The mass influx of flat screen televisions into the consumer marketplace over the past few years has magnified how fragile these screens truly are.
All sorts of companies on the Internet are now boasting screen protectors, providing a bevy of choices.
This is because manufacturer warranties do not cover screen damage, nor do the additional warranties sold by retailers. Both realize how susceptible to damage these screens are, and they’d prefer to sell you an expensive replacement television rather than repair the damaged one.
With this, there are two basic types of protectors for your LCD, LED or Plasma television: flat plastic and bent plastic. A look at each:
• Less expensive.
• Considered by many to have a “cleaner” look.
• Heat escapes easily.
• Most attached with Velcro (which can hold 4 lbs).
• Saw cut edges, or poorly flame polished.
• Some as little as 1/8” thick.
• Flex easy.
• Only held off the TV by the thickness of the Velcro or other fastener.
• Adhesive on the TV.
• Secured and fastened with straps.
• 1/4″ pads provide a standoff from TV.
• Bent edge is stiff — unit flexes very little.
• Heat escapes easily with pads under the top lip.
• Flame polished edges.
• Lip bears the weight rather than the Velcro.
• Straps considered unsightly to some.
• Bent lip may be wider than thickness of TV.
Claims and Reality
Caveat Emptor (“Let The Buyer Beware”) couldn’t be more important than when it comes to selecting an LCD TV screen protector.
Fact: The vast majority of these companies are working out of their garage, and couldn’t ship a rush order if their life depended on it.
“Claims” to look for and the usual reality of such claims:
• A bent plasma or LCD screen protectors causes the TV to overheat.
• Plasma or LCD TV screen protectors can be mounted with 1/4” thick pads under the lip to allow heat to escape, and if the math is done correctly, actually allow 50% more heat to escape than that of the flat protectors. The flat screen protectors are only separated from the screen by the thickness of the Velcro. Thus, a completely false and misleading claim.
• Bent plasma or LCD screen protectors are ugly.
• Saw cut and poorly polished edges may be “ugly” to some, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Would you rather your screen protector not fall off, or look good?
• Our clip is a better way to hold the plastic on the TV.
• Talk about ugly! A clip for 1/8” thick acrylic is NOT a better way.
• Ours is made from Lexan, which is 80 times stronger than glass.
• This may be true, but it’s overkill. Acrylic is 15 times stronger than glass, which gives you more than enough protection. Also, Lexan can’t be easily bent easily, so it must be a flat screen protector held on with Velcro — which also can’t be flame polished.
• We are the world’s largest producer of LCD screen protectors.
• The defacto claim of many. Focus on quality and thickness — this speaks for itself.
A Consumer Checklist When Purchasing A Flat Screen TV Protector:
• Google the address. If you discover it’s a home address, stay away. If you can’t find an address on their website, simply move on.
• Is it a U.S. business, or a foreign business with a U.S. address? You definitely want the former.
• Try e-mailing or calling them . . . how fast do you get a response?
• How is the flat protector held on?
• How thick is the acrylic?
• How are the edges finished?
So as you can see, with a little proper due diligence, you’ll find yourself purchasing a protector that will protect you as well as your TV!