Looking for a TV but on a strict budget? One option to consider is buying a refurbished TV. These TVs are serviced for a defect discovered during the sale or within the prescribed return period.
But while they are cheaper, some people doubt these units, as they have been repaired with no paperwork detailing the history.
So, how long do refurbished TVs last?
The Lifespan of Refurbished TVs
The lifespan of refurbished TVs depends on the parts that needed replacement. If replaced with legitimate components from the manufacturer, chances are, you can get a comparable lifespan to a brand new TV.
What’s the Average Lifespan of a Refurbished TV?
Since refurbished TVs are often units returned due to a factory defect and then repaired, you can expect a lifespan that is close to brand new models.
But this is only the case if the unit was refurbished by the manufacturer or official service center.
Chances are, if repaired by the manufacturer, the components will be repaired with original parts, which makes it almost at the same level as brand new.
If a TV is refurbished by a third-party service center, however, the lifespan of these TVs can be a hit-or-miss.
What’s the First Thing that Breaks on Refurbished TVs?
Usually, the first thing that breaks in a refurbished TV is the component that was replaced before the sale.
That often happens when a critical component is not properly replaced, or used substitute parts not designed for it.
Do Refurbished TVs Last longer than Average TVs?
Assuming the refurbished TV has components replaced with those certified by the manufacturer, you can expect these TVs to last a little bit shorter or the same as the usual lifespan.
But if components not recommended by manufacturers are used, there’s a good chance they will not last as long as they should.
Take, for example, the backlight of TVs.
- If third-party components are used as a replacement, you might not get the same mileage, as compared to a TV refurbished with original parts by the manufacturer.
- But if a manufacturer or its authorized service center replaces it with the same backlight used in the assembly line, then you can expect the refurbished to last longer.
How Long Do New Smart TVs Typically Last?
Smart TVs, under heavy usage, can last seven years.
With moderate use and the right settings, a smart TV can last more than ten years.
For more information, check out our article Are Smart TVs Reliable? (Explained For Beginners).
How Long is the Warranty on Refurbished TVs?
Warranties on refurbished TVs are not as long as their brand-new counterparts.
Refurbished TVs usually have warranties that are 2 – 3 months long, with some manufacturers or retailers offering up to six months.
What Are the Most Popular Refurbished TV Models?
According to Walmart’s listing for refurbished TVs, the top three best sellers for this category are:
- Vizio D-Series 32-inch smart TV
- Sony X850G 55-inch smart TV
- Philips 65-inch class 4k HDR Smart TV
Among these TVs, the Vizio D-Series is the most affordable.
Are Refurbished TVs Better than Brand-new TVs?
Refurbished TVs are better than brand-new TVs in one respect: the price.
But since refurbished models have been opened and repaired, they no longer have the same pristine condition as a brand new TV.
Can Video Games Destroy Refurbished TVs?
For the most part, video games won’t destroy refurbished TVs.
Unless the screen of the TV is in an already-delicate state, you can use a refurbished TV to play video games.
What Can I Do to Prolong the Lifespan?
These are some tips that will help you prolong the lifespan of your refurbished TV.
Turn off the TV when not in use
Leaving the TV on when not in use speeds up the degradation of the TV.
Especially in the case of TVs that have replacement backlights on board, you might want to take it easy when it comes to usage.
TVs have timers that let you turn off the TV after a set period. Take advantage of them and save on electricity and prolong the lifespan of your TV.
Make sure the TV is in a secured place
Since refurbished TVs are more delicate than brand new TVs, you want to reduce the risks it faces.
Keep it away from the window so it doesn’t get exposed to the heat of the sun.
TVs also need to have good air circulation, so be sure your TV has room to “breathe.”
Mount the TV to the wall
An advantage of mounting a TV to the wall is that it gets better circulation.
And there’s also less chance of it getting knocked down by accident.
So take advantage of wall mounting to protect your refurbished TV from the risks of accidents.
