When to Say Goodbye to Your TV: A Guide to TV Longevity

Last updated on March 12th, 2023 at 03:55 pm

You may have just purchased a new TV, or your existing TV is beginning to feel the strain. In any scenario, it becomes sensitive to wonder how long the focal point of your living area will survive.

Everyone has heard tales of the boxy Zenith in grandma’s basement, which can still provide a blurry image after 20 years. 

Will an LED TV you purchase now, however, endure that long? Consider an OLED TV. We have done extensive research and testing for you to have an idea.

How Long Must An LED Television Last?

Consider buying the TCL-5 Series, one of our favorite low-cost Televisions. This TV has a lot of parts in terms of components, but often the LEDs in its backlight will break out first. 

An LED has an average lifetime of 40,000 to 60,000 hours at maximum or almost maximum brightness or around 4.5 to 6.8 years. 

An LED TV like the 5-Series may survive roughly 13 years if you don’t watch TV nonstop (and I hope you don’t), assuming none of the other parts break down first.

But there’s a large “if” there. Nowadays, almost all TVs are smart TVs that use an operating system. 

The operating system of your TV requires regular maintenance in the form of firmware upgrades, much like other software. 

A manufacturer may eventually quit offering support for, let’s say, one of its mid-range Televisions from five years ago. 

As it has been five years, the business is now concentrating on maintaining its recent Televisions. The TV brand determines the software quality and regularity of a TV’s firmware upgrades. 

It is one of the main reasons we advise purchasing a TV from a well-known, renowned brand and the possibility of higher-quality hardware components.

In any case, even if you watch eight hours of TV every day and maintain the LEDs, your TV can start to malfunction after six or seven years.

Is that enough time? That depends on how much you like staying current with technology and how expensive the TV is. 

Five to seven years are almost a lifetime in TV technology. For instance, a 50-inch full-HD TV cost around $800 seven years ago. A 55-inch 4K/HDR TV costs less than $500.

However, particularly if you’re an A/V aficionado or an avid gamer, you could discover that certain developments in TV technology are just too amazing to pass up. 

For example, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X enabled functions not even offered by most Televisions only six or seven years ago. 

Even if you don’t play video games, you should replace your TV with a larger, better one before it ultimately dies.

Yet, there is a simple technique to maintain your TV in excellent working order to last as long as possible.

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Get the TCL 5-Series on Amazon.

Read: 7 Significant Elements To Pick The Best TV For Gaming Ps4 Pro

How Can I Lengthen The Lifetime Of An LED TV?

It is easy: Turning down the lighting will extend the lifetime of the LEDs, which only last five to seven years at full brightness.

TVs are often configured in “Standard” or “Energy Saving” mode when they are initially installed out of the box in your living room, which tends not to seem as attractive to people as “Vivid,” “Dynamic,” or “Movie” mode.

Yet, Vivid or Dynamic mode is preset that maximizes the TV’s Backlight and Contrast settings, making it brighter and perceptibly more colorful. 

It is why people often think these modes appear better. Sadly, such an option not only tends to blur visual details and make your eyes tired, but it also shortens the lifespan of the LEDs in the TV.

LEDs have Lifespan of Nearly 10 Years At Lower Brightness Level

So, you should reduce the brightness to 75% or less even if you don’t wish to switch the image style to something more realistic (like Movie mode). 

Your TV may first seem duller and less stunning, but after a few days, your eyes will adjust. Moreover, LEDs may survive up to 100,000 hours, or more than ten years, at lower brightness levels. 

As indicated, you should replace your TV far before the ten-year milestone, but cutting the backlight should keep it in excellent condition until then.

Check out our guide on choosing the ideal image preset for everything you watch to learn more about how your TV’s picture settings impact the watching experience.

Read: Samsung’s Two Direction Fold OLED Display

What happens if I own an OLED TV?

“organic light emitting diode,” or OLED, refers to a relatively new display technology with more sophisticated circuitry than conventional LED Televisions. 

OLED TVs, for example, don’t depend on complex LED backlighting technology. Instead, the display’s pixels self-illuminate, enabling higher contrast and smaller screens (among other benefits).

OLED displays can lose brightness with time, but according to LG—one of the top producers of OLED panels worldwide—it will take 54 years to reach 50% brightness. 

The technology hasn’t been around long enough for anybody to verify that assertion; therefore, it’s inevitable that you won’t possess a TV for the next 54 years.

Whether your OLED TV lasts 54 years or not, it will last longer if you don’t keep the brightness at its highest setting all the time. 

OLED Televisions lack a specific backlight setting since they lack a conventional backlight. 

Nonetheless, you may still reduce their maximum output if you know where to go in the settings menu. One of our favourite OLED Televisions, the LG C2, has an option for OLED Pixel Brightness.

Image courtesy of tomsguide

Get the LG C2 from Amazon.

Read: Best Outdoor TV Antennas Preamplifier

Must I be concerned about OLED burn-in?

Burn-in and “image retention,” often used interchangeably, are two possible issues frequently connected to OLED screens. 

Although similar, it’s crucial to recognise the differences between these two. Image retention is any picture that “sticks” on a screen even after the content changes. 

Most Televisions have a short-lived ghostly appearance that generally only lasts a few seconds. 

Burn-in is a kind of picture retention that lasts far longer and is often discernible even after switching to a new movie or TV programme. 

It is brought on by spending too much time staring at a static picture on a screen.

Since the invention of OLED Televisions, these two phrases have plagued discussions about them, yet there is little cause for concern.

Read: [Editor Pick] Best Chairs To Watch TV

Image retention and burn-in should be fine for most individuals

Image retention and burn-in are dangerous with most modern OLED Televisions, but only in difficult situations. 

For example, our laboratory testing showed that long-term OLED burn-in was only a concern if a static picture was established for over 20 hours—the majority of minor image retention concerns resolved with time.

Image retention and burn-in shouldn’t be severe issues for most individuals. We’ve worked with OLED TVs for hundreds of hours, and burn-in isn’t an issue if you’re an average user.

While using an OLED TV for the first time, image retention may be problematic, although it improves with time. 

Only under severe conditions is it visible, and it doesn’t seem to be there permanently. Turn off the TV for five to ten minutes before turning it back on if you encounter picture retention on an OLED.

If you use an OLED TV like a regular one, there is little chance it will burn in over time, even immediately out of the box. 

You would need to maintain a picture on the screen nonstop for at least 24 hours to cause irreversible harm. Airports or sports bars could be concerned about this, but generally, there is no need for alarm. 

In any event, most source devices employ screensavers or dimming features to lessen the harm, and the plurality of OLEDs include a shut-off timer to safeguard them.



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