I Need a New TV! Help!

I Need a New TV! Help!

I Need a New TV! Help!

Hello everyone! Thanks for visiting The Green Swan. Today I am sending out an S.O.S. call, I need your help and advice. I’m a bit distressed…my TV is on the frits…I need a new TV!

Don’t worry, I’m not pandering for money like a broke uncle, I just need a few tips. But first, let me explain the situation.

About five years ago my wife and I moved to Charlotte. It was a great opportunity for both of us and we were each getting a decent bump in salary. We were also getting to that point in life that we wanted to put down a few roots, buy a house, and start a family. Given that we planned on staying in Charlotte for a while, and supported by the decent raises we received, we decided to buy our first nice, new flat screen TV. Before that point we had been living off old TVs and hand-me-downs from parents. The time had finally come!

You may be wondering right now, why did The Green Swan buy a new TV, he cut cable

Well, yes, I did cut cable, but that came a few years after the move. Cutting the cord is easier these days with so many other alternatives to watch your favorite shows, movies and sports, but you still need a TV. And at that time we justified a splurge to buy a nice TV.

TVs have continually gotten better and better and also cheaper and cheaper. So at the time, we were fairly happy with having waited for so long to get a flat screen and how much cheaper they were compared to years prior.

We bought a top of the line Samsung 55-inch Smart TV! It cost a little over $1K. And it was nice, especially compared to the 20 year old pieces of junk TVs we were living with at the time.

This leads me to part of my distress. I am a little bit more of a believer in “planned obsolescence” now. As defined by a quick Google search:

I Need a New TV! Help!

I mean come on, it is a five year old TV…and it is dying!? We literally put to the curb 20+ year old TVs that still worked great. Come on!

What is happening to my TV is quite weird. The left half of the screen still looks nice, but it begins to fade to black and white on the right half. WTF right? I just started noticing it two weeks ago and by now the whole screen went black and white. It hasn’t really gotten any worse, so it is still watch-able in the meantime, but something definitely needs to be done with it. We are living with a black and white 55-inch flat screen TV!!

This leads me to my current dilemma. What do I do about a replacement? I have a number of questions, some of which I might be able to do a bit of research to determine. But since it has been so long since I last bought a TV, I wondered what great insights some of you would have to help?

Question 1: When to Buy?

Unfortunately, I think the best time to buy a TV is the week of the Super Bowl or Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Am I wrong? So I am basically right in the middle of those two buying periods. Maybe there will be big Fourth of July sales?

Question 2: What type of TV to Buy?

A lot has happened in the last 5 years. There is now 4K Ultra-High Definition TVs, there are 3D TVs, and there are also what seems to be more reliable low-cost competitors in the market (e.g. Vizio and TLC).

After buying a “high quality” brand like Samsung for my last TV and it not making it more than five years, I feel like I might as well give one of the lower-cost TVs a try. Does anyone have good experiences you would like to share?

With regards to 3D, I haven’t ever heard glowing reviews of this. Unless there isn’t much of a price difference, not sure I will give it much consideration.

Ultra-High Definition is the hot new thing. Personally, I’m not much of a TV snob. I am not entirely sure I could tell the difference between an Ultra-High Definition TV and a normal HD TV. I plan on going to the store to look at a couple though.

Question 3: Smart TV or Dumb TV?

Is it even possible to buy a dumb TV anymore? I don’t want or need a smart TV, I hardly used the “smart” features of my Samsung. I currently have a Roku that I use instead and it is great. If possible, it might be cheaper for me to by a dumb TV and continue using my Roku.

Question 4: Where to Buy From?

Who has the best deals on TVs these days? I think the last TV I bought was from Amazon, but I can’t honestly remember. The most ideal situation is finding the right retailer that has the lowest price that I could also buy online to avoid sales tax.

Unfortunately North Carolina is now one of the few states that Amazon charges sales tax, beginning in just the last few years. Because of that, I plan on searching a bit broader to find the best price such as Wal-Mart or Best Buy. Any other ideas?

Personal Finance Discussion

Oh yeah, this is a personal finance blog isn’t it? Well I think the lesson in today’s post is quite obvious…another month and another pop-up expense. Expect the unexpected and be prepared with a rainy day fund or cash buffer in your savings account.

