A high definition television (HDTV) is an investment, whether it is an LED LCD TV or a plasma TV. As technology develops, ultra-high definition (UHD) TVs and smart TVs have greater capacity for the highest picture quality as well as providing a top-notch experience with apps and video subscriptions a viewer can get. LED TVs provide beautiful and bright pictures, which makes for a great experience, but they also come with a high price tag. No one wants to spend thousands of dollars on a TV only to have to replace it in a few years. By understanding how a TV works, there are several tips and tricks buyers can use to help increase the longevity of an LED TV. Following these tips allows buyers to make a wise investment when purchasing these televisions.
LED LCD TVs
There are two types of LED televisions. The one most people are familiar with is the LED LCD TV, which is often shortened to just LED TV. In truth, these are not pure LED TVs. They use an LCD screen enhanced with LED technology instead of the traditional fluorescent tubes used in normal LCD TVs. This allows the TV to be incredibly flat, usually only an inch or so thick. An LED LCD television uses either LED backlights, which are placed directly behind the screen or LED lights around the edge. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. A backlit LED LCD TV can produce deeper blacks because the tiny lights are turned off, but because the light-to-pixel ratio is not the same, this can also cause a darkening effect on other areas of the screen. Edge-lit LED LCD TVs do not have this problem, but they also cannot reproduce the same deep black levels as backlit LEDs.
Organic Light Emitting Diodes, or OLED, is the second type of LED TV and the only one that uses pure LED technology. Because of this, OLED TVs do not have the problems associated with either plasma or LCD TVs. Instead of using color filters like an LCD TV or UV light like a plasma TV, this type creates the basic colors of red, blue, and green by transmitting electricity through different materials that create a glow. This results in incredibly thin, flat TVs with high brightness and contrast levels. Because of this superior picture quality, OLED TVs are the most advanced thing to hit the TV market, and the quality of the pixels is often appreciated by gaming enthusiasts. They tend to be on the smaller side, but as the technology catches up, the future will see bigger sizes.
Along with the budget, one important factor is the expected lifespan. Keep in mind that TV lifespan does not mean the device just dies once it hits some magical number. Instead, it refers to how bright it remains as it ages, compared to when it was new. Once a TV has diminished to half the level of its original brightness, it is considered to have reached the end of its lifespan. In other words, lifespan refers how dim it becomes before it is unwatchable. Of course, the truth is all TVs dim with age. It was true of the old CFL tube TVs, and it is true of modern HDTVs. And repairing the latter is not desirable. So how long does an LED TV last before it becomes unwatchable? Numbers vary, depending on different manufacturer claims, but it is often estimated to be between 60,000 to 100,000 hours.
What Causes Dimness?
Why do LED TVs get dim over time? The lights simply wear out, much like an old light bulb starts to grow dim before it utterly dies. LED LCD TVs use white lights, which do not last as long as their color counterparts. This is because the latter has to be exceptionally bright. Therefore, they start to dim faster than the other components. Some OLED TVs use white lights, while others simply use RGB (red, green, blue) lights. In the case of OLED, blue lights always dim faster than red and green. Again, this is because the blue light is brighter than the other two. However, advances in technology have managed to bring blue LED lights up to speed with their other color counterparts. In fact, it was this leap forward that led to the creation of OLED TVs in the first place.
Keep in mind that the TV brightness should be protected. As long as the screen stays bright, it will continue to last. Once it starts to dim, its performance will suffer. Use these following tips to help keep the LED TV looking as bright as new.
Turn Off the TV When No One Is Around
This probably seems like common sense advice, but many people simply leave the TV running all day as background noise. While they are busy doing other things, the LED TV is busy conducting electricity through its lights. Sixty thousand hours might seem like a long time, but if a TV is left on as background noise for just 3 hours a day, that easily equals over 1,000 hours a year. Many people leave their TVs on for far longer than 3 hours without watching them, which only increases the number of hours being wasted. Turning the TV off when nobody is watching is probably the simplest way to increase the longevity of the TV. Not only will the TV last longer, the power bill will also be cheaper.
Unless the house is as brightly lit as the showroom where the TV was purchased, there is no need to keep it at high brightness levels. Remember the hours used to determine TV lifespan are based on average settings. Running a TV at high brightness levels can easily cut 60,000 hours into 30,000 hours, since it has to work twice as hard to keep up. Once the LED TV is purchased, adjust the brightness levels. Different manufacturers have separate brightness settings. “Film" or “home" settings work well enough. For those who display brightness based on room, select either “dark room" or “medium room." This small but highly effective adjustment will help keep the LED TV looking its best for years.
Contrast is the control on the TV that measures the difference between the brightest and darkest colors. The higher the contrast, the greater the power the TV uses. This, in turn, will decrease the television's longevity. In the showroom, most LED TVs are set to “dynamic" or “vivid." While either setting works best in brightly lit rooms and truly shows off the TV's power, users should not leave the television on these settings at home. Doing so will burn through the LED lights faster. Instead, set the contrast to “standard" for the lowest power usage or to “movie" for enjoying HD broadcasts. Both of these settings use less energy than the “dynamic" and “vivid" options.
Use a Voltage Regulator
The LED TV is not the only electronic device in the house taking power. Every time the AC comes on or the furnace starts, electricity is used. This causes temporary power dips for other electronics, like the LED TV, which in turn affects the TV's processes. In fact, one of the reasons why many LED TVs fail early in life is not because of their display technology, but instead because their power caps get busted from power surges or dips. Install a voltage regulator with a battery backup that can provide additional power during dips. Not only will it protect against hazards like power surges caused by lightning, but it will also help keep the TV operating efficiently no matter what other electronics are being used in the home.
The LED TV is going to be using a lot of power in the home. This power produces a lot of heat, which the ventilation system helps remove. However, many people install their LED TVs without giving them room to breathe. This affects the ventilation system, keeping the television hot. LED TVs do not last long in high heat conditions, as their internal parts start to be affected. Make sure that the TV has at least 4 inches to breathe around the ventilation vents. This means if it is a flat panel TV, but the vent is on the back of the television, do not install it against the wall. Instead, install it on a tabletop or entertainment center, and keep the vent 4 inches away from the wall.
High definition TVs are widely available, whether a consumer is looking for a 4k ultra high definition TV, a smart TV, or something completely different. LED TVs are expensive to buy, especially when the size gets up to a 50 or 65 inches, but the exceptional picture display is worth the cost. Remember, the picture is the reason why the television was bought in the first place. While these tips should be used as guidelines for increasing the longevity of the LED TV, do not sacrifice picture quality altogether. Adjusting the brightness and contrast are crucial for conserving power, but do not do so at the expense of the viewing experience. Set the television to levels that still look good while saving energy at the same time. With the exception of purchasing a voltage regulator, which should be done anyway to protect the TV from power surges, all of these tips are simple and free. Heading these suggestions will help any LED TV provide a high quality entertainment experience for many years.