Every year TV manufacturers try to tempt us with bigger, better, flashier sets. So, the question is, should you upgrade? If your TV’s more than four years old, it could well be time…
I bought my first flatscreen TV in 2006, wanting an ‘HD Ready’ set for my shiny new Xbox 360. At the time I was stunned by its picture quality and how incredibly thin and ‘light’ it was. I was reminded of this the other day when I had to move it from its current resting place at the back of a cupboard, and almost put my back out picking it up.
While these early sets were certainly slimmer than the old CRT’s, if you tried to mount one on your wall you’d soon end up with an impromptu serving hatch to your neighbours living room.
Of course, TV’s have become better (and thankfully, lighter) since those early days.
Top TV features, low price
Firstly, the sound has come on leaps and bounds. When we first tested flat screen models in 2004, we weren’t impressed by their sound, but there’s been a lot of development going on behind the scenes. If sound is important to you, and you have an older flat screen that’s not connected to a soundbar or home cinema system, a new TV will be music to your ears.
Then there’s the myriad of new features. 3D, smart TV and USB recording are all pretty standard today. Depending on the age of your TV, you might be relying on a separate Freeview HD box – with most TV’s including a Freeview HD tuner these days, you could ditch that extra device.
With energy costs constantly creeping up, you could also be tempted by the lower power consumption of new models. We found that a 40-inch LCD from 2009 would cost you £45 a year, compared to £23 for a 2014 LED model.
TV’s are also considerably cheaper today. In 2004, we tested 30-inch models that would set you back over £2,000. Today, you can pick up a Best Buy 40-inch TV, with all the modern bells and whistles, for just over £500.
Never a perfect moment to upgrade
If you’re waiting for the ‘perfect moment’ to upgrade, then you’ll be waiting forever. TV manufacturers are constantly updating their models, and there’s always a new feature around the corner. You might be holding back for 4K, but you can guarantee that by the time it’s settled in (we estimate it will take off around 2020), there will be something else on the horizon, which might cause you to wait even longer.
If your TV is over four years old, and you don’t feel it’s up to scratch, then there are plenty of compelling arguments to upgrade and treat yourself to a new set, especially for the dedicated TV fan.
It’s not true of everyone. We’ve heard from people with twenty year old TVs who are more than happy and simply don’t want to upgrade, listing the benefits of their trusted old sets as having a fine picture and great sound, as well as being a deterrent to thieves and warming the room…
Are you sticking with your old TV? Or have you taken the plunge and decided to treat yourself to a newer model?