How Long Does a TV Last? Surprising Facts 📺

Are you thinking about getting a new TV? How long do you think it will last?

The worst kind of advice you can get is:

The best thing you can do to make sure your TV lasts as long as possible is to never turn it on. So, it won't have a chance to get old. Even though you won't be able to watch your favorite shows and movies, think of how much money you'll save on new Tvs. Just be ready for some awkward conversations when friends and family come over and see your brand-new TV still in the box. But hey, at least your TV will last forever!

Ok, that was a joke. But that was necessary to point out that everything has a feasibility limit.

Average lifetime of a TV

The type of TV, how it is used, the quality of its parts, and the environment in which it is used, they all play a role in determining your TV's lifespan. Here is the expected life expectancy of most common modern Tvs:

  • LCD TV: 50000 hours
  • LED TV: 100000 hours
  • OLED TV: 30000 to 100000 hours

You can find real life Tvs as examples here:

https://go.blog.notechriddles.com/l/tvs.html

References:

https://insights.samsung.com/2022/05/23/the-truth-about-led-lifespan-and-the-longevity-of-your-display/

https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/articles/00184389

Note 1: Plasma Tvs are no longer manufactured but they had a lifespan of at least 30000 hours. The most advanced models had up to 100000 hours.

Note 2: The lifespan of a Smart TV is dependent on its display technology, so most will probably work for 50000 to 100000 hours.

Note 3: The statistics presented above do not take into account misuse, which includes the feared "burn-in" effect.

Note 4: The time it takes in years depends on how much you use it per day on average. If you are a casual user, it should take around 30 years to watch all those hours.

Note 5: Resolutions like 4K or 8K do not affect the lifespan, at least directly.

In this article, I'll talk about the things that can affect a TV's lifespan, give tips on how to make it last longer, and discuss the buy or repair choice you will eventually have to make.

Things that can affect a TV's lifespan

  • Technology
  • How much you use (Hours per day)
  • Display settings (Brightness and others)
  • Environment (Temperature, humidity, dust)
  • Quality (Brand, materials, cables and plugs)
  • Misuse ("Burn-in" effect and others)

Note: The "firmware" can indirectly affect your TV lifespan. More on this topic below.

As you can see, there are many variables, so we must be careful with generalizations like:

"LCD Tvs will last longer than plasma TVs."

The type of TV, like LCD, OLED, or plasma, doesn't tell you everything you need to know about how long it will last.

The quality of the parts and the way the TV was made can also affect how long it will last. For instance, some high-quality plasma Tvs last longer than some low-quality LCD TVs.

"A TV's lifespan is based on how well it is used and cared for."

Like I said, the quality of the parts and the way the TV was made can also affect how long it will last.

"The environment where a TV is used doesn't make a big difference in how long it will last."

The place where a TV is used can also affect how long it lasts. For instance, extreme heat and humidity can make a TV break down much faster than it would otherwise.

Now let's talk about the tips to make your TV last longer.

In short, the life of a TV can be lengthened by using it well and taking care of it, but it can be shortened by not using it or not taking care of it.

"Burn-in" effect

This one is really important, as you have direct control over it. The "burn-in" effect is one thing that can shorten the life of any TV.

When static images are shown on the TV for long periods of time, they can leave a permanent ghost image on the screen. I'll talk more about it later.

Long story short, you must not let an image stay still for long periods of time on your screen.

Use a screen saver or turn off the TV when you're not watching it, and don't show static images for long periods of time to avoid burn-in.

Use the TV's energy-saving mode, which can help reduce the chance of burn-in and make the TV last longer.

https://www.lg.com/us/experience-tvs/oled-tv/reliability

Technology

New technologies can make a TV last longer. We have seen an increase in durability of an OLED TV from 17000 hours to 100000 in a decade of research.

They may also make the TV work better, which could make it last longer by putting less stress on its parts. For example, some newer display technologies, like mini-LED, use smaller and more efficient parts, which can help the TV work better and possibly last longer.

This is also true when new technologies reduce the usage of energy. This makes the TV less likely to overheat.

How much you use

A TV will wear out faster the more it is used. For example, a TV that is left on for a long time or used a lot may not last as long as one that is used less often.

