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[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 7, 2011
124 posts
110 upvotes
Toronto

TV quality / longevity

I have a relatively old TV, a 46" Sharp AQUOS. It is about 10 years old, and still working fine.

I was just wondering, does anyone know if TVs typically last this long? I am considering upgrading in the next year, and trying to set my budget based on how long I could reasonably expect the new TV to last.

I see everyone talking about buying at Costco for the longer warranty and so on, but even that is only a couple of years. If TVs often break after like 3-5 years then I will keep my budget much lower.
28 replies
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Feb 24, 2003
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TV longevity depends on more than just one factor IMHO. I have a 46" Samsung 1080p TV from 2008 that is still working perfectly. Same for an LG plasma from 2010.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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Funny enough someone bumped a years-old thread on this on AVS recently (which I replied to not realising it was that old haha).

Anyway a decent TVs should last 10-20 years TBH, though I think that's getting less likely these days. As all electronics, many also fail or have issues ahead of that time but really as consumers we should expect 10 years, at a minimum out of a TV. There may be other reasons to replace/upgrade in between and outside of failure of course but 10 years should be a minimum. Given older TVs like 1080p are essentially worth nothing these days, most people don't try to sell those TVs when they upgrade they just move them to a bedroom or other room where they can still be used, just not as a main TV.

TVs are much cheaper today though, and in many ways built "cheaper" as in lower quality. This means you might not see sets lasting as long as even 10 years anymore. I guess the saving grace is that many of them, particularly the 2nd tier sets (TCL, Hisense, Vizio) are, well, pretty cheap. Replacing a $500 set after 5-6 years won't sting as much as replacing something that cost $2,000.

One thing to be aware of is older CCFL-lit LCDs the backlight does dim over time. That is the nature of CCFLs. I'm not sure about your particular set but if it's CCFL this will apply. You may not notice it at all if it's your only TV; or you may find your self increasing that backlight from what it was, or if on max. already, may notice it is a little dim. The other thing is, in comparison to today's TVs even LED-lit older/1080p models may come up short of the brightness of a lot of newer LCDs since the advent of HDR.

Note that LEDs (or their drivers) can fail too. In Rtings long term test of OLED burn, they also had an LED-lit LCD from Samsung as a comparison set. That set actually burned out part of its backlight before the OLEDs had significant burn/degredation with most program types. So really anything can fail...at anytime. You can have everything from simple failures (TCON, or other electronic boards, power supply), you can have backlight failures (tubes/LEDs themselves, drivers/inverters, etc.), or you can have panel failures (tab bonds, etc.). The last one is the worst because once a panel fails on an LCD it's pretty much the end--replacement panels typically cost more than the whole TV so it's pointless to repair TVs with dead/problematic LCD panels.

If you're really concerned best thing to do would be to buy from Costco and buy the max. extended warranty they have, just for peace of mind.
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Jul 26, 2004
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From limited sampling size.. i'd say you'd be lucky if you have a modern flat panel that'll last 10 yrs+. In the last 10 years or so, I have purchases 4 LCD/LED tvs. 3 Sonys and 1 Toshiba. The Toshiba was bought in 2010, Tcon board failure in year 8, and power supply board failure in year 10. Tcon board failure was fixable by buying a replacement board for cheap on Taobao.... power supply board was fixed by again buying parts from Taobao.

As for the Sonys one was a 40" bought in 2011. Suffered a Tcon board failure just last month. Going to be another Tcon board from Taobao, once this pandemic thing is over. The other is a 46" bought in 2012. So far HDMI port 1 is dead, that started around 2018. The last Sony i got was a replacement for the Toshiba , no problems with that yet.

I guess the good thing is by the time the TV fails. The cost of the replacement should be similar to paying someone to fix it here in Canada. Unless you have ways of getting parts for really cheap, and have some electronics knowledge it's probably better to just get a new one.
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Oct 16, 2008
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LOL

I upgraded my LG plasma 42" 720p few years ago to Sony 55" 4K, because I wanted to enjoy better resolution and bigger. My plasma was 11 years and working fine. TV should last 10+ years. TVs are so cheap now. People should not keep not keep their TVs 10+ years. However, if people are happy with their sets and not picky, keep theirs. TV technology are not better that much and their quality is not there at all.
Last edited by teoconca on Apr 19th, 2020 3:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2015
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coilz wrote: From limited sampling size.. i'd say you'd be lucky if you have a modern flat panel that'll last 10 yrs+. In the last 10 years or so, I have purchases 4 LCD/LED tvs. 3 Sonys and 1 Toshiba. The Toshiba was bought in 2010, Tcon board failure in year 8, and power supply board failure in year 10. Tcon board failure was fixable by buying a replacement board for cheap on Taobao.... power supply board was fixed by again buying parts from Taobao.

