Are Refurbished TVs Reliable? (Explained For Beginners)

Refurbished TVs are a tempting offer. They’re way cheaper than brand new units yet offer the same features. But considering that these TVs have been opened for repair, refurbished TVs can be something of a mystery.

So, are refurbished TVs reliable? 

Need to Know about the Reliability of Refurbished TVs.

The reliability of refurbished TVs can be a hit or miss. But most bigger refurbish retailers will offer the same warranty as you get on a brand new TV. That means they trust the TV will last for at least 2 years. Most refurbished TVs will last closer to 5 years when not used all day long.

Do Refurbished TVs Last As Long As Other Brands?

Refurbished TVs may not last as long as a brand new TV.

There are some risks inherent in getting a refurbished TV.

  • A refurbished TV was returned because of a defect, so there’s always the chance that an issue was not spotted during the repair.
  • If the repair center that handled the refurbishing is not authorized by the brand, there’s a chance that the parts aren’t the exact fit for the TV. In some cases, the parts used might be “OEMs,” or generic parts, that are not made specifically for the TV.

However, if your TV comes from an authorized reseller, you could end up with a TV that works just like brand new.

For more information on the longevity of refurbished TVs, check out our article How Long Do Refurbished TVs Last? (Explained).

Are Refurbished TVs Worth Buying?

While it is true you save more money when buying refurbished TVs, there are also some risks involved.

When TVs are classified as refurbished, it means they have undergone some form of repair. These repairs include replacing crucial components, such as the backlight, capacitors, ICs, and other primary components needed for the TV to function properly.

But that doesn’t mean all refurbished TVs are bad!

There are instances when a TV being sold as refurbished was repaired by the manufacturer itself. In this case, you are highly likely to get a TV that passes the standards set by the manufacturer, since it uses original components.

However, it would be a tall order to discern by yourself if it was repaired by the manufacturer or by a third-party repair center.

So if you are looking to get a refurbished TV, it is best to get it from a reputable dealer. 

Do People Generally Have Problems With Refurbished TVs?

People usually encounter problems with refurbished TVs when there is a lack of transparency on the seller’s part.

Deciding if a TV is right for you will be easier if you know the issues the TV had and what parts have been replaced. That way, you can check for issues right away.

What Are the Most Common Issues With Refurbished TVs?

The problem with refurbished TVs is that you don’t know if there are any unknown or hidden defects.

  • Not all sellers are transparent, and they may pass off the refurbished unit as made by the original manufacturer.
  • Or the repairer may have missed an issue.
  • And the limited warranty, which is often limited to 90 days, is an issue for many users.

But, if you think that the seller or retailer is to be trusted, then, by all means, consider getting a refurbished TV.

How Reliable Are The Cable Ports?

Assuming the cable ports of the refurbished TVs are still original, you can expect them to last as long as any other TV, which should be the entire lifetime of the TV.

But if these were part of the components that needed replacement, you should be careful when plugging in and unplugging cables from ports. Because whether the ports are original or not, you should not pull out cables with force, as it can damage the TV.

Instead, hold it by the plug and gently pull out the cable from the ports.

How Many Years Should I Expect It To Last?

The longevity of a refurbished TV depends on which parts were replaced before reselling.

If the TV only had cosmetic damages, with minor parts, such as the stand, replaced, you can expect it to last as long as a brand new TV, which can be good for up to seven years with heavy usage, or ten years with light to medium usage.

If internal components of the TV were replaced, its durability relies on certain factors.

The first consideration is the type of component replaced.

  • Was the part replaced with the exact same part made by the manufacturer? Or was the part made by another supplier? The former is the best situation.
  • It also depends on what internal part was replaced. It doesn’t matter as much if the resistors were replaced with a third-party manufactured part, but it can make a big difference when it comes to parts like IC chips and capacitors.
  • The bottom line is: If the TV uses original and high-quality replacement components, you can get the same lifespan as if it were a brand new TV.

The second consideration is the person who did the repairs. 

  • If the person is certified by the manufacturer to do these repairs, you are likely to get good mileage out of the refurbished TV, as these technicians are trained to be experts in preparing particular TV brands.
  • Of course, that does not mean you cannot get the same quality from a trusted technician who is not certified. But you can rest easier if your TV was repaired by technicians in certified service centers.

How Long Is the Warranty On These?

The warranty of refurbished TVs is usually 90 days. 

Refurbished TVs are a high risk for longer insurance policies due to the repair history. Thus, the warranties of refurbished electronic devices are shorter.

What’s the First Thing that Breaks in a Refurbished TV?

