Help and advice

Top three ways to destroy your TV

At the end of a long day, coming home and curling up on the sofa in front of the TV can be exactly what you need.
There are very few appliances in your home that will get quite the same level of use as your television, which is why it’s so important to make sure you take care of it. It’s possibly more crucial that you avoid these major disasters.

Clean it with the wrong equipment

It goes without saying that a clean TV screen will give you the best picture quality and colour contrast, and that keeping dust off the unit will make sure it can’t get in to wreak havoc inside. But as the salesperson should have told you when you took it out of the showroom, you need the right equipment to do it. The screen is easily damaged with the wrong chemicals or a cloth that isn’t soft enough.

That means the standard duster is not your friend - you need a dry, anti-static cloth such as a microfibre cloth, which you can use to wipe dust and smudges off both the screen and frame. Alternatively, you can get special wipes for the screen, but beware that cheaper options will have much lower quality. Gently does it: rubbing too hard could scratch the screen and ruin the picture.

As with all home electronics, don’t go reaching for the spray polish, either. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many perfectly serviceable TVs have been rendered useless this way! For particularly stubborn smudges, get hold of some specialised cleaning solution.

Assume it’s broken when it isn’t

Many a good TV has been thrown out by owners who didn’t spot the basics. Does the colour balance look like it’s out? Go back to the instruction manual and find out how to check the brightness and contrast levels, and play around with them until you reach a happy medium. The picture will be less clear if you go too dark or bright, so pay close attention.

If it’s on a stand, make sure the TV is at the right angle and height. The location of the screen in relation to your eyes makes a huge difference, so ensure that the TV is tilted correctly and the stand is set to the right height for your eyes.

Let it fall off the wall

If you choose to mount your TV on the wall, there is nothing more important than making sure it is securely fixed. Mistakes can be costly - unless you’re absolutely confident that you can do it well yourself, you should definitely consider getting somebody else in. If that’s not quite within your budget, enlist a friend to help: especially in the case of bigger screen sizes, lifting and securing the TV is at least a two-person job.

It’s usually wise to invest in a wall mounting kit from the manufacturer of the unit, which is generally simpler to set up and will come with detailed instructions. These should tell you what tools you’ll need, including a Phillips-head screwdriver, hammer and power drill. Broadly speaking, a 9mm drill bit is the best bet with a brick or concrete wall, while a slightly larger 13mm bit is wise if you’re using drywall or wood.


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