How often should you replace your TV? We dig into the key things to consider

Thinking of swapping out your TV? Ask yourself these questions before deciding

Sky Glass in blue mounted on wall
(Image credit: Sky)

We're all guilty of looking around our homes and wishing we could upgrade everything all at once, but the reality is that these decisions are difficult ones, and replacing your TV is not something to rush into. Whether you actually need a new television is also something to consider carefully, as well as what to do with your old set once you do.

In this article, we will dig into some of the key questions to ask before taking the leap and purchasing a shiny new screen, including details of the most recent technology and alternatives to a full upgrade that are becoming more popular.

Read on for help in making your decision, and head over to our rundown of the best TV brands for more information on which TV might be best for you.

Samsung The Serif TV

(Image credit: Samsung)

How long have you had your TV?

The first question you need to ask yourself is how long you've had your TV. For anyone who doesn't keep a detailed list of their shopping habits, this might not be front of mind, and it can be easy to get bamboozled by all of the advertisements for state-of-the-art tech and forget that you only purchased your set 18 months ago. 

Common wisdom says that the average television can last between 4 and 7 years, depending on usage, potential damage, and other factors. So, if you've had your television for more than 5 years and feel that your home is due an upgrade, then it's perfectly reasonable to start researching the best brands and features.

LG C1 85 inch TV mounted to wall in cream lounge

(Image credit: LG)

Do you need a bigger TV?

One big (excuse the pun) reason that people feel they need to get a new TV is size. Maybe you've moved home recently and have suddenly found yourself squinting across a larger living space. Or those who had downsized may want a more compact model that fits better in their chosen viewing room.

This choice, thankfully, comes down to personal preference and circumstance, as the best TVs are available across all sizes. A 32 or 40-inch TV could be ideal for smaller apartments, bedrooms, and kitchens, while the best 85-inch TVs are more suited to large living rooms or even a home theater.

If you want to find out the perfect set for your room, you can take a look at our guide to choosing the best size TV for your space.

The Philips OLED+936 TV has a Bowers & Wilkins sound system with a speaker enclosure built in giving excellent picture and sound quality.

(Image credit: The Philips OLED+936 TV has a Bowers & Wilkins sound system with a speaker enclosure built in giving excellent picture and sound quality. )

Do you need newer technology?

You'll have heard all of the buzzwords - OLED, QNED, 4K, 8K, Mini LED, and beyond. We promise that all of these acronyms do mean something, but it can be difficult to cut through the noise to find out which will actually improve your viewing experience and which are just added extras you won't notice.

In short, a better resolution - HD, Full HD, 4K, and 8K - will give you more detail and clarity in the image, making it look more life-like as you go up the scale. 8K is so new that there isn't actually that much content being made in the format right now, but it's a good way of futureproofing your set-up. You can take a look at our 4K vs. 8K comparison for more information. 

Panel types are a little more widespread, but most people tend to go for OLED or - Samsung's version - QLED, as they have dropped in price over the years. Put simply, this technology gives improved brightness and contrast (so deeper blacks and whiter whites) with more lights closer together. We compared two of the leading types in our OLED vs. QLED guide.

hisense 85u9h 8k tv

(Image credit: Hisense)

How much do you want to spend?

A lot of our advice in this article is based on the assumption that price is not the number one priority. Still, we realize that this may be the deciding factor when wondering if you need to replace your current television or not. If you absolutely need to upgrade but don't have a huge budget, then there are a few options.

A really great alternative if you want to save cash and be less wasteful is a refurbished or renewed television, which can often be just as good as new but without the hefty price tag. You can check out Amazon's renewed page (opens in new tab), but many other major retailers also offer these pre-loved models.

You can also take a look at our TV deals hub for the best discounts across major sales events and beyond. 

samsung the frame

(Image credit: Samsung)

Can you repurpose you old TV?

If you do decide to swap out your old tech for something new, then why not repurpose your old TV instead of throwing it away? There are so many great places around the home that could benefit from a TV, and we highlight some of the best in our guides to kitchen TV ideas and bathroom TV ideas. You can use some TV models as monitors or create a whole media room.

VAVA 4K via Upscaling UHD Smart Ultra Short Throw Laser TV Home Theater Projector

(Image credit: VAVA)

Other ideas to explore

If you're bored with your current media set-up, there are quite a few ways to improve things without splurging on a new television. Laser TVs and projectors, for example, have started to become popular ways of achieving that home theater effect without the $1,000s required for the biggest TVs available.

You can also spend far less on a streaming device, which can revolutionize how you navigate and view content from various streaming services, making it much harder to be overwhelmed by the deluge of content on offer. If you don't get along with your current TV interface, it's a great solution. 

Caroline Preece
Smart Homes Ecommerce Editor

Caroline is the smart homes ecommerce editor for Livingetc, covering everything tech for the home, from smart speakers to air purifiers and everything in between. She is passionate about the role that technology and smart devices can play in daily life, enhancing the home without sacrificing personal style and carefully chosen interiors. In her spare time, she can be found tinkering with bulbs, soundbars, and video doorbells in an effort to automate every part of her small home. Previously, she lent her expertise to the likes of Expert Reviews, IT Pro, Coach, The Week, and more.