As for the Sonys one was a 40" bought in 2011. Suffered a Tcon board failure just last month. Going to be another Tcon board from Taobao, once this pandemic thing is over. The other is a 46" bought in 2012. So far HDMI port 1 is dead, that started around 2018. The last Sony i got was a replacement for the Toshiba , no problems with that yet.

I guess the good thing is by the time the TV fails. The cost of the replacement should be similar to paying someone to fix it here in Canada. Unless you have ways of getting parts for really cheap, and have some electronics knowledge it's probably better to just get a new one.
Can I ask what models your Sony TV's are?

I have a low end/mid-range 1080P Sony TV that I got back in 2015 that is still going strong. The wifi/DLNA player is flakey but it's always been like that. I'm dreading upgrading knowing there's only low end 1080p tv's nowadays.
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Jul 26, 2004
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Quickman wrote: Can I ask what models your Sony TV's are?

I have a low end/mid-range 1080P Sony TV that I got back in 2015 that is still going strong. The wifi/DLNA player is flakey but it's always been like that. I'm dreading upgrading knowing there's only low end 1080p tv's nowadays.
the 40" is a KDL 40HX800 and the 46" is a KDL 46HX729 and the 55" is a XBR-X55X850D
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
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I would suggest that you just buy the best TV you can afford (within reason) and stop worrying about life span. If you get a decent brand, it should be OK in terms of average life span.

Sometimes TVs last a long time and sometimes they don't. Depending upon your viewing habits, your budget, and your room and seating characteristics, I might suggest either a 55" higher end VA panel or else a 55" OLED (the latter preferred in most cases). Or 65" if you have the space and can swing the extra cost.

BTW, all of my mainstream brand TVs have lasted longer than 10 years, except for ironically an old high end 34" Toshiba widescreen CRT I had, even though people claim TVs from that era (2000ish) lasted longer. In fact, I wish my 13 year-old low end crappy Toshiba LCD would die cuz I want to replace it, but I'm too cheap to replace a perfectly functional 40" LCD. ;)
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Nov 10, 2018
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My plasma TV just refuses to die. That said I only use it for about 10-15 minutes each day. Things aren't built today like they used to be.

On the other hand my SmartUPS 1500 was made in 2008, and I dusted it off thoroughly for the first time ever today. More proof on a sample size of n=2 that today's tech are just throwaway items. Long live well built things!
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 7, 2011
124 posts
110 upvotes
Toronto
Thank you all for the replies. Although there is some helpful info here, not a lot of hard facts. But it sounds like it is not that unlikely for a tv to last ten years.

My point is that my budget will be calculated differently if I am expecting it to last 3-5 years vs
10 years.

I am also not sure about OLED, as my only input source is a computer. About 50% playing full screen content, but other 50% as a normal monitor, browsing, etc. I have read the massive rtings burn in test, but seems to me that over a many years span you would definitely have burn in.
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Nov 7, 2007
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From all the reading I have done, it does seem like a tv will last 5-6 years nowadays. I got an oled a month ago but returned it due to red and blue tinting on a white background. Then purchased a Sony 900F which doesn't get burn in and was 40% cheaper and am happy with it. When I thought about it, I'm happier because I'd hate to replace such an expensive tv in such short time. Most people who say there tv is XX years old is believable but again, I agree that they don't make them like they used to. Like others have said, it comes down to money and if you want to/can afford to replace it every so many years.
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Jan 21, 2018
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angryaudifanatic wrote: My plasma TV just refuses to die. That said I only use it for about 10-15 minutes each day. Things aren't built today like they used to be.

On the other hand my SmartUPS 1500 was made in 2008, and I dusted it off thoroughly for the first time ever today. More proof on a sample size of n=2 that today's tech are just throwaway items. Long live well built things!
We still have a 42" Panasonic plasma TV from 2006 that works fine, used a lot. I recall an article many years ago revealing that plasma cells deteriorate over time, and the Panasonic plasma TV firmware has a built-in algorithm that automatically turns up the voltage to the cells over time to compensate, at the cost of slightly worsening the black level as it ages (https://www.cnet.com/news/panasonic-sue ... e-quality/).

