When you go to clean your TV's mirror and lenses , you probably will be able to enter your TV from both the front and back. It's a good idea to try and go in through the front whenever possible, and if you've got a Pioneer Elite TV, you must never enter in through the back. There's a nice optical cavity, easily accessible, but you'll be digging your own grave (or rather, your TV's grave). This is a classic case of why not to mess with strange screws (in other words, screws that aren't standard Philips head or flat head).
What's the Big Deal?
On the Pioneer Elite unit on which I learned about this, there were a couple of weird-headed screws holding the back on the unit, along with several regular Philips head screws. Don't be clever and figure out how to get these screws out; they are there for your own protection! You can use a small flatedge screwdriver to circumvent them, but you'd be shooting yourself in the foot, just as I did when I first ran into this issue.
Several Pioneer Elite models have the bottom edge of the mirror bracketed into the removable back and the top edge bracketed into the body of the TV itself. If you separate the back from the unit, the mirror slips out of the top bracket and does a nosedive straight into your fresnel screen! Once this process has begun, there is nothing to do but watch in horror. You'll find yourself standing there holding the back of the optical cavity in your hands, which has just pushed backward and into your hips for some unknown reason...and then there's the crash and things get really ugly. I've seen the mirror break, the screen break: it's a bad, bad deal.
So, if you've got a Pioneer Elite unit, don't go in through the back. Of course, if Pioneer can do something like this, anyone can. As a general rule, don't go digging into odd screws on expensive equipment, unless you're willing to pay the consequences. And on the TV front, if you can go in through the front, that might just save some real headaches, on any manufacturer's unit.
Going in Through the Front of a Pioneer Elite TV
The front of a Pioneer Elite TV's frame usually comes off via unscrewing the Philips head screws at the bottom of the frame. You get to these screws by removing the ornate plastic plates that say Pioneer on them; these plates are about 1 foot wide and 1 inch tall, forming the cosmetics separating the screen above from the speaker grill cloth section below. There is one plate on each side of the unit; stick your fingers under the plate and pull gently.
On some units, you have to remove the grill cloth first. That takes a little more force, but still is accomplished by just pulling by hand.
The screen frame comes off by lifting it straight up, or out at a 45° angle, and then up. This reveals the two-layer screen sandwich: the fresnel closest to the mirror and the lenticular facing the viewer. The screws to remove this sandwich are then apparent.
The upper-left corner's holder is the only one where you actually have to remove a screw. The others allow their holders to be removed by just loosening up their screws a bit and deslotting the holders from them.
Be sure not to grab the screen by its attached aluminum brace at the top of the two-layer sandwich, lying horizontally. It's not attached; it's just lying there for bracing and derippling purposes. The stack will fall out of your hands directly if you try to hold it via this piece of aluminum.
Also beware of turning this sandwich sideways once it's off. Keep it horizontal, or the very flexible lenticular will have a tendency to waffle and bend in half on you, via gravity. I once had one split itself on the edge of the frame on its way to the ground. I'm sad to say that it cost a bundle to replace.
—Robert Jones, Image Perfection