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Home Theater Hacks
By Brett McLaughlin
November 2004
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Don't Mess with Odd Screws
Ever run into a strange-looking screw, and spend hours trying to find just the right tool to get it open? Chances are that screw is for your protection: proceed with caution.
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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).

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

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