Whether this TV ends up costing $500 or $1,000, I will charge it to my credit card. I get 2% back on my card in reward points, or $10-$20 depending on the purchase price. I will then plan on paying that credit card bill off in full once I receive it in another month or so. It won’t strain our budget too much. And it will all be worth it so long as at lasts a little longer than my current TV!

Until the new TV comes I plan on tuning into the Andy Griffith Show so I don’t feel like I’m missing color…

Thanks in advance for any help, advice, or tips you may offer as I look to buy my new TV!

The Green Swan

Work Harder, Work Smarter, Retire Earlier and Find Your Beach





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  1. That’s a bummer about your TV which is still so new! I don’t know much about televisions except that I will agree that 3D never took off, I would avoid paying for that feature. I have always found great deals on generic (store brand) TV’s from Best Buy and I know that CostCo also has great deals – for a big purchase, it may be worth joining if you are not already a member.

    Other than that, congrats on having your emergency fund set aside. Many people do not plan for the unexpected expenses that predictably happen every couple of months!

    1. Thanks Jon! And that’s good advice, I always forget to look at Costco. And I could be wrong, but I thought you could order things online from them without a membership. I’ll check it out, thanks again.

  2. My husband fixed our flat screen last year for about $35…. I couldn’t believe it! We could hear the sound but there was no picture at all – so we didn’t even get to see Andy Griffith – since of course we don’t have cable either! (OK – we kind of have cable because we pay for it at our vacation condo as part of the condo fee – and we can get it online, SCORE at home with cable but not paying extra for it!) Assuming that you have already done the “troubleshooting” as to what could be wrong already, TV’s actually don’t have many parts. He watched a few YouTube videos and figured out the part. Then went to https://www.shopjimmy.com/ Yep SHOP JIMMY saved our TV…. He found the exact part and it told us the “chances” of it coming in. It took a few months (we had another TV in our family room anyway) – and we got an email it was in a couple months later. Shipped it to our door and an hour or so later – FIXED. So, it might not be an option for you but I thought I would mention it. Talk about a DIY score! Otherwise, we’d settle for a basic flatscreen – and we usually go to BestBuy for things like that… If you research TV’s – you’ll find many are made by the same company anyway. If Mr. MSD was out of bed, he could tell you more about that – but he is retired and sleeping 🙂

    1. That’s the perfect advice I needed! I try to do a bit if DIY, but I’m not a super handyman. But I’ll definitely try troubleshooting it myself first. Thanks for the tip! And I’m sure Mr MSD is thankful you did wake him for my simple problems!:)

  3. That is never fun and yes it should last longer than 5 years. Is it lcd, led, or dlp? Ran across this article for dlp. Looks like there is a class action lawsuit for the light engine but samsung is being a pain about it. Not sure if yours would be the light engine or DMD board.


    Unfortunately it is usually easier to buy something new instead of repair anything in today’s disposable economy. There are usually good deals around any holiday depending on what u want and the fourth is coming up. I bought our last tv from BJ’s. I have both samsung and Vizio in the house. Never cared for 3d so wouldn’t use that as criteria for buying personally. Haven’t looked at uhd or 4k. My only issue is you have to buy everything to support it and most things look just fine in normal HD. It is one of those market terms so u can be charged more. Good luck finding a dumb tv. When I looked last, there wasn’t much of a selection. I would still use amazon to price compare.

    1. Mine is LED. Sounds like Samsung has quite a problem on their hands with many other folks having the same problem.

      Unfortunately some of those replacement parts are pretty expensive, almost as much as a new tv. So like you said maybe that’s what I should do.

      I’ll definitely need to research it a bit more and see if it is a feasible DIY fix. Thanks very much for the help!

  4. I have always been a fan of Samsungs, we haven’t had any issues with ours and one is still kicking 8 years later.

    We went with a smart TV and I love it (we didn’t have a Roku or anything like that before)

    Unexpected expenses suck, but are even worse if you aren’t prepared.

