How Often Should You Replace Your TV?

Over the July 4 weekend, I was with some friends discussing televisions. We were talking about the different technologies and what sort of features we look for in new sets. After a lengthy discussion, our talk on TVs quickly turned to how often we all replace our current sets. As we went around the room discussing when we last replaced our televisions, and how long we had sets before that, I was shocked at the discrepancy in times.

[Image credit: gothopotam]

One of my friends said that he replaces his television only when his current set dies. Another one of my friends said that it usually takes about five years before he has enough and buys a new television. One friend said that whenever there is a new technology, including HD, 3D, or LED-backlighting, he jumps on the bandwagon as soon as possible.

Those varied responses got me thinking about my own television-buying behavior. As I've noted on these pages before, I recently bought a new Samsung LED-backlit LED. That set replaced the television — a 50-inch Panasonic plasma — that was running in my living room since 2007.

Does that mean that I'll replace my Samsung set in four years? Admittedly, there's no way to tell. But I seriously doubt it.

When I finally decided to buy the Samsung television, I had spent the two weeks prior to that belaboring the decision. On one hand, I knew I wanted to buy a new set to enjoy better quality than what I had been experiencing, and I felt I was justified in doing so, since I spend so much time in front of my TV playing video games, watching movies, and more.

However, the other side of my argument rested in my concerns the cost of televisions, and my desire to not spend an exorbitant sum on something that would replace a device that I was largely happy with. Moreover, I became concerned that I'd fall into a trap where I'd invest in a new television every few years.

So, what made me decide to buy the television? Simple: a great deal.

I bought my Samsung LED-backlit set on Amazon at a steeply discounted rate. And the best part was, it came with a free 3D Blu-ray player. At that point, given the value I was getting for the price, I decided to set aside my concerns and buy the television.

Now, months later, I'm happy with my decision, and I can say that the television exceeds my expectations. However, I'm quite sure I won't be replacing it as soon as I did my Panasonic. I'm quite happy with my television, and as we all know too well, the latest and greatest sets on the market are quite expensive. Spending that cash every four years or so doesn't get me too excited.

But it goes beyond cost. In the next four years, I don't see anything launching that would make me cringe at the sight of my own television. Will there be better-looking televisions? Of course. But I just don't believe that the technologies being promised, including 4K, and others, will be enough to make me want to toss my current television aside.

How often do you replace your televisions? Let us know in the comments below.