TV Screen Cover of Protection +3
December 11, 2017 11:01 AM   Subscribe

I've got a gaming table (for DnD, etceteray) with a mounted 42" TV in the center for digital game maps and whatnot. I've been trying to find the perfect clear screen protection item that will mitigate potential damage from bouncing dice, dropped pencils, etc.

I've tried a couple different Lexan / Plexiglass type options lain on top of the screen, and the issue is this: too thick (3/8") and there is a visual angle / distortion effect (figures over a square seen from one side of the table will look to be hovering out of place when seen from the other side); too thin (3/16") and the sheet itself will start to warp from the screen heat. Is there something like a giant phone screen cover that can fit directly onto the tv screen, not cause overheating, not visually distort placement of objects on top of the screen, and moderately protect from slight impacts? It doesn't need to be bulletproof - I'm not expecting bricks dropped on it, just dice and figures and pencils and such.

The closest I've found for "TV Screen Protector" is things like this, which sit far too high off the screen to be useful. If I trimmed the mounting lips off it could lay flat on the screen, but I don't know if it'll run into the warping issue again. Anyone know about plexiglass thermodynamics before I blow another 80 dollars on something that doesn't work?
posted by FatherDagon to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Something else to consider would be good ol' fashioned tempered glass. Pinball table glass is remarkably sturdy stuff and it's thin enough that it doesn't really distort the playfield, and it's reasonably cheap in a variety of sizes. The heat from a TV probably won't materially affect it, although the screen overheating would still need to be a consideration.

Might be more DIY than you're thinking, though.
posted by Kyol at 12:58 PM on December 11, 2017

Are you sure you need a cover? Seems like a regular TV could handle the usual plastic dice, etc. This build doesn't same to have one, nor this, nor this other one from the same thread. But this one did use plexiglass to protect the display. I guess you could try getting in touch with some of these folks to see how their unprotected TVs have fared. I didn't read through that entire thread on BGG where most of those links go, but there might be some other ideas there.

On preview, I was also going to suggest glass. You can probably find a place that will cut it to size for you.
posted by exogenous at 1:00 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would use glass too. I would put it on the screen not on the bezel. That'll minimize reflections and distortion having the glass touch the screen. If you feel comfortable cutting glass you can probably do that for $20-30.
posted by gregr at 1:11 PM on December 11, 2017

Response by poster: I had considered glass, but was trepidatious on the off chance that someone one day might inadvertently lean on it or something and end up cracking it and mangling themselves or the screen - how much weight would 1/8" or 3/16" tempered glass resist?
posted by FatherDagon at 1:31 PM on December 11, 2017

People smash the ever login' _frig_ out of pinball table glass when they get pissed at the game. Let's see here, assuming it's bezel mounted and 20x36", I get about 60lbs for 3/16" and 100lbs for 1/4", 3/8" gets you over body weight, but might be prohibitively heavy on its own.

Play around here.
posted by Kyol at 1:36 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Counterargument: It's really really hard to get more than a smallish fraction of your weight into the middle of a table unless if you work pretty hard at it. While I dunno that I'd stand on a pinball table glass, I don't know that I've ever thought twice about leaning over it and pointing at stuff. And it's tempered - it won't flay your friends, although they might end up picking glass out of their palms and you'll have an interesting story for future parties.
posted by Kyol at 1:50 PM on December 11, 2017

Tempered glass. If 3/16ths thickness is otherwise acceptable (keeping in mind that glass has a higher diffraction index than the plastics you've used) then you can get pieces cut to size for about your budget. It's be impervious to heat, wouldn't trap more than the plastic and would be essentially indestructible in your application.
posted by Mitheral at 4:19 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

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