I think that TVs change at such a rate these days that it only makes sense to update and replace on a much faster schedule than the past. The problem is that nobody wants an old TV, so you end up dumping something at the recycling depot that cost you a bunch of money "a few years ago", and still works fine. It seems ... wrong somehow.
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Aug 4, 2006
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Scote64 wrote: We still have a 42" Panasonic plasma TV from 2006 that works fine, used a lot. I recall an article many years ago revealing that plasma cells deteriorate over time, and the Panasonic plasma TV firmware has a built-in algorithm that automatically turns up the voltage to the cells over time to compensate, at the cost of slightly worsening the black level as it ages (https://www.cnet.com/news/panasonic-sue ... e-quality/).

I think that TVs change at such a rate these days that it only makes sense to update and replace on a much faster schedule than the past. The problem is that nobody wants an old TV, so you end up dumping something at the recycling depot that cost you a bunch of money "a few years ago", and still works fine. It seems ... wrong somehow.
Don't throw it away ... freecycle it. Someone locally can probably use it.
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Jan 10, 2009
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I have a 2006 Sony Bravia 42" that still works perfectly fine, seen heavy use both media and video gaming.
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Jan 27, 2006
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Realistically, flat screen TVs are typically of most electronics these days where:

1. They are cheap and get cheaper with time.
2. The number of parts keeps dropping.
3. Typically suffer from two distinct failure mechanisms:
A. broken solder joint (especially 'older'/cheap electronics) as the industry went to lead-free solder which is harder to work with (greater chances of poor solder joints). The better manufacturers have improved their processes in the past 5 years but that may not matter as many of the subcomponents come from subcontractors which may not be at the same level.
B. Poor quality electrolytic capacitors which have been plaguing the industry for two decades.
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Sep 1, 2004
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I only have 2 TV failed on me in my life. The rest basically out lived it's usefulness.

I have never lost any CRTs since late 80s

I have lost 1 10 year old CRT projection with last working mode is 1080i.

I have lost a Samsung Plasma about 8 years in.

All LCDs regardless of age are still going strong. Although Samsung has disowned basically all smart functions on by 2013 TV.

Going forward, I think as long as you don't grow attached to the Smart functions, TV should last a long time until microled is common place.
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Dec 24, 2007
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Going by recent past reliability is a bit of crap shoot now as the technological life span is so much shorter that TV Manufacturers really don't care much about the actual TV life span. They expect people won't mind "upgrading" to the latest tech when TV craps out in 5 years since TV aren't as expensive any more.
Jr. Member
Jul 20, 2009
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It depends on the reliability of the model. I would say, don't get the cheapest model and don't get the most expensive model. The cheapest model is usually made cheaply. The most expensive model usually uses the newest unproven cutting edge technology which may fail.

We got a KDL-48W600B in 2014 from Costco and it lasted only about 5 years. What went was the LCD connections. We got instead a Sony 900F on Black Friday. We're hoping it lasts longer than 5 years.
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Nov 21, 2002
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xi_32 wrote: It depends on the reliability of the model. I would say, don't get the cheapest model and don't get the most expensive model. The cheapest model is usually made cheaply. The most expensive model usually uses the newest unproven cutting edge technology which may fail.

We got a KDL-48W600B in 2014 from Costco and it lasted only about 5 years. What went was the LCD connections. We got instead a Sony 900F on Black Friday. We're hoping it lasts longer than 5 years.
I have a kdl32xxxx its over a decade and still works great and it ran 24/7 rarely off. I think if your burning thru tv's don't dismis the possibility of dirty power at plug or line or ...the surge bar!!! the very device meant to protect you.

old crt is no where nearly as electronically sensitive as a modern device. Surge bars are meant to protect. but mostly are not true filters of erratic voltage only spikes. That's actually costly to buy a regulator.
Last edited by lead on May 10th, 2020 3:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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May 2, 2010
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xi_32 wrote: It depends on the reliability of the model. I would say, don't get the cheapest model and don't get the most expensive model. The cheapest model is usually made cheaply. The most expensive model usually uses the newest unproven cutting edge technology which may fail.

We got a KDL-48W600B in 2014 from Costco and it lasted only about 5 years. What went was the LCD connections. We got instead a Sony 900F on Black Friday. We're hoping it lasts longer than 5 years.
Five years is already obsolete and end of life for consumer devices nowadays, I am afraid.
Reliability is in general in the downward trend as companies rely on upgrade to sell more devices.

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