If you're going to treat your TV like a baby—never letting it out of your sight and blaming it for your lack of a social life—you should also be taking care of it like a child. Your HDTV requires proper care and daily maintenance, after all. But to spare you the trouble of reading "What to Expect When You're TV-Protecting," we've listed the 5 most important things you should be doing to care for your HDTV right now.
1. Are all of the vent openings clear?
Just like your laptop and your game console, your television needs to breathe. Make sure it's able to properly ventilate by checking if its vents are clear.
2. Is there anything nearby that might spill or create humidity?
As much as you dig fresh flowers in the house, the media center is not the place to keep your vase. Also make sure your TV isn't too near to steam sources like your shower or (duh!) a humidifier.
3. Have you enabled the screen saver or automatic turn off function?
Screen burn-in isn't as big a problem as it used to be. But you should still enable your TV's screen saver or automatic turn-off functions, if you have them. To find out if your TV is equipped, check the manual, the manufacturer's website or just stumble through the on-screen menu.
4. Are you using a microfiber cloth and distilled water to clean it?
As much as you love your Go-Duster, it's not the best for cleaning your HDTV. A soft cloth like microfiber combined with microscopic-mineral-free distilled water is a great cleaning combination to protect against scratches. Get the cloth slightly damp with the water—you never want to wipe the screen with a dry cloth.
5. Is it plugged in to a surge protector?
It's not a wives' tale—a direct hit to your house from lighting can fry your TV. Protect against power surges with a surge protector (clever, ain't it?), and unplug before a big storm or if you're leaving home for vacation.
(Top Image: Flickr user Francois Schnell under license from Creative Commons. Inside Image: Philips 52” 1080p LCD HDTV. )