We all know that not using your TV is not an option. But you could use it with moderation so you avoid using it for more then 4 hours straight.

If that is not enough to convince you, please bear in mind that there are some studies that have established that higher TV viewing time is actually reducing people's life expectancy:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51574297_Television_viewing_time_and_reduced_life_expectancy_A_life_table_analysis

Display settings

Brightness, contrast, and backlight can also affect how long your TV will last. There is some debate over it though.

Anyway, using the TV's energy-saving mode can help it last longer because it cuts down on how much power it uses.

Environment

The environment in which a TV is used can also affect how long it will last. For example, using a TV in a room with good air circulation and keeping it away from moisture and extreme temperatures can help it last longer. In the same way, putting a TV in direct sunlight or near a source of heat can shorten its life.

Quality of the parts

The quality of the TV's parts can have a big effect on how long it will last. Tvs made with high-quality parts tend to last longer and work better than Tvs made with parts that aren't as good.

When judging the quality of a TV's parts, you should think about the following:

TopicDescription
BrandTVs made by well-known companies tend to have better parts and may become more reliable over time.
MaterialsTVs made with durable plastics, metals, and other high-quality materials are more likely to last longer than Tvs made with lower-quality materials.
Processes of making thingsTVs made with more advanced processes tend to have better quality parts and may be more reliable in the long run.

Environment effects

A TV that is used in a humid or dusty place may not last as long as one that is used in a clean and dry place.

As general advice, keep your TV in a room with good air flow.

Here are other things to consider:

Temperature

TVs are sensitive to changes in temperature and can be damaged by temperatures that are too high or too low.

It's important to use a TV in a well-ventilated room. Tvs make heat when they are turned on, and if the heat doesn't get out of the TV properly, it can overheat and damage the parts inside.

Using a TV in a room with good air flow can help make sure the heat gets rid of itself and the TV stays at a safe temperature.

Also, keep it away from extreme temperatures, like being too close to a heat source (fireplace or radiator) or putting it in direct sunlight.

Humidity

TVs can also be hurt by moisture and are sensitive to it. It's important to keep a TV away from water  (sinks, tubs, and showers) and use it in a dry place.

You can do this by using a dehumidifier or keeping it away from water sources. This is especially useful if you live in a humid area, as it can help prevent moisture from building up.

Using a TV in a room with good air flow can help prevent moisture from building up, which can damage the TV's internal parts.

Dust

Over time, dust can build up on the parts of a TV, which can cause it to overheat or break. To keep dust from building up, you should clean your TV often and use it in a room with good air flow.

Using a TV in a room with good air flow can help keep dust from building up, since the air flow can blow the dust away.

Idea: A TV cover. A cover made just for Tvs can help keep dust and moisture away from the TV.

Some Tvs actually make these tips as requirements:

What is firmware, and how does it affect a TV's life?

Firmware is a kind of software that is put on a device, like a TV, to give it the instructions and functions it needs to work.

By updating the TV's firmware, you might be able to fix bugs or add new features that make the TV work better.

A TV's compatibility with other devices, like Blu-ray players or streaming devices, can also be affected by its firmware.

Keeping the firmware of a TV up to date can improve its performance, compatibility, and security. This can help make sure that the TV works well and gives you a good viewing experience.

It may also be necessary to keep the manufacturer's warranty valid. Updating a TV's firmware can also make it safer by fixing security holes or adding new safety features.

Let's talk about cleaning your TV

We've talked about how dust plays an important role in your TV's lifespan. So let me add more reasons why you should clean it regularly:

Over time, dust can build up on the parts of a TV and cause it to overheat or break. By cleaning the TV often, you can keep dust from building up and make sure it works at its best.

Also, the dust and dirt can damage the parts inside.

And obviously, cleaning a TV regularly can also make it look better and make it more fun to watch.

How to clean your TV screen

  • Turn off and unplug the TV.
  • Wipe the screen and the area around it gently with a soft, dry cloth.
  • If the TV is very dirty, you can use a cloth that has been dampened with a mixture of water and just a tiny drop of dish soap. Make sure to squeeze the cloth well before wiping the TV so that it doesn't drip.
  • Wipe the TV again with a dry cloth to get rid of any extra water.