Usually, the first thing that breaks in a refurbished TV is the replacement part.

But the breakage of these parts still depends on the quality of work done to repair the TV. Shoddy repairs and re-assemblies can easily cause the TV to malfunction.

However, in cases of cosmetic repairs to the refurbished TV, you can probably expect the usual components that break on TVs, such as the backlight, to malfunction first.

You can read about smart TVs’ reliability in general in our article Are Smart TVs Reliable? (Explained For Beginners).

Can You Use Refurbished TVs for Video Games?

You can use refurbished TVs for video games, but your mileage may vary depending on the brand of TV you buy.

For one, there may have been damaged components that affect the refresh rate or the input lag, which are important for gaming. If these parts are compromised, you won’t get the same gaming experience when compared to the same TV model that’s not refurbished.

However, if the damaged component had nothing to do with game play, then it all depends on the brand.

You can read about different TV brands’ suitability for video games in these articles: Are Samsung TVs Good For Gaming?, Are Vizio TVs Good For Gaming?, Are LG TVs Good For Gaming?, and Are Hisense TVs Good For Gaming?

What Are the Best Refurbished TVs?

If you are looking for refurbished TVs, a great place to start looking is Amazon.

  • Amazon features a section of Renewed items, or items that are pre-owned, refurbished, and open-box.
  • These items have been tested to check for any defects before they are posted for sale.
  • And should you encounter any issues with these items, they all come with a 90-day warranty.

If you are looking for the best-sellers among the refurbished listings, here are the TVs with the highest ratings:

  • 40-inch Samsung FHDTV, which comes with Google Assistant support and Smart Things app support
  • 32-inch Vizio D Series, a 720p smart TV with built-in Chromecast
  • 40-inch Vizio V Series, 4k smart TV that comes with HDR support

These models, while not as powerful as the newer TVs on the market, actually have great features, considering the price they go for. As these TVs are inspected by Amazon, all you need to do is exert a little more care for them to last longer.

Five Ways to Care for Your TV

Considering that you may not know which parts had been replaced in a refurbished TV, putting in extra care helps in prolonging the lifespan of your new TV.

Knowing the proper care and maintenance can slow down the deterioration of your TV and save you money in repairs.

Here are some tips to consider for maintaining your TV.

Turn off the TV when not in use

There are two crucial points to remember when using your TV, especially if refurbished.

  • Every time your TV is on, your TV slowly degrades in quality, especially the backlights; and
  • Leaving your TV on when not in use consumes power unnecessarily.

You should turn off your TV when not in use so you can slow down the deterioration of the components.

Take advantage of timers that can turn off your TV when not in use. You can even hook it up to your Smart home system.

Dust off the TV 

Dust is one of the enemies of home entertainment systems.

They can clog ventilation, damage TV screens, and create poor contact for plugs.

Make it a habit to clean your TV regularly with dry microfiber cloth, and never use cleaning agents with it. Regular cleaning goes a long way in protecting your TV!

Lower the Brightness 

Watching the TV with a brightness setting that’s too high can destroy the backlights that illuminate the screen.

  • Remember, higher brightness settings do not automatically equal better picture quality!
  • Turning the Brightness way up won’t give you better picture quality, but it will burn out your backlights faster.
  • Set the levels to an amount that is just enough to combat glare or any reflections on the screen.
  • Remember that many refurbished TVs have replacement backlights, which means that the backlights may be extra susceptible to damage.
  • And cranking up the brightness also means more power is used, so lowering the brightness saves energy, too!

Keep the TV well-ventilated 

All electronic devices emit heat, which can destroy your TV if it gets overheated. You can make sure your TV doesn’t regularly get overheated with good ventilation.

  • The bare minimum needed for ventilation is allowing at least two inches of space behind the TV and four inches on each side.
  • If you are using a cabinet console, there should be enough space for air to circulate. You can also use cooling fans for this purpose.
  • Wall mounting is also a good option for ventilation.

Keep away from windows

You should keep your TV away from windows, as sunlight can heat up the TV and damage it.

Rain or snow may also damage your TV if it’s by that window you forgot to close!

Another advantage of keeping the TV away from the window is reducing glare from natural sunlight, which can put stress on the backlight and be obnoxious when viewing.

Final Thoughts

Getting a refurbished TV can be a hit or miss.

While it is a given that these TVs have undergone repair, there may be some issues that might have been overlooked. The prices might be tempting, but if you don’t scrutinize these TVs well, you will end up wasting money instead of saving it.

You should do your homework on each unit if you want to get your money’s worth.

But at the end of the day, with the proper knowledge, you might end up with a great TV at an amazing price!



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