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Can my TV Stay in the Cold?

A TechLore "Ask the Experts" Question...


I have an RCA 27" TV, and I want to know if it will hurt it by leaving it in our unheated cabin over the winter months in up state Illinois? Also, will it hurt to leave the dvd player there also? Yes, the temperature will get below freezing.


This is one of those kinds of questions that tend to be answered differently by different people. That being said, I'll try to be as objective as possible.

Standard tube TVs are more resilient to cold weather than other types, like a Plasma or LCD TV. Provided the temperatures do not hit ridiculously cold sub-zero temperatures, the TV will probably survive the winter without harm. However, it is still possible that doing so could eventually lead to the products failure.

The major factor is location. As a current resident of Northern Illinois, I can say that winters in this area of the country are unpredictable. Most winters are mild enough that damage to the TV is unlikely, but any resident knows that temperatures can easily hit fifteen below zero on a fluke. If this happens, and the temperature inside the home drops considerably, the TV may not survive. This also means that those with homes in Northern most states should not leave electronic devices behind when possible.

If you do decide to store it in the cold, make sure you cut power to the TV before you go. If you return while it's still cold, let it warm to room temperature for at least 24 hours before operating it.

Your DVD player may be a different story. Any device with mechanical parts is more susceptible to cold weather. While it may survive an Illinois winter just fine, it's portable enough that taking it with you should not be an issue.

Matt Whitlock - Editor, TechLore.com

Did You Know...

You can't always be home to watch an HDTV broadcast, which means you are forced to record an inferior analog version to watch later. It is possible to record HDTV programs, just read the article "How To Record HDTV Programs" for more information.

Store bought DVD movies can come in full or widescreen editions. If you're not too sure which one of these types is for you, check out the articles "How various DVD aspect ratios will appear on your TV screen" and "Should I purchase a 'Full Screen' or 'Widescreen' DVD?"

While You're At It...

The default video settings on TVs are not really the best for home viewing. Read "How to use your televisions video controls" to learn how to make you image look its best.

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