Adjust Backlight levels accordingly
One of the weakest points of a modern TV is its backlight.
It’s often the first thing to be replaced, so if your TV is refurbished, there’s a good chance it is using a replacement backlight.
And with backlights being the most sensitive component, it would be good to tame its use.
- You need not use high backlight settings when watching in a dimly lit room.
- You should only adjust when the room gets too bright, such as when natural right penetrates the room.
- Check if your TV has backlight presets. You can use this to match the lighting condition of your room.
Lower Contrast levels
The higher the contrast level of your TV, the more power it uses, which can degrade the lifespan of the backlights.
Make it a point to adjust the levels of contrast until you get the right picture quality.
Use an Automatic Voltage Regulator
Power surges can happen anytime, and they can destroy your TV, whether brand new or refurbished.
Especially in the case of refurbished TVs, where components are in a more sensitive state, it is important to add an extra layer of protection.
Automatic Voltage Regulators (AVR) can reduce the impact of sudden jolts that can damage your TV. It’s a small investment that goes a long way for TVs.
You can also go for an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which you can use to turn off your TV properly when the power goes out.
A UPS also does the job of an AVR, so it serves a dual purpose.
Are Refurbished TVs Worth it?
Refurbished TVs are worth it if you know what to look for.
There are a few things to look at before deciding to buy it or return it if you were not able to inspect the refurbished TV in-store.
The first thing to do is look for physical damage.
- Check the stand and the mounting holes for the wall mount. Check if the remotes are there, too.
- Look at the input and output ports for any signs of damage. Plug in a gaming console or any other device with an HDMI output and check for any issues with the video inputs.
Check that the screen and speakers are functioning.
- Try to hear for any distortions in the sound, especially at low levels.
- Be sure images are displayed without any issues.
If you snagged a smart TV, try connecting to the Internet.
- Make sure the Internet connectivity works.
- Check for any firmware updates, and check for any app compatibility.
- Note that older TVs lose support from some apps due to the old firmware versions.
When Should I Buy a Refurbished TV?
While not related directly to the condition of the TV, you should also look at the time of the year you plan to buy, as there are certain times of the year when consumer electronics drop prices.
You can expect great deals from retailers and manufacturers when you buy a brand-new TV within this period.
Here are the times of the year when these sales happen:
Super Bowl Season (January – February)
The Super Bowl is the highlight of the football season, and people gather to watch the game together.
It’s during this time when manufacturers heavily promote their TVs and sales. The TV models from the previous year will have been out for almost a year, which results in a price drop.
Now, if you are planning to buy during the Super Bowl season, you can expect great savings when buying a TV within the 49 – 65-inch screen-size range.
Manufacturers of TVs often release newer models between March and April.
And with newer models on the market, it means older models still in stock need to move faster to make room for the latest TVs.
You can expect bigger savings from year-old TVs.
Closeouts on older TVs usually happen once the latest units enter the market. These sales may extend into the summer season.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday (the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving)
Many consumer experts say that Black Friday is the best time to buy a TV, as almost everything is marked down with large discounts.
- Many brands offer Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales with huge discounts on electronics and other consumer goods, and many companies and stores take part in these sales, so you have a lot of options to choose from.
- In some cases, retailers drop prices in the middle of the day, in response to the pricing of rivals.
In certain cases, you can find TVs made exclusively for Black Friday.
- These units are called derivatives, which are based on existing TV models.
- While some of these TVs may lack features when compared to existing models, they are still sold way cheaper than other products.
- You will know if it’s a derivative if there no other mentions of these models, other than the Black Friday sale. There won’t be any user reviews, either.
If you are working within a budget, and these major sales are just around the corner, then you should consider looking into these events.
Regardless of which season you choose, look into price-matching guarantees. Many stores refund you the difference of the TV you bought, should you have proof of a cheaper option.
Should you buy a refurbished TV? A complete buying guide
When Is the Best Time to Buy a TV?