How to keep your TV screen looking pristine

If you’re watching the newest hit drama on your television tonight, catch up on last night’s episode, and then watch again tomorrow night, you’re doing it the wrong way.

That’s according to Kimberly Carr, Director of the TV and Technology Clinic at Xavier University. She was part of a panel discussing how to clean your TV screen at CEDIA, a CEDIA Industry conference in Denver.

“Keep those closed sleeves closed tight,” said Carr. “Make sure to replace your TV screen glass every couple of years.”

CUT your TV time

Make sure to keep your TV time to just 4 hours a day, said Tanya Norris, senior systems analyst at Indiana University Bloomington. It’s especially important to keep your time in check if you have children.

“When we’re with the family and the kids are watching, just turn it down or keep it on longer,” said Norris.

Don’t use a computer at the TV

“The reality is that just sitting in front of a computer isn’t conducive to watching TV,” said Norris.

Install a mobile device, such as an iPad or iPhone, instead. That way, you can have a brief break during the day to use your phone and get some work done.

Don’t pay too much attention to the remote

The face the TV has to face can influence your actions. When sitting next to your TV, you have your eye on the remote most of the time. That’s why Norris advises not staring down at it during commercials.

“You don’t need to look down,” she said. “It’s a distraction in itself.”

Carr advises the opposite: “We don’t really need to pay attention to that box,” she said. “But we need to pay attention to the TV because we may be tuning in to that show.”

In fact, the remote may give you clues as to the type of show you’re watching. In some cases, the remote can reflect your mood or, at the very least, the mood of the TV channel on the screen.

“If it’s a broadcast station, think a very neutral mood,” said Carr. “A neutral mood is a very happy mood.”

That’s the CBS “Face the Nation”; lots of fun and smiling faces.

And if it’s a cable channel, try a more serious mood, she says.

“A more serious mood says a little bit more about the situation on the screen,” said Carr. “It could be a political interview or it could be a news show. So maybe try to channel it that way, and maybe turn on some news and think about the business up there.”

Make sure to use filters that may also help you avoid your TV distracting you. They’re sometimes called “blinders,” because you won’t notice anything bad on the screen.

“If you’re looking down at the remote, that has absolutely nothing to do with your sweet little fingers,” said Carr. “You can then move your fingers up and down, and keep your eyes on what’s right before you. You may turn your head, or you might still feel this positive switch in your brain that this is a positive feeling.”

(Rachel B. Gottlieb is a solutions consultant for CNET).

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