    We bought our last TV on Amazon

    1. Thanks for the info AE! I had always been a Samsung fan too and I have a ton of their products, but this problem is a bit irritating. Good to hear yours are still working great.

  5. Like you our first new flatscreen was bought the first Sunday football day in our LA house. We were using my 32″ Sanyo flat screen (yes, it’s still running and is now 9 years old – bought from walmart on sale back in ’07) we plugged it in, and watched the Saints game, and at halftime, Mrs. SSC said, “Yeah, this isn’t going to cut it.” It looked hilariously small now that it wasn’t in my 600 sq ft apartment and was in a “real” living room.
    So we got a Samsung 46″ flat screen, and it is still working 8 years later, but… it started getting images burnt into the screen. I realized after replacing it, that it eventually fades back to normal, but it was very annoying because we kept seeing “ghost text” and stuff while watching it. It works great for gaming now though and since the screen changes so much, I don’t have that issue affect it. 🙂 It was a dumb TV (2008 purchase) and it runs Roku fine.
    We replaced it with another Samsung that is now about 25 lbs lighter, still dumb, and still runs Roku fine. Just be wary of getting enough HDMI ports. Ours only had 2, which typically isn’t a big deal, but having Direct tv in one port and Roku in another, when we want to put on a dvd for the kids (yep still have those) I have to switch the cable. Not a biggie, as it’s wall mounted and easily accessible, but I would’ve paid $50 more for another HDMI port.

    In summary – I haven’t had issues with Samsung, minus that ghosting that showed up after 7 years, but it still works great for gaming, so I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss them. I’ve also had good success with the store brand flat screen (sanyo), still running after 9 years. I’d look for 4th of July sales, but otherwise, check Costco, or Best Buy (we’ve gotten most of ours from there on sale) or even Amazon.
    Yes, dumb tv’s are still out there, we don’t want a smart tv and our Roku works great with our dumb tv. 🙂 Good luck!

    1. Haha that’s funny and totally true. Our small 36” tv wasn’t going to cut it in our new living room either. That’s good you’ve had such good luck with your Samsungs, frankly I’m surprised this is happening to mine. I haven’t heard much against store brands, so that may be my next move and see how that goes.

      Great point too about the HDMI hook-ups. Everything uses that these days. My current Samsung has 4 ports and that was just enough back when I had DirecTV.

      Thanks for the help and advice, much appreciated!

  6. I don’t have suggestions on what to buy for you (sorry!), but am going to follow the comments for suggestions, as we have a 10 year old Vizio that is on the fritz from time to time (though [email protected] may have come up with the solution to our problem). Let us know what you end up buying and how you like it!

      1. Ha! I’d love it if a few folks can fix their own TV’s! I would never have attempted that but I watched him and he popped out one circuit board “thingy” and popped in the new one. It honestly took him about 15 minutes to do the whole thing. We figured $35 was worth just the learning experience even if it didn’t work. They may even take the part back at Shop Jimmy but we didn’t even need to check 🙂

        1. Yeah not bad at all, that’s great it worked out so well. I never imagined trying to fix my own tv but it’s worth looking into. It’s time to check out Shop Jimmy!

  7. Hey! Sorry to hear about the TV. I’ve found that looking on Slickdeals.com can be a big help for TV’s. Like you, I don’t use cable (I have a server for PLEX) so a smart TV wasn’t really necessary for me either.

    As for timing of a TV purchase, We found that August/September was a good time. Lots of back to school deals (And no crazy Black Friday madness to endure).

    Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Gail, thanks for the help! I hadn’t heard of slick deals before but it does look like some nice prices. Thanks for the tip!

      Good point, back to school time might have some deals too. I guess that is just a couple months away, but I’m not sure I can wait that long :). Hopefully July 4th deals don’t disappoint.

  8. Well the good news is you can certainly do your homework online and shop the best deals for a new TV. I would recommend Costco or best buy. I believe best buy offered a price match guarantee. I have both a vizio and samsung. The samsumg is a smart TV and we are using more and more of it ability. I think it’s best to really figure out your watching behavior and buy something that matches. I never wanted to invest in 3D or 4K because their just wasn’t enough content options. Hope that helps.

    1. That does help, thanks. I don’t think I’ll go with the 3D or 4K outings for the reasons you said and just not worth the extra expense. Thanks Brian!

  9. I dont think they even make TV’s with 3D anymore. Many TV’s now come with 4K but I’ve read that you dont really see a difference unless buying a 60 in set or larger. I’d take a look at Vizio’s 2016 models. The P and M series should be pretty good. Read up on them on CNET.com The guy there really knows his TV’s. The 55 in sets seem to go at a decent price. SInce they just came out, I think there will be better deals and discounts around October.

  10. I bought my TV from Best Buy on black Friday. Obviously you don’t want to wait this long so July 4th is your best bet. My dad is a big fan of Samsung quality as they have lasted us over a decade so I highly recommend them. Smart TVs will do well for using Netflix etc so they are a solid option as you do not have to purchase anything else. Do not buy a 3d TV of anything excessive they aren’t worth the money

    1. Yeah that would be a great time to buy. I’d probably prefer cyber Monday to avoid the craziness in stores. Thanks Stefan.

  11. I read a consumer magazine a few week ago that independently tested a whole range of TVs from the private labelled to the ‘brand’ name ones. In all but two models, the difference in technology, quality, functionality, and manufacture quality was around 2%.

    That means that the difference between your ‘no-brand’, cheapy bought from the cut-price stores and the top brand TVs (I include your Samsung here) is virtually nothing besides the price you pay.

    If you’re not a brand-snob who is just looking for best value for money, shop around. Often the ‘no-brand’ ones come with much longer warranties to give them some extra credibility that the others don’t (and won’t) match.

    But see if you can get Mr Samsung repaired first. Could be a $2 part needs replacing.

    Good luck.

    1. Wow only 2% difference! Definitely a good reason to buy the cheapest version available, that’s shocking. Thanks for sharing Martin!

  12. We buy our TVs on Craigslist and have had great luck. We purchased two HD CRTs which are heavy but very durable and good quality. They were cheap because that type of TV wasn’t popular for long. Unfortunately I don’t have any advice for buying a new TV, though.

    1. I never considered Craigslist, I think I’d be a bit nervous because you don’t know if they’ve been bumped around or taken care of well. Maybe it’s just me, but tv’s just seem fragile so I’m afraid to move them or bump them sound much. Thanks Kalie!

  13. Great on buying a new TV. We bought a floor model about 6 years ago and it is still working great (knock on wood). I haven’t had to worry about being using a new one in a long time but I would probably buy from Amazon and around the super bowl if I had any control over it!

  14. I’ve got 2 Samsung’s right now and like them both enough to recommend that brand. My most recent TV is about a year old, is 60″ and is a 1080p smart TV that I got at Costco almost exactly one year ago. To save a few bucks I bought a ‘last year’s model’ – it was, I think, an amazing deal at $550. It has a great picture and Blu Ray discs look fantastic on this TV.

    My other TV is about 4 years old now and was purchased as a ‘floor model’ at BestBuy for a heavily discounted price, yet still came with the full warranty. It’s a 50″ 780p regular TV (i.e. not smart) but it still has a great HD picture. Because it was a floor model the price was heavily discounted. Half jokingly I asked my salesman to waive the taxes and he did so by lowering the price enough to offset the tax!

    This is a long way to say: look for older models or floor models, ask for a discount, and for us a Smart TV isn’t a big deal so I wouldn’t pay extra for it. Also, 1080p is amazing so I’d go for that over 780.

    Happy shopping!

    1. Wow, those both sound like really nice tv’s and great deals. It sounds like you basically robbed Best Buy!:)

      Thanks for sharing.

  15. We had our TV start to go a year ago and waited out. When we got out of mortgage hell, we splurged for a new TV. Got a Samsung curved from Costco. It’s a shame TVs don’t last as long as they once did. My parents still have one of the old tube ones in the basement. It’s older than me and still kicking. Our last one didn’t go longer than 6 years. Crazy.

  16. I agree with Martin, no-name is pretty much just as good. Get the biggest one you can! (Joke).

    Luckily we inherited our TV from a family member, it still works and we don’t plan on ever getting rid of it (until it’s unusable).


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