Everyone loves the wafer-thin screen of OLED TVs while using it, but it gives its owners jitters if the TV is to be moved from its position. Given how thin and fragile they look, is it safe to lay an OLED TV flat?
Laying an OLED TV flat is not recommended because, in the flat position, the TV would not be adequately supported in the middle, and this could possibly lead to cracking of the edges of the screen. There is added risk if the ride is bumpy while transporting the TV.
The rest of this article will explain the facts and other related questions related to this topic, including why an OLED TV should not be laid flat, popular myths about OLED TVs, the correct way to keep an OLED TV while moving it, and more.
Why OLED TVs Should Not Be Laid Flat
OLED TVs are designed very carefully such that the entire weight of the TV is distributed on the sides of the TV. This design makes the center part of the TV free from any pressure or load. When the TV is laid flat, the center part starts experiencing load. This could likely cause the screen to crack either immediately or develop micro-cracks that can develop into a bigger crack with time.
Despite this fact, you'll often hear movers or salesmen telling people that it is safe to lay an OLED TV flat. This could not be further from the truth and is definitely bad advice that could cause financial damage to you.
Another possible issue due to laying an OLED TV flat is that the screen could get scratched. A scratched OLED TV is not a good situation as the repairs don't come cheap. Even a minor scratch on the screen could greatly affect the viewing experience, possibly causing frustration to the user.
Popular Myths About OLED TVs That Are Not True
Some people believe that laying an OLED TV flat can cause the material inside the TV to settle at the bottom, causing display issues. This phenomenon is popularly called delamination.
But this is nothing more than a myth, as TVs do not have any floating material that simply settles at the bottom. This is irrespective of the position in which the TV is kept, whether upright or flat. If this myth was true, a TV that is fixed on the wall would face the same issue of internal materials settling. But we, however, know that nothing like this happens.
Another popular myth about OLED TVs is that it is unsafe to switch the TV on immediately after transportation is complete. People who propagate this myth advise that the wait time is to allow the TV's internal materials to resettle after they become disturbed due to the transport. This myth is, in fact, an extension of the previously mentioned myth. As expected, this is not true as well. An OLED TV can be turned on immediately after transportation.
The third myth about OLED TVs is that TVs should not be turned on until it warms up to room temperature. There is a possibility of the TV becoming cold during transit, especially in winters, but this does not affect the functioning of the OLED TV. In fact, the TV is designed to withstand much higher ranges of temperatures than what you get inside a moving truck. So this information is false as well.
Note: I originally had a video here that shows a few common misconceptions about OLED TVs in greater detail but that video is now private. If you find a good video that shows a few common misconceptions about OLED TVs, let me know.
What Is the Right Way to Keep an OLED TV When Moving it or Fixing it to the Wall?
So the only real reason to keep an OLED TV upright is that the glass can crack due to the load. This is not just true of OLED TVs but almost any TV. In fact, people who carry glass always carry it upright and never horizontally as the glass cannot carry its own weight when held horizontally. This is why glass delivery trucks always have vertical racks on the sides to store the glass vertically.
As a tip, if you treat transporting your OLED TV similar to how a glass panel would be transported, you would probably be quite safe.
When fixing the OLED TV on to the wall, take the help of another person to hold the TV upright while you fix the clamps.
When transporting, always use the original box with the packing materials to safely pack the OLED TV and keep the box such that the TV is upright. If you ever try flexing the top part of an OLED TV, you'll notice that it does flex quite a bit. Holding it upright gives the TV the support of the entire panel and keeps it safe from cracking.
The official recommendation of a major OLED manufacturer, LG, affirms this advice. The official LG website suggests not transporting the TV laying down under any circumstances. The reason for this is that the packaging design does not support TV laying flat, due to which transporting TV in this position might cause the panel to crack.
What if You Do Not Have the Original Packing Materials When Moving the OLED TV?
Although transporting an OLED TV without the original box and the foam is not ideal, it is possible to take steps to minimize risk while moving it.
Even if you do not have the entire foam, you should still protect the corners of the TV using foam. This can be bought from your local store or online.
After securing the corners of the TV using foam, tape it in place using masking tape and then use moving blankets to wrap the entire TV up. These moving blankets will give much-needed padding for the TV in case of shocks or bumps during transit. To be really safe, use multiple blankets to wrap the TV until you're confident about the safety of the TV.
Another important step is to remove all the cords, cables, screws, and bases from the TV before packing it. Removing these components from the TV screen prevents them from coming off of the TV and damaging the LED screen.
This is likely to happen if you move the TV on a transport truck rather than the back of your own car. While removing, make sure that you store all the components securely with labeling to avoid confusion later during reassembly. Any missing small part can be a huge headache at the time of reassembly.
Any storage place will also have TV box kits. These are usually pretty pricey. See the U-Haul video below:
If Your OLED TV Screen Cracks Due to Laying it Flat, Can it Be Repaired?
Well, the exact answer to this question would be yes. But you would not want to. Here is why: the cost of repairing an OLED TV screen is almost as much as buying a new TV. This is because the panel of OLED TV forms the bulk of the cost of making an OLED TV.
Therefore, unless you have a warranty making it free to get the panel replaced, it might be better to just buy a new one. This makes it all the more important to safely transport an OLED TV upright and not lay it flat.
So the conclusion is that you should not lay an OLED TV flat. But it is not because it will damage the internal workings of the TV such as the LED components, but rather due to the possibility of external damage like a crack in the screen.
Hopefully, this article has given you enough information about how to take good care of your OLED TV and prevent any possible damage. All you need to do is plan ahead, use help when you need it, and take it easy.