Smash-proof TV furniture
February 19, 2017 8:51 PM   Subscribe

What are some cheap ways to prevent a TV from being smashed?

Say you want to have a TV and you know it will be in the vicinity of a child with special needs who may try to break the TV and has used things to smash a TV in the past (so it's not just about strapping it to a wall). Basically, the TV needs to be kind of tamper-proof.

What are some not terribly expensive ways to encase the TV and maybe an Apple TV? Bonus points if there's a way to have a video game console, although that would need to be in a separate area, just to minimize access (since a gaming console would need the ability to put discs in). Right now, I'm thinking Billy bookcase with plexiglass on it and then bolted to the wall, but a wider TV would be nice. At least 32". Also, the TV needs to be at a proper viewing height.

Hinges/doors will not work. TV has to be safe at all times, sort of like in hospitals. So it's not good enough to lock it up behind a door.

There isn't a terribly huge budget -- several devices and furniture pieces wrecked already -- but something under $1,000 is worth considering if it is very functional. I guess there could be lockable drawers for discs and things and maybe the Apple TV remote, but that's less important.

Please - no criticisms of why have a TV or consequences. It isn't fair to other family members and it's a small apartment. There's nowhere else to have a TV and no option has been left unturned with treatment and intervention.
posted by acoutu to Technology (9 answers total)
 
Have you considered using a projector as a TV set up?

No screen to smash. Projector can be placed up high. Associated equipment can be locked up and behind cabinetry.

Otherwise the thick plexiglass idea isn't a bad one.
posted by Karaage at 9:05 PM on February 19, 2017 [19 favorites]


I would be tempted to attach it to the wall (relatively high up) and buy some plexiglass, cut four strips for the edges and one piece for the front, glue together into a box that completely surrounds the TV and all edges. You can fix a game console, apple TV or whatever inside it. This sort of thing is used in pubs around here and protects from all sorts, bottles being thrown etc. I'd guess a tenth of your budget
posted by tillsbury at 9:07 PM on February 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


Have you searched for protective tv enclosures or 'ligature resistant tv encolosure'? It seems like there are products to exactly tackle your problem.
posted by suedehead at 9:10 PM on February 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


There are commercially-made options available -- they're expensive (though I did see some models between $500-900) but they're marketed as smash-proof and suitable for environments where repeated smash attempts are a real risk. Here's one example; here's another. It looks like "TV enclosures" or "shatterproof TV enclosures" are the terms to google, and there are lots of companies that make them.
posted by ourobouros at 9:16 PM on February 19, 2017


Thanks. I should have noted that I'm in Canada and converted that to US dollars. Also, I meant that budget if it was a whole piece of furniture that would take care of all the other components. I am not sure those enclosures are available here, but maybe I just need to find a Canadian source.

I was thinking more like buying a Billy bookcase and putting plexiglass on the front. The problem with an wall-mounted enclosure is that you'd have to also move all the electrical, get permits, etc. So something more like a cabinet that can hide all the wires and so on would be better. Like, at the local hospital, there's a TV with a DVD player and they have it behind plexiglass in a cabinet and just have some tiny holes cut so you can eject the DVD or press play. An Apple TV just needs a remote to work.

The projector idea is interesting, but there's no way to mount it to the ceiling, protect it and protect the wires -- ceiling is concrete.
posted by acoutu at 10:01 PM on February 19, 2017


You could pick up any Enclosed TV Cabinet from Craigslist/Freecycle that would fit your desired TV and just remove any TV covering doors then screw a sheet of acrylic to the front (bolt to the wall if required to prevent tipping). A good size sheet of acrylic is less than $100 and you'd have any drawers built in to secure other things. It would be a lot less institutional looking.

The drawers don't normally lock but desk drawer locks could be installed; often you just need to drill an appropriate sized hole and screw it on. Or if you are less handy simple locking hasps could be screwed on and a padlock used to secure the drawer. Drill holes where ever you need to bring out things like leads for controllers.
posted by Mitheral at 10:06 PM on February 19, 2017 [6 favorites]


Talk to a cabinet maker and have them make a little enclosure. I could sort you out with something like this within your budget custom made, someone near you should be able to so the same.
posted by deadwax at 10:23 PM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


I lived in a housing co-op in college which made Animal House look civilised by comparison. The TVs we had were mounted up high and behind plexiglass. I doubt the whole set up cost $100 let alone $1,000.

You sometimes also see things like this in the types of bars where glasses and bottles spontaneously take flight from time to time. Talk to a friendly local bar owner. Since you are in Canada, looking for a place where hockey or rugby players congregate may be a good bet.
posted by clark at 5:37 AM on February 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


Could you place the projector on top of a tall cabinet? The wiring could be taped onto the back. I do like this idea, especially if the special needs child is prone to attacking the screen.

Billy units are durable, but I would worry -- they're probably not sturdy enough to stand up to a serious attack.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:44 AM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


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