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08 January 2015

Kids destroy your expensive TV? Your $1700 TV? Good news dear reader. I’ve found a way to stop it happening again.

The answer is perspex! (clear plastic acrylic).

Perspex is great stuff. If I could, everything my kids go near would be covered in perspex or bubble wrap. Might be easier to just bubble wrap my kids. Stay tuned for a future DIY article on that. In the mean time, I had a perspex TV cover made.

Plastic Fantastic

After the sad demise of my TV, I started looking into a TV protector, and thought “surely someone will make one?”. Yes, they do. The problem is that they charge $250+ for it, then another $100+ shipping. They also use hopelessly thin perspex (3mm).

Time for Plan “B”. I sketched out a design for a TV cover and started calling plastic manufacturers in Brisbane.

My sketch:

TV Cover design sketch

Result:

  • 5 companies didn’t respond
  • 2 companies couldn’t do a 90 degree bend in perspex (?!)
  • 2 companies wanted to charge stupidly high prices
  • 1 company who could make it for a decent price

Hamilton Plastics were able to produce exactly what I wanted. The price quoted was $160. Win! I submitted my order and waited.

Measure TWICE

I went to pick up the TV cover. Disaster! The top part (that overhangs the TV) was 3 times as long as it should have been. Turns out that I didn’t double check my measurements. The cost of fixing the mistake was an extra $70. Damn.

The Final Product

Here are some photos of the final product:

TV Cover side

TV Cover top

TV Cover base

TV Cover front

It is fairly simple design. The TV protector consists of a large perspex sheet (6mm thick) with a folded section at the top - which rests on top of the TV. All edges are rounded.

There are two straps ($10 cargo straps from Bunnings) which secure the screen protector to the TV. The straps loop through slits at the top and bottom of the protector.

I added some stick on rubber pads around the edge, to protect the cover and the TV.

TV Cover straps

FAQ

How does the TV protector affect your viewing experience?

I’ve been using the protector for one year now, and I’ve found that unless I look for it, I never even notice it is there. There is a slight increase in glare, but nothing that I’ve found irritating.

How well does it protect the TV?

My 2 year old has hurled matchbox cars at it, the worst damage so far is a few light scratches. I don’t notice them unless I get very close (within an arms length), and actively look for them.

Is it heavy?

Yes. I have my TV secured to the wall, so the weight isn’t an issue. If the TV is on a stand, it would at least need to have a safety strap anchoring it to the wall - just to ensure it doesn’t fall on your kid and/or cat.

How do you clean it?

I use a couple of cheap microfibre cloths. The first one is damp with a bit of water. The second is softer and used to give the cover a bit of a buff/polish.

Will you sell me one?

No, The shipping costs would be a nightmare.

How do I get one?

Call or email plastic fabricators in your area. Explain what you want, and send them a sketch with the dimensions. It may take a few calls though!



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