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What is a LCD Screen Protector?

Josie Myers
Josie Myers

A liquid crystal display (LCD) screen protector is a thin film that is placed over an LCD screen. The protector gives a shield from many things that could prove damaging or harmful to the delicate screens. They are available for any electronic device that uses an LCD screen, including everything from televisions to cameras.

An LCD screen protector is usually made from a polyurethane film that is clear and heavy duty. The film was originally produced for United States military applications and was then adapted for consumer use. As the public popularity of the fragile LCD screen has grown, so have the damage claims on everyday technological devices. These damages can cost individual consumers hundreds to thousands of dollars. The LCD screen protector attempts to lower the chance of consumer damage.

A LCD screen with a screen protector.
A LCD screen with a screen protector.

For the average consumer, an LCD screen protector gives insurance against scratches and gouges that can be caused by normal household use. Dust and pet hair can cause minor scratches to an LCD screen if not cleaned properly. Families find some comfort in knowing that toddlers will not be able to create gouges in the screen with markers or toys.

Some companies say that their LCD screen protector can prevent scratches from metal objects including keys. Others say that the screen protectors can take the place of a phone or camera case and provide the same protection as a case without the bulk. While they may seem extreme, many companies back these claims up with convincing video evidence.

Businesses and industry find the protectors particularly useful, since their electronics are used more heavily than the average consumer's devices. The protectors can increase the life of screens in an office setting, while industrial settings find greater protection against the mishaps that occur around machinery. The LCD screen protector can reduce the chance of damage and cut down on replacement costs, thereby saving businesses money.

An added benefit that most screen protectors can provide is to reduce glare and increase sharpness. They filter ultraviolet light and can reduce the ability to see fingerprints and other nuisance spots. Some LCD screen protectors can even improve the color of the screen in particular environments, such as those with lighting that usually washes out the color.

Protectors are available with other built-in options. One of these enhancements is an anti-microbial quality that claims to reduce the chance of passing viruses among those who work at shared computers. Others are made specifically for outdoor use to reduce sun glare. These are helpful for electronics often used on the go like cell phones and cameras.

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Discussion Comments


Some LCD screens have a smooth surface with a glassy look, while others have a more textured surface with a less reflective and perhaps somewhat duller appearance. I am wondering if these protectors could double as a glassy film to enhance the look of slightly older LCD's that lack that deep, crystal effect. Does anybody know if it does?


One of the things I had never thought about protecting was the screen on my digital camera. I might look into getting a digital camera LCD screen protector now, though. I am always throwing the camera in my pocket or backpack, so there is a good chance of it getting scratched up. Luckily, that hasn't happened yet.

Besides stopping scratches from happening, I like that most of the screen protectors reduce glare. When I got my last phone, I was having a huge problem with looking at the phone when I was outside or inside near a light. A friend finally suggested getting a screen cover, and that greatly improved the problem.

I have also seen a couple of videos where people show that screen protectors can also help stop a screen from cracking if you happen to drop it. I guess the fact that the screen is more held together means that you would have to have the screen hit the ground at a certain angle to be affected.


I was not aware that they made LCD TV screen protectors. That would have to be a pretty big piece of plastic to cover some of the larger TVs. I suppose it might be wise to have it, though, if you had kids in the house who were likely to accidentally throw something at the TV. I have had a few electronics that have gotten scratches on them, and it is pretty annoying to look at.

I like that a lot of companies now are making their things with glass screens that are resistant to scratching. I am pretty sure all Apple products now are made with screens that can not be scratched. The only downside to the glass screens is that they are more likely to break when you drop them. That being said, I have an iPod with one of those screens that I have dropped several times. It has never broken from a fall.


@jmc88 - I guess whether or not to use a screen protector is just a personal decision. Personally, though, considering the cost of the screen protectors, there is really no reason not to get one to put on your phone. When I got my phone, the protector cost about 2 dollars and came with the protector itself along with a cleaning wipe and squeegee to help with the application.

You should be able to find a protector that is already the right size for your phone. Most places like Wal-Mart or Best Buy will sell protectors for the most common types of phones, but if you can't find one in a store, you can always find them online for pretty cheap.

The one suggestion I would have is just to make sure you don't get any bubbles under the protector. Small bubbles near the edge can usually be pushed out, but larger bubbles or ones toward the center can be difficult to remove.


I just got a new phone and have been looking at buying a screen protector for it. I am wondering if they are really worth it, though. I had my old phone for several year and never got a scratch on it, but I had a friend that said the newer screens can be more prone to scratches. Is that true?

Whenever you are buying a screen protector, what are the types of things you should look for in terms of materials or applications or whatever? Also, how do you get the screen protector to the right size? Do you just have to get a guide or something and cut it down to size, or do they make protectors that are already made to fit the screen? Where are you supposed to find these to buy them?

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    • A LCD screen with a screen protector.
      A LCD screen with a screen protector.