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Do Magnets Affect LCD TV’s?

written by: theinkandpen (Robert Mullon)•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 8/25/2009

A commonly asked question is whether LCD TV’s are affected by common household magnets in the same manner as a Cathode-Ray Tube TV set. Read this article if you wish to know more about the safety of your LCD or Plasma set.

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    Magnets, magnetic fields and televisions are a common concern amongst owners of LCD sets, one which begun when CRT (Cathode-Ray Tube) television sets were still popular.

    Often owners of Plasma or LCD TV’s are worried about magnets or magnetic fields due to speaker placement and the magnet the speakers contain. Speakers can occasionally cause a problem with old CRT televisions. This is why there is the worry of picture distortion or colors fading if the LCD set is placed near an appliance containing a magnet (which a wide number of appliances do contain). However, most new CRT models are unaffected by magnetic fields or powerful magnets such as rare-earth magnets.

    Read on to find out whether magnetic fields or magnets can affect your Plasma or LCD set negatively.

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    CRT’s and Magnets

    The only thing that is at risk of being damaged by a magnet in a CRT set is the slot mask/shadow, which is outside the main cabinet or casing. If there is exposure to an extremely powerful magnet, it is possible to distort this and ruin the picture. However, the slot mask is still protected and it is unlikely to be damaged by most magnets found in common appliances.

    Most new CRT sets are protected from this danger and the problem does not apply to old black and white sets. Even if the problem occurs, it is possible to rectify it by something called “manual degaussing," which should be performed by a technician. Hence, even the concern of magnets severely affecting an old TV set is not entirely accurate.

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    LCD’s, Plasma’s and Magnets

    Magnetic fields do not affect these types of sets since they do not use a beam or phosphors but static liquid crystals, which are solid-state unmoving cells. Although they are still sensitive to electric field changes, it would take substantial effort for you to ruin the display. Even then, it would be have to be done willingly.

    Moreover, projection displays do not have shadow masks and hence this type of damage does not apply.

    Therefore, you should not worry about placing speakers next to LCD and plasma TV’s or about placing a television near any other kind of appliance with a magnet in it, since magnets do not harm them.

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    Related Articles

    For more helpful information on LCD and plasma TV's, read the Bright Hub articles Plasma Versus LCD: Which is the Best? and How Does Sunlight Exposure Affect a Plasma TV Screen?