Don't use scouring pads or steel wool to clean the screen because they are too rough and can damage it.

Is it time to replace your TV?

Most people will replace their Tvs in 5 to 10 years. But let's suppose you will wait for the call to replace.

There are a few signs that your TV has reached the end of its useful life:

TopicDescription
Bad picture qualityIf your TV's picture quality has changed a lot, it might be time to get a new one. This could include things like blurry or distorted images, low resolution, or colors that don't look right.
Frequent repairsIf your TV needs repairs often or if the cost of repairs is getting too high, you might want to think about getting a new one.
Technology that isn't as good as it used to beIf your TV has old technology, like a lower resolution or a different way of showing pictures, it might be time to get a newer model.
Physical damageIf your TV has physical damage, like a cracked screen or water damage, it might be time to replace it.

You should compare the cost of repairs to buying a new TV to figure out which is the most cost-effective choice.

But before you do that, check if your TV's warrant covers it.

What a TV warranty usually covers

A TV warranty usually covers problems with the materials or the way the TV was made that happen during the time period set by the manufacturer.

Different TV warranties have different terms, but most cover the cost of fixing or replacing broken parts or components.

Some warranties may also cover the cost of labor, like when a technician comes to your house to fix the TV. Others may also cover things like accidental damage or allow you to return or exchange the item. 

Accidental damage protection pays for damage to the TV that wasn't caused by a flaw in the materials or the way it was made, like a broken screen or damage from water.

It's important to know that TV warranties usually don't cover problems or damage that happen because the TV wasn't used or cared for properly.

For example, a warranty might not cover damage caused by using the TV in a place with very high or low temperatures or in a way that is different from what the manufacturer says to do.

Buy or repair?

When deciding whether to fix or replace a TV, there are several things to think about.

Age of your TV

If your TV isn't too old and is still covered by the manufacturer's warranty, it may be cheaper to fix it than to buy a new one.

But if your TV is old and the manufacturer's warranty is no longer valid, it may be cheaper to buy a new one.

Type of problem

Some problems, like a broken screen or a broken part, can be expensive to fix, while others, like a problem with the software, may not cost too much to fix.

It's important to compare the cost of fixing a TV to the cost of buying a new one to figure out which is the better deal.

Value

If your TV has sentimental value or is a high-end model that is hard to replace, it may be better to fix it instead of buying a new one.

Repair options

If the TV uses an older or rare technology and it is hard to find repair parts or technicians who can fix it, it may be cheaper to buy a new one.

When buying a new TV is a good idea

Newer Tvs generally have more features and are more durable. They also tend to have better picture and sound.

TVs that are of higher quality tend to have better screens and sound systems, which can make watching TV more immersive and enjoyable.

Overall, buying a higher-quality TV can give you a better viewing experience, a wider range of features, and a longer lifespan, which can make it a more cost-effective choice in the long run.

Repairing a TV

Let's say you decided to repair your TV. These are your choices:

Repairs by the manufacturer

If your TV is still under the manufacturer's warranty, the manufacturer may be able to fix it. A lot of companies offer repair services through authorized service centers or, for an extra fee, on-site repairs.

Independent repair shops

If your TV is out of warranty or you'd rather use an independent repair shop, you can look for a repair shop in your area that specializes in fixing TVs.

Many independent repair shops have reasonable prices and might be able to fix your TV faster than the company that made it.

Do-it-yourself repairs

If you are good with electronics and have the right tools and knowledge, you might be able to fix your TV yourself.

Many common TV repairs can be done with step-by-step instructions from online resources like YouTube videos and repair guides. I have also written some guides.

If you can't fix your TV or it would cost too much to fix, you might be able to buy replacement parts and put them in yourself.

A lot of online stores sell a wide range of TV replacement parts, such as screens, boards, and other parts.

How to get rid of an old TV

First of all, think about giving away or selling your old TV.

If you can't repair or sell your old TV, this is how to safely and responsibly get rid of it.

Check with your local government to see if there are any rules about how to get rid of Tvs. Some places may have special programs or places to take old electronics or recycle them.

If you want to get rid of a TV that has personal information on it, like a smart TV or a TV with a built-in digital video recorder, make sure to delete all of the personal information first. This could include things like personal pictures, videos, and account information.