Guides

How Long Do TVs Last? (+ Tips to Make Them Last LONGER!)

Whether you have a Smart TV, or a TV without Internet, you want a long-lasting product you can trust.

But with brand advancements, and the constant push to market newer models, you probably feel like you need to upgrade your home setup nearly every year.

How much is marketing hype? Do you really need to upgrade? How long will your TV last?

How Long Does An Average TV Last?

Regardless of screen type or specs, the average TV will last 70,000 to 80,000 hours (about 5-7 years) of powered screen time. Some fail after only 40,000 (4.5 years). However, a lot depends on the brand, how you treat your TV, and the brightness setting.

Barring accidents, how long your TV will last really comes down to the quality of the components it’s built from.

This is why it’s worth researching and purchasing from reputable brands with outstanding sales records.

Some off-brand TVs also carry good components, but it’s more difficult to determine what you’re getting for your cash.

In most modern LED and even OLED TVs, the component which fails first is the backlight. The higher your brightness, the quicker this will occur, even with TVs from reputable brands. 

You can extend the life of your TV’s backlight by using a moderate brightness and adjusting brightness/color settings to the room condition and what you’re watching.

All hour ratings are generated on medium brightness settings and 6-8 hours of use daily. Expect a lowered lifespan if you prefer bright pictures or watch a lot of TV.

A study done by LG concluded that the expected life of an OLED display is about 100,000 hours of use, whereas LCD panels with LED backlights that have a life expectancy of 6-10 years.

Integrated Smart TVs introduce another potential issue – the firmware.

Many smart TVs use Android software for Internet integration, and there are near-constant generation upgrades on any operating system.

When purchasing a Smart TV, specifically, remember that you may need to upgrade to get a compatible software experience long before the hardware fails.

You will know you’re reaching end-of-life when apps stop being supported. Missing software updates can also cause various problems, such as a flickering TV screen.

In the modern TV world, 5-7 years of reliable, quality picture is the expected lifespan of a TV. This timeframe also works as a replacement guideline.

You’re likely to pick up a bigger, better-spec’d TV for less than you paid previously at this point, too, so it’s a great benchmark.

Longest Lasting TV Brands

There are as many opinions on good TV brands as there are models. A lot can depend on your purchasing point in the range – some brands produce great mid-tier and high-end TVs but lousy entry-level ones, and vice-versa.

However, these 5 TV brands have a solid reputation for long-lasting performance across their ranges:

  • Samsung: Their LED ranges last 5-7 years, even with heavy usage on high brightness. Their customer service is also solid.
  • Sony: Offers a three-year warranty, ‘future-proof’ screen specs, and last (on average) 7-10 years treated well and 5 with heavy use.
  • Sharp: A TV brand pioneer in Asia, Sharp TVs are known to last up to 10 years but average at least 5 years.
  • LG: Another solid brand name with an expected minimum 5-year lifespan
  • Panasonic: Panasonic claims up to 30-year life spans with moderate usage and will easily reach 7-10 years.

How to Extend my TVs Lifespan?

No matter what brand of TV you have, there are some basic things you can do to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Try the following…

Turn Down the Backlight

The backlights of the TV screen panel are the most common failure point in TVs, especially OLED and LED screens.

In fact, a broken backlight might be the reason why you wake up one day and your TV won’t turn on.

The best way to extend the lifespan of a TV is to turn down the backlights.

Power Down the TV Regularly

When you power down by remote, the TV still consumes energy, and its electronic parts still take the wear and tear from constant use.

Powering up and down by switch also creates additional stress on the components.

Build some proper ‘off time’ into your plans by unplugging your TV from time to time, and remember to set the sleep timer on your TV before dozing off!

Avoid Heat and UV

Exposure to heat for long periods is a key reason TV components break down.

You can’t do much about internal heat from usage, although allowing your TV ‘rest’ periods after marathon watching sessions will help.

You can control a lot about the TV environment, however.

Keep TVs away from kitchens, fireplaces, and HVAC vents. Design your A/V setup so you don’t have tons of equipment sharing one space and each other’s heat. And make absolutely sure your TV is not exposed to direct sunlight.

Not only will UV rays heat the TV far beyond its natural component operating levels, but they will also degrade the bezel and casing, leading to cracks and breaks.

Wall Mounts

To prevent your TV from possible damage, I highly recommend using a wall mount.

Every TV in my house is up off the ground, on a wall mount.

This helps reduce dust, and minimizes the risk of accidents, tipping, and pets/children damaging the TV.

Clean It (Properly!)

Dust, especially on vents, will drastically shorten the lifespan of your TV through overheating and clogging ventilation.

However, so will exposure to the wrong cleaning products!

Do not use glass cleaners like Windex that contain ammonia and other harsh chemicals when cleaning your TV screen.

Stick to dusting the back of the TV at least weekly, and clean the screen regularly with a soft microfiber cloth or a screen-specific cleaner if needed.

Additionally, you can buy a screen protector that will help prevent your TV screen from breaking, in case of an accident.

Use Protection

UPS or voltage protection ensures power dips and surges don’t blow components in your TV.

Even the best power grids have small fluctuations running through them, especially if there’s a brown or blackout.

Additionally, when you switch appliances on and off in your home you can cause minute fluctuations. A good voltage protection setup ensures these never have the chance to blow your electronics.

Conclusion

The average TV will last 70,000 to 80,000 hours (about 5-7 years) of powered screen time., but some will fail after only 40,000 (4.5 years).

I recommend purchasing a reputable brand, like Samsung, Sony, Sharp, LG or Panasonic.

Additionally, to help extend your TV’s lifespan you should:

  • Use the lowest comfortable brightness setting
  • Power down your TV regularly
  • Don’t expose your TV to heat or UV light
  • Use a wall mount to avoid potential accidents
  • Dust it regularly and use a screen-specific cleaner
  • Use a voltage protector with your TV

Doing all this will ensure you get the best lifespan possible from your TV set!