Average HDTV Today Made to Last Only a Few Years

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.

Douglas Perry is an author and journalist from Portland, Oregon. His many articles have appeared in the likes of Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, The Oregonian, and several newspapers. He has covered topics including security, hardware, and cars, and has written five books. In his spare time, he enjoys watching The Sopranos.