1. #1

    Plexiglass Thickness for a Local VTT TV?

    Hi there. I'm hoping those of you who have experience with running local games on a VTT TV can help me out. What's a good thickness of plexiglass to get to protect my tv? My local plastics place says the thinnest they can go is 1/8 of an inch (approx. 3mm). I don't want to rest the plexiglass right on the tv screen, so it will rest on the trim of the tv, which is only about 1.5 mm high from the tv. I'd like to avoid the floating effect. Has anyone else used 1/8 inch thick plexiglass? Any issues? Any recommendations for thickness? Thanks people!

  2. #2
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    I use 1/8 inch plexiglass and it sits directly on the top of the TV screen itself. You'll need to do this because plexiglass is flexible, you won't be able to have it sit above the TV screen without it bending.

    This is what I ordered for my setup: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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  3. #3
    How big is the TV? at 1/8" you are likely to get sagging unless the plexiglass is secured to a frame of some sort. going up to 1/4" would reduce that sag.

  4. #4
    It's a 50 inch tv. I never thought about it sagging. Seems like it would be a bit dangerous to put directly on the screen. I'd be worried about scratching the tv screen with it. Do you guys use suction cups to remove the glass and place the glass on the screen? I can't leave mine out and set up, so I'll be moving it a fairly often.

    Also, that wouldn't make the TV overheat? How long do you typically leave the tv on for? Thanks for your help.

  5. #5
    If you are going to be moving it frequently, I'd probably suggest getting a thicker one and have it sit on the edges. that will avoid any scratch damage.

  6. #6
    madman's Avatar
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    Even if you use glass and not plexiglass it will sag some. Even 6mm or 1/4 inch Plexi will sag. And if you can afford it I would recommend buying polycarbonate vs plexi it has much better scratch resistance and will not yellow for years and years. They make a clear desk button about 3/4 inch dia that you could put a few in the center to keep it from touching the screen. They are cheap and are readily available.
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  7. #7
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odeatho View Post
    It's a 50 inch tv. I never thought about it sagging. Seems like it would be a bit dangerous to put directly on the screen. I'd be worried about scratching the tv screen with it. Do you guys use suction cups to remove the glass and place the glass on the screen? I can't leave mine out and set up, so I'll be moving it a fairly often.

    Also, that wouldn't make the TV overheat? How long do you typically leave the tv on for? Thanks for your help.
    As long as you're not gaming in a really hot environment, I've had no trouble with overheating having the plexiglass directly on the screen - assuming we're talking about a LCD/LED flat screen display and not a plasma display. If you're playing in a warm environment, you're more likely to have issues from the internal electronics overheating than the screen itself - get a couple of USB powered fans to help air circulation under the TV.

    You won't get scratches from the plexiglass itself on the TV screen - the main chance of scratches will come from dust/fine debris on the screen/plexiglass, just wipe them both with a cloth before putting the plexiglass on the screen. And, if you do get small scratches, simply buff them out with some plexiglass polish: https://www.amazon.com/Novus-7100-Pl.../dp/B002UCYRZU

    My setup isn't permanent, I add/remove the plexiglass regularly and don't have any issues.

    Having the plexiglass directly on the screen also reduces the offset caused when viewing from the side (parallax), so your minis will look closer to their exact position on the map. This parallax error/offset will be larger the higher the top of the glass surface is from the surface of the TV.

    I roll dice, put bowls of snacks, have minis and terrain all on the plexiglass and game for many hours at a time and I'm very happy with my setup.


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  8. #8
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    Personally (I haven't done a TV/table yet) I would look into protective films. They make them optically clear (have you watched a car race where the guy in the pit just pulls off a layer of film to given the driver a clear view?). They are replaceable, and they are very thin so you will not get any hover/parallax effects. And you don't have to remove it to transport.

    See something like; https://www.google.com/search?q=clea...hrome&ie=UTF-8

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  9. #9
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    I wouldn't even consider sticking protective film to my TV screen - you're putting some form of adhesive on your TV screen and then a thin film on top - not too much protection (say you dropped something onto the screen) for a small advantage in little parallax error.

    @Odeatho - take a look at this thread: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...-To-Face-games There are photos of TVs with plexiglass directly on the screen on pages 1, 4 and 7.


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  10. #10
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    A small fan (or two) blowing across the case back (bottom to top of the TV itself) will assist with ventilating any heat build up from having the TV laid horizontally. Normal heat convection would otherwise cause the small amount of air flow across the electronics that they really do need to keep from overheating. It will definitely extend the life of the TV.

    They don't need to move a lot of air either, so a small PC case fan(s) that is nearly silent will be fine. There are companies that make fans for AV cabinets that are powered by USB and some have speed controls on them. Plug it into the TV and when the TV is on the fan will run.

    Different flat screen TVs have different amounts of heat they generate. My older LCD TV with florescent backlight generates a bunch more heat than my newer LED backlit TV, which is only a bit warmer than room temperature when operating as a TV. The smart TVs all have a computer in them and they generate a lot more heat when they are used. So depending on what the TV is doing, the amount of computer usage is going to vary, and the amount of heat it generates will also vary.

    The fan is a cheap insurance policy to extend the life of the TV when used horizontally.

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