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Facts and myths about safely transporting a flat-screen TV

My friend Arnie is always going full-throttle, so I wasn't surprised at all when he told me he was getting a huge new flat screen TV for the Super Bowl. I also wasn't surprised when he asked me how to get it from the store to his house. “Is it okay if I lay the TV flat? Is everything in the screen going to be ruined if all of the liquid, gas, or whatever is inside leaks out?”
“Yes,” I acknowledged. “However, no.” Many people have questions about how to properly transport a flat screen TV, so here are the facts.

Opinions vs. Facts: How to Ship a Flat Screen

Moving a flat-screen television is a hot topic these days. Here are some contrasting viewpoints I discovered, all from respectable sources:

  • “Never transport a flat-screen TV by lying it down. I've done it before and regretted it.)” (zendaya's Instagram)
  • “LCD TVs can be flat on their sides. I've been doing it for 5 years, and I'm sure.” (Uhaul)
  • According to Techwalla, lying a flat panel television on the floor can cause delaminating, which permanently damages the television.

Even then, see what happens when we compare the two pictures side-by-side. It's difficult to know who to trust. So let's have a look at the facts.

Did you know that…

Before we dispel any myths, it's important to understand that there are primarily two types of flat screens:

  1. A TV screen, for example, is made up of a layer of glass with millions of tiny cells containing microscopic fluorescent ‘lamps' that produce an image. It's similar to the technology used in light bulbs. Flat-screen TVs from before were more likely to be Plasma.
  2. Millions of pixels on an LCD (liquid crystal display) screen are made up of sub-pixels, each with a layer of windows that allow in different amounts of red, green, or blue light. These generate various amounts of light to create the image we see.

LED displays were first introduced in the mid-nineties, and have become popular with some manufacturers, including HP. However, these are not the only recent developments. The term "LED" is used to describe three distinct types of display technology:

LEDs are a type of light-emitting diode (LED), which is extremely efficient and uses little power; LED displays were initially produced in the late 1980s and began to be popular in the mid-nineties. These are, however, not the only new developments that have taken place recently.

If you want to learn more about the differences between TVs, here's a helpful guide.

For this problem, however, the TV type isn't critical because no flat screen is stuffed with floating gasses or millions of drops of anti-gravity technological color liquids. If you're moving long distance, nothing will settle at the bottom of your screen regardless how many years it stands on your table or hangs on your wall or sits in the moving truck. (If you're organizing a long-distance relocation, check out Moving Place for a full-service move at a fraction of the cost.)
It's not going to harm your TV inside to put it down.

However, it is not beneficial to lay it down flat. Why might that be the case?

Take a look at what the country's biggest consumer electronics store has to say:

Televisions with large LCD and LED screens usually come equipped with a stand so that the TV can be placed upright. However, if you lay the screen flat without support in the middle, over time this will cause cracking or distortion on the edges.Vibrations from driving can also damage your TV--that's why glass-delivery trucks have those vertical racks! This is also why we movers always load mirrors and picture frames vertically.

So, to protect your investment, keep it upright.

Get the best picture quality for your buck by transporting your flat screen TV upright in your vehicle.
If you are buying a used television, be sure to protect it as best as you can. Using blankets will work in a pinch, but if possible, follow these mirror-packing tips to keep your new flat screen safe. Your wallet will thank you later.

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