a slightly moist sponge or cloth, don’t use chemicals or soaps. It’s best to unplug the TV before you begin cleaning.

4) Buy A Good Surge Protector!

Spring for a quality surge protector with a reset button and power switch. A phone line or ethernet surge protector for your modem and a coax surge protector for cable TV are great features to look for. If you can’t find these features on a power surge protector you can order them separately. A basic surge protector costs less than $10, and a really good one costs $30 - $50. There’s no excuse for not connecting every major appliance in your house to one. One lightning strike, one power surge and your $2,500 flat screen TV could be fried!

5) Don’t Let Your Big Screen TV Tip Over!

Most table stands are well designed, but be aware! When your teenager tries to imitate Kobe’s fantastic slam dunk or your toddler jumps up to slap Sponge Bob on the head, you don’t want a 150-pound big screen TV toppling over on them. Make sure your TV stand is sturdy, that it’s large enough to hold your TV (6-inches wider than the base) and is positioned against a wall, away from doorways and foot traffic.

6) Make Sure Your Wall Mount Is Properly Installed!

A correctly installed wall mount has little chance of allowing your TV to tip over; just one more reason to get a professional installation. If Harry Handyman from next door installs your Plasma and the mount comes off the wall, you could be facing substantial damage or injury. If you don’t know how to run wiring inside your wall, get a pro to do it.

7) Avoid Screen Burn-In!

Plasma displays have improved recently, but screen burn-in is still possible. Static images that don’t move or change, like video game scores, TV station logos, stock ticker displays and computer programs can burn images permanently into a Plasma screen. It may take weeks, months or years for the damage to become permanent, but it certainly can. LCD and DLP TVs cannot suffer burn-in.

With proper care, your big screen TV will give your family decades of brilliant service and lasting memories. Just tune in to Entourage and enjoy!

It's as easy as 1 2 3!

About The Author

Ike Ridley is the avid videophile and self-confessed “Movie Nut" who created the website 123 Guide To Plasma TV. To visit us, click the links or paste this URL into your web browser:
Ike has moved to the Caribbean where he clicks away on his laptop under a palm tree.
Click Here for more information on big screen TVs in the 123 Guide To Plasma TV.com!


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