Is It Safe to Remove the Protective Cover on a TV?


Many electronics, along with small appliances, ship with protective transparent or translucent overlays covering their displays and controls. Some of these overlays display information about the features activated by the controls they protect. Others simulate the information that an LCD readout or display will show when the device operates. All of these overlays provide protection from damage during shipment, not during operation. Like the tags on mattresses and pillows, these bits of plastic don't belong on your new product once you've unpacked it.


  • Many gadgets and gizmos ship in boxes filled with cardboard inserts. Digital clocks, cordless or cell phones, Blu-ray players and other electronics include displays and readouts with faces made from plastic or glass. To protect these surfaces and still make the product's appearance visible, manufacturers apply non-adhesive clinging plastic material cut or stamped in the precise shape of the areas it covers. Some of these clinging covers also appear on the products as they're displayed in retail stores.


  • Some TV manufacturers apply protective clinging plastic to the bezels around the screens of their LCD or LED sets. Among these plastic pieces, some serve as feature-specific information stickers that highlight performance parameters. Other pieces protect the bezel from shipping and unpacking damage. The absence of these bits of plastic may signal that a previous customer purchased the set and returned it, leaving it to be repackaged by a retail-store or online-merchant employee.

Remote Controls

  • The infrared window on most remote controls ships with a protective plastic overlay. As with most such protective covers, the ones found on remotes for TVs, video players and other A/V components should be removed before use and discarded, or placed in the shipping box along with other packing materials to be stored until the product warranty expires. Failure to remove the overlay dramatically downgrades the remote's range and performance.


  • The longer you leave protective overlays in place, especially those that use a low-tack adhesive rather than plastic cling to hold them in place, the more trouble you may have removing some of them completely. Adhesive-backed overlays usually serve only to highlight product features, not to provide shipping protection. If you've hesitated to remove any of these plastic stickers, don't. They're unnecessary during product operation, detract from the appearance of the product and actually may degrade its performance.

  • Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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