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Average HDTV Today Made to Last Only a Few Years

By - Source: Golem.de | B 75 comments

Remember when your parents bought one TV and it lasted eight, ten or even 15 years? Not so much with LCD TVs.

Service staff at a electronics discount retailer as well as a technician at a repair service told German website Golem.de that the average LCD TV from any major brand, including Toshiba, Sony, Samsung, or Philips, is built to last "just about three to four years" when used for about five hours per day. Some TVs may last longer, but it is a matter of luck to find such a TV.

The TV repair technician noted that today's "TVs are built in a way so that they break soon." However, those defective TVs do not go to repair services, they frequently are simply being replaced as parts are expensive. No customer ever requested a panel replacement for their TV, the repair technician said. Panels are usually more expensive than the entire TV, which, however, has apparently created a lucrative back market for some repair services.

Only "older people" would be interested in repairs today, the technician said: The share of defective TVs being sent to a repair service versus those that are simply thrown away is about 1 in 10, the employee estimated. He also added that it would be no problem to build TVs that last longer, but no manufacturer would be interested in making that effort and count on replacement sales instead.

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  • 27 Hide
    chumly , May 3, 2012 2:15 PM
    Corporations: Destroying your planet with garbage and chemicals for the sake of profit since their inception.
  • 23 Hide
    jankeke , May 3, 2012 2:19 PM
    This is no news but it's important to make people aware of this.
  • 23 Hide
    frozonic , May 3, 2012 2:10 PM
    I dont know why this surprises people, this is simple and dirty capitalism, every product is made tobe operational for a few years and good enough too use for an even shorter time
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    frozonic , May 3, 2012 2:10 PM
    I dont know why this surprises people, this is simple and dirty capitalism, every product is made tobe operational for a few years and good enough too use for an even shorter time
  • 22 Hide
    phamhlam , May 3, 2012 2:13 PM
    What makes the TV break? I would like to know. My desktop monitor last 6+ years. I would expect my TV to be able to do that.
  • 22 Hide
    warezme , May 3, 2012 2:13 PM
    So wouldn't that be illegal to know that certain parts are designed in a substandard way to fail? What parts are the ones built this way and who is building them? Seems like consumers would have the right to know go after these manufacturers.
  • 27 Hide
    chumly , May 3, 2012 2:15 PM
    Corporations: Destroying your planet with garbage and chemicals for the sake of profit since their inception.
  • 23 Hide
    jankeke , May 3, 2012 2:19 PM
    This is no news but it's important to make people aware of this.
  • 3 Hide
    the_crippler , May 3, 2012 2:20 PM
    warezmeSo wouldn't that be illegal to know that certain parts are designed in a substandard way to fail? What parts are the ones built this way and who is building them? Seems like consumers would have the right to know go after these manufacturers.



    I'm betting it falls on the side of using a part that they have instead of spending time and money to develop a longer-lasting one rather than saying they are intentionally using sub-par parts. At least that's the way they'd probably swing it to avoid trouble.

