HDTV screen protector hack

Anyone with kids knows:

children + flat-screen TV = expensive disaster waiting to happen

Yet manufacturers somehow put very soft screens on TV nowadays, instead of something more durable like glass. There are a few products out there for protecting your TV but I found them a little expensive. Instead of waiting for big toy-shaped dents in our new LCD, my solution was to get a sheet of acrylic at an art store, drill out flat slots, and attach it using long velcro strips which thread the slots.

A few details:

  • Our 32 inch TV just happened to be about the dimensions of a 24″x36″ sheet, which at 1/8 inch was $20. Maybe a  quarter inch could stop a brick, but an eighth inch is enough to deflect most projectiles and keep peanut butter off the LCD surface. (For larger sheets, Home Depot might be an option.)
  • Long strips of Velcro are a few bucks at a hardware store. I wrapped it from the top and bottom around the back. The upper part sticks to the lower part, so there is no glue or anything on the TV itself. It has enough surface area to hold the acrylic sheet.
  • Drilling the slits was a bit tricky and I admit I did a poor job of it — not perfectly flat, but a little bumpy. Maybe somebody has a better technique or tool for creating the slots.
  • The acrylic sheet bows a little. But it is hard to tell from the front. It also gets a little staticky. To clean, I would take the whole thing off and wipe it. Wiping only the front seems to attract dust to the back because of static.
  • As for glare, it has a glare when the TV is off, more than the matte finish of a typical LCD. But with the TV on, you can’t see the glare.

So far it has worked well and saved our TV from several bumps. Take a look:

3 Comments

  1. Posted December 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Nice little trick, I’m definitely going to do this for my childrens tv.

  2. Posted April 2, 2011 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen on youtube how easy flat screen tv can be damaged using wii sport accessories. Extra prcaution is needed when using those things.

  3. Posted May 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    great info about screen protectors, i’ll make sure to buy one for my new sony bravia lcd.

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