Guest post by Andrew Johnson.

Earlier this month I came across a very interesting study presented by a Corning representative regarding how often US consumers tend to replace their old television sets. According to the presentation, back in the old days of analogue and CRT TVs, consumers tended to purchase a new TV set every 9 years. However, recent studies show the replacement cycle of LCD TVs has now shrunk to reach an average of 6 years.


Although I was not surprised to hear about such changes in the behavior of consumers, I thought this would be a good opportunity to look into the factors that have overall contributed to making the TV market more and more similar to the computer industry and the shrinking of the overall TV replacement cycle.

Fast moving market


One of the reasons why consumers used to hang on to their TVs for years was that for years the TV industry introduced very few changes for a very long period of time. Up until the digital switchover, the most significant changes were represented by the introduction of colour TV, remote controls and larger screen sizes. With the TV market being slow compared to other fields, what incentive did consumer electronics manufacturers have to introduce new product lines? It was only when sales began to falter for a particular product that they’d bring out a different model with slightly different features.

Now think of all the innovations that have occurred within the TV market in recent years: LCD, plasma, high-definition, 3D, internet TV just to name a few. TVs are now on the same level as computers: if consumers want to keep up with the latest technology they have no choice but to upgrade their sets more often than they used to.

More affordable

It’s easy to see how lower prices must have contributed to the shrinking of the TV replacement cycle.
Although for the time being certain technologies such as 3D TV still remain a premium option, the current high level of competition in this field has gone hand in hand with the production of a wide range of TV sets suitable for all budgets.

As well as allowing us to embrace new technologies, low prices also mean that consumers are now tempted to buy a new TV set instead of paying for repairs.

So what do you think? When did you last purchase a new TV? Are you an early adopter of new technologies or do you think it’s going to be a while before you upgrade your current set? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

This is a guest post by Andrew Johnson. Andrew is an expert in electronic consumables. If you would like more information on TVs please visit

Photo credits: roboxley and artisandhu

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Raju is the founder-editor of Technology Personalized. A proud geek and an Internet freak, who is also a social networking enthusiast. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. Mail Raju PP. Follow rajupp


3 thoughts on “Replacement Cycle: Why TVs are Becoming like Computers?

  1. I LOVE big old CRT’s, and got a new one just as they were selling out and going to the modern sets. While I would love all the pluses of internet TV, where I live, BROADBAND is very expensive, so I get what I can with rabbit-ears and my CRT with digital converter. If affordable broadband ever comes to our area, I would go to internet TV, but that is not happening anytime soon!

  2. Well, color me unimpressed but I think there’s a point in this article that’s mudding the waters somewhat.
    “…LCD, plasma, high-definition, 3D, internet TV just to name a few…”
    Well, to me LCD, plasma, hi-def and internet TV is actually the same thing; the switch from old CRT’s to new digital displays. So all four of those is one and the same. And the switchover had started all the way back in 2002/3 so yes, plenty of people ditched their CRT’s in less than the typical 9 years for such a big jump in features.

    I concede on the 3D bit. But is this feature alone, enough to make current users of digital sets, ditch and replace them?
    Going from CRT to LCD/Plasma was a HUGE step up. Going from today’s sets (remember Hi-def and internet-tv are possible even on sets that don’t have them built-in) to a 3-D one? IMHO, only the content industries can force the change by producing WAY more stuff on 3-D than they do now.

  3. Nice post, very interesting to say the least. I agree with Market Watcher about the jump from a CRT to a LCD or Plasma. That jump was enough for probably 95% of the people that used to own a big old CRT television. The 3D is just fluff as there is very little content for that at the moment. 3D will become better as it’s made more available as well as having more content out there that is 3D. So many high def tv’s have become incredibly affordable for pretty much any budget now, it’s kind hard not to own one. I think as the market for 3D opens up, we’ll see more of those, but until then, it’ll just be what it is now.

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