Built in use by date / Obsolescence of flat screen TV

Four years ago I bought two small Tucson flat screen TVs several days apart for Maison Secondaire. I’ve barely used either of them (long story) but they have been stored well and both worked last week when I first got them out after being stored.

Within a few days both stopped working. Nothing to do with the remote controls or power supply, plugs, sockets, storage, misuse etc.

I opened up the backs of both and neither had any obvious signs of burned / loose components, or other typical causes of circuit board component failure.

I’m wondering that since both stopped working several days apart, (similar to the dates apart at purchase) there is a deliberate feature built in to render them inoperable by a certain date / after a certain period. It’s too much of a coincidence that they should both ‘expire’ at the same time.

Has anyone else had a similar problem with a deliberately built-in-obsolescence / failure with a solid state TV?

Maybe I’m just too suspicious of lesser name brand TV manufacturers.

I don’t know, but on a couple of occasions we have had similar issues with stuff bought for our gites - kettles, coffee machines, failing within a short time of each other. Does make you wonder - Chinese?

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I don’t think manufactureres can build in timed failures with that accuracy when a device has not been turned on. However they will use the lowest cost components and one of the most failure prone parts are electrolytic capacitors. The electrolyt dries out over time. Depending on environment and quality of build this time scale varies enormously. I would suspect that this is the reason for both tv’s failing.

I’m with Charles on this one - it is next to impossible to “build in” failure in this way.

However modern manufacturing is heavily driven by price and consumer demand driven by acquiring “the latest model” - the two together frequently mean that the quality of components is “just good enough”.

As you bought the two TVs at the same time it could easily be that they were part of the same manufacturing batch and had components that were affected by a common fault - as Charles said electrolytic capacitors, especially cheap brands, are notorious for failing.

Depending how much you paid it might be worth trying to get them fixed - but if very inexpensive, even though it pains me to sy it, buying new is probably the best option.

Hi Paul / Charles
I expect that’s the problem. I’m not without another bigger TV of course - in truth I only used the other two as guest TV’s and side screen monitors for MS Flight Simulator.

Still it might be worth me finding a TV repairer to see if they are worth diagnosing all the same before I throw them out - finding a TV repairer between Morlaix and Carhaix might be a challenge …

Hello Everyone… how many years ago was it that they changed something to do with TV’s… which meant that some would continue to work and some would NOT… ???

didn’t worry us as we only use DVD’s… but I know some folk had to change their sets… (some could get a gadget that attached to the TV ?)… anyway, at that time, TV’s were out on Special Offer in many shops… to help those who were caught out…

Alec, it could be that you need either the gadget (x 4) or you need news TV’s. :zipper_mouth_face:

I buy kettles/toasters from Auchan when on very-special offer. The gîte is rarely used, so the equipment comes in useful for us in the main house as well. Auchan seem to sell reasonable quality stuff which lasts 3-5 years I would say…

As it is so cheap, I don’t expect more than that from it… :relaxed:

Well, within recent years we have had the loss of analogue transmission so all old analogue receivers stopped being able to show broadcast TV. More recently there has been a switch to a newer digital broadcast standard to support more HD channels and, again, older sets might have stopped being able to receive the newer signal - neither is quite the same as “stop working” as sets should continue to be useable with a suitable external decoder.

Fair enough… I seemed to recall something, but have no details as it doesn’t concern us…

For both sets to fail, I would be looking at the one thing they have in common… :thinking: whatever that is… :pensive:

@Farthing What marque of TV have you got there ???

Our Samsung tv stopped working after five years.
It appears that if you can see words in tge black, then it is the leds, which you can buy and replace.
We will do that and put it i to the gite, the old Philips one is still going strong.

Cost of tv repairs can be over €40 per hour,
The price of a pack of electrolytics are very cheap via ebay, you have the choice of uk or China.
Faulty electrolytics can be identified by swelling and/or discharge, they do have a short life, and may go faulty again after 4 years, in which case you can replace them again unless you purchase better quality.
Sound no picture can be faulty led backlights, can be replaced with specialised tools, but the strips can be replaced individually. I found some on ebay from china requires no soldering of leds just the pcb`s. It takes time to search for compatable strips.

all this sounds ingenious… :relaxed:

We have a flat screen which is awaiting a winter repair.

What’s a TV??? :thinking::thinking::thinking:


Specific “built in obsolescence” in TVs probably doesn’t happen but it certainly does in some printers. Canon have faced a good many class action lawsuits for just that reason. Some models have been found to pack up after a set number of prints, or instantly if you dare to use “compatible” cartridges. Some times it happens after an automatic software upgrade and is irreversible.

Some printers have a small ink receptacle (usually filled with an absorbent pad) into which small amounts of ink are squirted during cleaning cycles - one the printer has done a set number of nozzle cleaning cycles it decides the reservoir is “full” and refuses to work.

Quite why this is not user serviceable I have no idea, except that it hardly hurts sales when people have to go and buy new printers.

Didnt you read my post?

Yes, I did. I have actually replaced electrlytics in vintage hi fi speakers and amplifiers after they have lasted 30 years or more. I doubt if many people here would be prepared to take a modern flat screen tv apart to perform this repair.

OK, the electrolytics that are used in modern tv’s are miniscule compared to the ones you changed, so have 3 or 4 year life expectancy.
Replacing these are suprisingly simple, but the common fault in sound no pic are the failure of the led backlights, which are also very small, and subject to heat failure.

I look forward to having a go if I ever end up with a flat screen telly. :smiley: