The tax season is coming up and almost everyone is looking forward to their returns. If you're like many others, you might be considering putting some of your coming tax return towards a new tv.
With so many bright and beautiful options in the marketplace, not to mention services like Netflix and Hulu, who can blame you?
The real question is this: What do you do with your old TV?
The material in your old TV can sit in a landfill for far longer than you might think. Almost assuredly it will be there longer than you had the actual TV. Given how much of an issue E-Waste is proving to be, many people are looking for other options.
What about refurbishing or upcycling it, though? Giving it new life, instead of dumping or donating it? For those of you with a crafty turn of mind, we've put together a list of projects to help you breathe new life into an old screen.
If you've got one of the older console versions, you can gut the interior bits and bobs and turn it into a fishtank. Your TV would thank you for making it so cool people are compelled to stare at it again.
Two. DIY Information Display
Using the YBOX2, you can take your old TV and turn it into a custom info display. This could be anything from the weather to your missed messages across social media, or anything else you could reasonably think up.
Three. Photography Light Box
If photography is more your thing, consider turning your old LCD or LED screen into a light box.
Four. Upscale Liquor Cabinet
If you like to entertain, consider turning your old set into an upscale liquor cabinet. Over at Reddit, user Mammakjeks took an old Tandberg and transformed it into a beautifully lit display for his decanters.
Five. Pet Bed
The TV takes up space, and so does your pet's bed. Why not combine the two of them? With all of the beautiful inlays and carving, not to mention the nifty knobs and dials, those old sets can make a beautiful bed for one of your favorite companions.
Six. Book or Movie Shelf
You love the cabinet, but you don't have a use for the actual TV components any longer. Why not turn it into a media cabinet or book shelf? By taking out the TV guts, inserting a shelf (or two) and giving it a new coat of paint, you can create something entirely new, and gain more storage for your collection.
Seven. Infinity Table
If you have a newer TV, such as a plasma, you might consider turning it into a coffee table. Over at brunalab, they walk you through how to turn one of these beauties into an endlessly entertaining table.
Eight. Doll House or Closet
With a bit of ingenuity, the old housing for a tv can be turned into a closet for your kids' or grandkids' toys or doll clothes. If you really wanted to go all out, you could even take some particle board and paint and turn the entire thing into a one of a kind dollhouse.
Nine. Light Table
If you're an artist looking for a way to make transferring your designs easier, or if you're working on your own comics, you've probably looked into a light table. While it can be expensive to buy one brand new, making your own is surprisingly simple. The inventive folks over at Hackaday took an LCD TV with a cracked screen and turned it into a light table. Using an old TV even has the added benefit of having speakers already built in, so you can play audio through it while you work.
Ten. DIY Virtual Window
If you're tired of the view from where you live, or you don't have a view to speak of, you might consider a virtual window. It's possible to mount the TV and connect it to a wiimote and an IR tag to create a view of anything you want.
Eleven. Use The Internals
Of course, if you've disassembled the TV and used the outside housing for something new, you're left with all the internal bits. Rather than just trashing those bits, here are a few things for which you could use them.
Please Note: Working with old CRT TVs can be Exceedingly Dangerous. The CRT tubes can hold a charge for years even after being disconnected. You should discharge any capacitors on the circuit boards before going ahead and attempting the removal of... well, anything. We advise caution and proper safety gear at all times for your own health. If being electrocuted is not on your list of things to do, please read up on how to deal with the electronics inside these machines.
If you’re buying a new TV, then getting the perfect size for your house or room situation is going to often be an issue. Here’s some information about how to up your size matching game between rooms and televisions.
The Basic Size Formula
The accepted formula for size matching is to start with the total Distance for viewing in inches, and then divide by three to get the size that you want. So, as an example, if your couch is way on the other side of a cavernous room at 20 feet away from the television, that would come out to 240 inches. If you divide this by 3, you would need one huge television at 80 inches. But, cut this to 10 feet, and you end up with a television of 40 inches. If you get closer to the television at 5 feet and 60 inches, then this goes down to a television size of just 20 inches, which is why most computer screens are under that size.
This is mostly just a rule of thumb though and you don’t have to do it down to the exact inch or anything. This is just supposed to be the ideal. The idea is that if any size larger than that ratio will make it so that you can’t really see the screen properly and hit will hurt your eyes and make you miss things.
This also goes in the other direction, except instead you multiply. So, if you want a television that’s 50 inches, then you multiply by 3 and you get 150 inches. This comes out to 12 and a half feet. So, that’s how far you’d have to be away from the television in order to have an ideal viewing angle.
Other sources do say that if your space is at a premium, you can go with an absolute minimum of 1.5 times instead of the ideal 3 times. So this would just mean you can halve the viewing distances and TV sizes in a pinch. But, it is true that other factors apply.
Room Type Considerations
One important thing to consider when fitting a TV to a room is the kind of room you have. Basically, if you have a bedroom where it’s mostly going to be just you and you only have to worry about viewing it personally, you can go with a smaller television even if you go under the formula a bit. For example, anything from right in front of a TV up to a few feet away will be covered with 20 inches or less. If you want to get something 16 or even less in inches and you plan on sitting right in front of it, this should work for your bedroom because of how you plan to watch it.
It’s also true that you have some flexibility when it’s just you in a bedroom because you can adjust the viewing distance easily by moving your chair back and forth. This means you can worry about the formula less. If you’ll be mounting the television on a wall and viewing it from an immovable bed, however, then this is another consideration and it may be good to stick a bit closer to the formula.
In the case of a television that’s meant for multiple people to watch it, it’s more likely that you’ll have something that’s HD over even Ultra HD 4k, which means that fine details will be easier to pick out. As a result, sitting closer to it is going to be less of an issue. So, you can get away with
Other Considerations for TV Size
If you’re going to be sitting far away from your television and you want to get a truly massive screen like something at 85 inches, this could be a good time to think about 4K, because then the detail might matter. Getting an extremely high-definition television that you’re going to be sitting really close to may be pointless since you’d be able to see all the details anyway.
The recommendation is you should do this only with large televisions, or when you’re playing something with intense graphics like a Blu-Ray or a very high graphic video game such as Crysis.
Other General Considerations
Something else that matters is viewing angle. If you’re using a television with a normal viewing angle at HD, it’s important to set it up so that there’s no more than around 15 degrees in terms of being above or below the eye-level of the television. This is because otherwise you might not see the image correctly and it will look odd. The recommendation is to not go more than 40 degrees to the left or right either. However, this can change based on the screen.
Some televisions will have better viewing angles, and you’ll want to check this if it matters. For example, if you are going for a big screen so that you can seat people in front of it with couches that go in a curved shape, then you’ll want viewing angles that can handle this. You should ask your TV supplier about this before buying. Otherwise, people on the far edges might not be able to see the screen properly and they’ll get negative images.
This also applies if you have to mount the television too high and people have to crane their necks to look up at it.
For more information about getting televisions for the right room size and configuration, please contact us today.