Anthony Jones was already on bail facing another charge when he carried out the night-time raid at Ruckland Court on Lincoln’s Ermine West estate.
Edna Leonard, prosecuting, said that Jones entered the residents’ lounge at the home just after 11 pm but was disturbed by a member of staff who went to check after hearing a noise.
The woman staff member discovered that the 42-inch television set had been moved onto the window sill and the remote control was missing.
Police were called and Jones’ fingerprints were found on the television set.
He was arrested on September 12, but made no comment to questions put to him by police.
Jones, 28, of South Parade, Lincoln, admitted burglary at Ruckland Court as a result of the incident on September 10.
He also admitted damaging a mobile phone belonging to his sister in a separate incident on July 27, and admitted theft of items worth £89 from Toys R Us on August 4.
The court was told that he had three previous convictions for house burglary.
Recorder Simon King, passing sentence, told Jones “This was the most amateurish of attempts at burglary.
“By chance you only encountered one person who was a member of staff.
“The risk you were taking is that you might encounter residents.
“You took the remote control meaning that the television was effectively useless to the residents as they were unable to operate it.
“What you did has caused a great deal of upset and distress amongst the residents.”
David Eager, in mitigation, urged that Jones should be given credit for admitting his guilt at court.
Mr Eager added: “His problems are drugs and alcohol.
“Hopefully once he has served his prison sentence he can be given some help.”