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Canadians love a good night in with a bowl of popcorn and a good flick on TV. High-definition flat screen TVs have become the norm in most Canadian households, and these sets don’t come cheap.

Your TV can give you and your family years of enjoyment if you treat it properly. Here are eight things to keep in mind if you want the best TV experience possible:

The fireplace no-no. Although it seems like an attractive and sensible place to mount a flat screen TV, installing it above a fireplace is not the best idea. The heat created by the fireplace can unintentionally warm the set, which could contribute to a shorter lifespan. If the fireplace is wood-burning, soot can also potentially damage the TV.

Ditch the chemicals. Simply use a safe solution of warm water and a little vinegar to wipe the screen of the TV with a soft rag. Harsh chemicals along with paper towels might leave scratches.

Keep it upright. When moving or storing your TV, always try to keep it in an upright position. Lying it flat will put it off balance, which may cause the screen to crack since gravity tends to pull the edges down.

Remember to calibrate the screen. Adjusting the colour, brightness and contrast will give you a better overall viewing experience. If you don’t want to take a chance and do this yourself, you might want to enlist a friend’s help. There are also pros who will do this for a small fee.

Choose the right placement. If you’re mounting the set on a wall, choosing the right focal point is important, as you don’t want people straining to watch their favourite movies or programs. A good rule of thumb is 56 inches from the floor to centre for 42-inch sets, 61 inches for 55-inch sets and 67 inches for 70-inch sets.

Remember the surge protector. You don’t need a heavy-duty, expensive surge protector, but you do need some sort of grounding for your TV. Any sudden surge of power could toast your set, so using a surge protector is important.

Octopus of wires. The last thing you want when you sit down to watch TV is an unsightly mass of wires staring you in the face. You could hide them in a TV stand, gather them together with twist ties or purchase a cord organizer at the local hardware or tech store.

Tip-proof it. Because of their light weight, flat screen TVs have the potential of tipping over. Anchoring them is especially important if you have small kids or curious pets. If your set is on a stand, you might want to secure it with safety straps that will safely anchor it to the wall.

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