    Also, minor fault in the article - Philips doesn't make TVs any more. (Interestingly, the only big-screen flat panel I've bought is a Philips, and it has lasted longer than I expected it to.)
  • 0 Hide
    Intel_Hydralisk , May 3, 2012 2:21 PM
    Another problem is that the "next best thing" is out within 3-4 years anyway, so people are more tempted to simply buy a new TV.
  • 14 Hide
    royale606 , May 3, 2012 2:23 PM
    Yep. The 'seemingly best' method is making ones that break right after the warranty is up. However if my new LG lasts for less than 5 years I'll never buy LG again. The companies should take loyalty into consideration. It's that loyalty that can assure Honda that I'll be buying my third Honda next time I need a car. And that's specifically because they run significantly longer than other cars.
  • 15 Hide
    aoneone , May 3, 2012 2:25 PM
    I am waiting for that day where electronics such as laptops and/or ipads will have an internal countdown timer that 'expires' in such a way that you will have to replace it with a new one or even worse, pay money to extend the timer to make it work again... such a sad world we live in.
  • 9 Hide
    nbraybrook , May 3, 2012 2:29 PM
    So ture, they do it in other markets to. My dad works at a place that tests automotive parts for all the major manufacturers. Typical parts are designed to last no longer than 8-10 years. If parts far exceed the stress tests they are put thought, they will actually make the part cheaper to fall closer to the 8-10 year life span...
  • 5 Hide
    captaincharisma , May 3, 2012 2:34 PM
    i must be lucky then. my LCD TV i got from wally world is 7 years old and its still going. its so old the HDMI port doesn't work with most of my stuff because it does not have HDCP support
  • 21 Hide
    osamabinrobot , May 3, 2012 2:38 PM
    wait so this article is an interview with some random TV service tech?
    and backed up with facts from...his experience fixing broken TVs?
    this is sound evidence.
  • 10 Hide
    igot1forya , May 3, 2012 2:38 PM
    It was only last year that my wife's grandfather finally took his late 1950's Curtis Mathes TV to the curb... he threw it our because he got Comcast and they would not convert the signal to back to Analog. That old 19" B/W TV was still in good working order!
  • 3 Hide
    ikefu , May 3, 2012 2:38 PM
    I'm not sure I buy this. My take is that the thinner TVs have gotten they naturally have to get more flimsy unless you want to pay extra for reinforcement etc. And the average consumer is looking to get the cheapest biggest TV they can get which means in the price wars they have to leave out things like reinforcement. So if you're rough on a flimsy TV it will break sooner. Consequently, if you're nice to it you can make almost anything last, even if its flimsy.

    As soon as the average consumer is willing to pay more for a thicker but longer lasting TV they will start making those. But I seriously doubt that will ever happen. Most people want a new TV in 4 years anyway.
  • 4 Hide
    thrasher32 , May 3, 2012 2:39 PM
    aoneoneI am waiting for that day where electronics such as laptops and/or ipads will have an internal countdown timer that 'expires' in such a way that you will have to replace it with a new one or even worse, pay money to extend the timer to make it work again... such a sad world we live in.


    Who says they don't do that already?
  • 6 Hide
    hairystuff , May 3, 2012 2:45 PM
    heres an example of the tvs that have failed in my families households:

    LG 60" (PDP) - failed after 13 months - PDP failed - repaired under extended warrenty

    LG 50" (PDP) - failed after 3 years - PDP Failed - dead and dumped

    LG 47" (PDP) - failed after 4 months - PSU Failed - reapaired under warrenty

    2x Tevion (PDP)(LG) 42" - failed after 3 weeks (2 different households) - PSU Failed - repaired under warrenty

    Tevion 47" (LCD)(Samsung) - failed after 7 years - PSU Failed - self repaired by me.

    I've got 2 tube tvs one a sanyo 28" which has run for 18 years and now the kids use it for their video games and a sony 32" which has run for 15 years which the kids also use for gaming.

    As for faults on PDP tvs I've seen mainly panels fail and go into dead-short state or the psu fail or the BGA chips just fail or go dry jointed, with LCD tvs its usually the PSU or BGA chips going faulty or dry jointed, I partly blame the solder used for the connections as the non-lead based stuff goes brittle and fails, but you'd think in this solid-state era that stuff would be much more reliable but sadly it's not the case.
  • 1 Hide
    drwho1 , May 3, 2012 2:52 PM
    I have a 42" Plasma for at least 5-6 years now... still the same.
    The only reasons for me to "upgrade" would be (a) a bigger size and (b) move from HDTV to 4K.
  • 1 Hide
    monsta , May 3, 2012 2:58 PM
    I believe the LCD technology is mostly what they are talking about. Ive had a lot of friends replace their LCD TV's while my 8 year old Samsung Plasma TV is still going strong......
  • 3 Hide
    Parsian , May 3, 2012 3:05 PM
    My Samsung panel that came with my furnitures (one of those "deals") worked for 2 years and then it developed a powersupply failure. Luckily, I fixed it.
  • 4 Hide
    techtre2003 , May 3, 2012 3:08 PM
    I definitely would agree they "don't make stuff like they used to". But at the same time I don't know that I believe things are designed to break either. I just think we've moved from a society that values craftsmanship and quality to a society of cheap and disposable. These companies are just cranking out "newer and better" things as fast as they can for as cheap as possible and quality has just gone by the wayside.
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