Do Magnets Affect TV Screens? (Answered)

Many people are not aware of the various things which can damage a TV screen. The complexity of TV screens doesn’t seem obvious when we are using them for entertainment, so it can be hard to take these kinds of things into consideration. Remember that there are many delicate parts that make your TV screen function, and some of them react to substances and items being near them.

You should not hold a magnet close to your non-LCD or non-plasma TV screen or apply a magnet to the screen for any reason. This can cause the screen to be permanently distorted. This cannot be repaired, and the TV will be ruined. 

Why Does a Magnet Damage a TV Screen?

When magnets are brought close to a non-LCD or non-plasma TV screen, they cause an interaction between the electrons and the magnetic field associated with the screen. This throws the electrons off course, which leads to distortion in the picture that the TV displays. This damage is often not reversible, and the TV screen will no longer be usable once the magnet has created this change. This is because the magnet essentially demagnetizes portions of the screen and causes a disconnect between the beam trying to display and be read and the phosphor meant to show specific colors.

Magnets will not damage LCD TVs, however, which means that this is an increasingly rare problem for someone to suffer in their home. Any non-LCD TV will be impacted, but an LCD TV will not have an issue with magnets near it. In fact, you can even place a magnet right on the screen of an LCD TV, and it will not be damaged at all.

This is because LCD TVs work with tiny voltages that are located at each pixel. The liquid crystal in these screens is not polarized and, therefore cannot be harmed by contact with a magnet. Plasma screens are also impervious to this kind of damage due to the materials within the plasma screen.

Can my TV be Repaired?

In rare instances, the use of a magnet moved rapidly across the screen in a sideways motion can repair a screen that has been damaged by a magnet. This is not common, but it could be worth a shot. Some people swear by this process to restore a TV that has been damaged in this way. However, you likely should just replace this TV since this technology is getting old and obsolete today.

Magnets Can Damage Specific TV Types

While your modern TV that is plasma or LCD, will not be harmed by a magnet, any older TV model can be damaged quite easily by contact with a magnet. Make sure that you keep the magnet away from all older TV models to make sure that they are not damaged in this way. Keeping an old TV going for many years is actually really easy, so long as you keep some items away from the screen.

This article was last updated on January 11, 2023 .

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By Adam

The Display Blog staff account. We know display.