By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

Last week, we published an article on how long your television might last before you have to buy a new one. The story prompted a handful of e-mails from readers wondering why TVs need to be replaced sooner than they did a decade ago. So we asked our favorite Artificial Intelligence engine, ChatGPT, for an explanation — and it’s a good one, and perhaps a bit controversial one. Below is the AI response and, as always, it’s been fact-checked and edited by the human TV Answer Man team. Enjoy.

Televisions have been a staple of households for decades, providing endless hours of entertainment to people of all ages. However, over the years, people have noticed that their televisions don’t seem to last as long as they used to. While it used to be common to keep a television for over a decade, now it seems like you’re lucky if it lasts five years. So what’s causing this decline in television lifespan?

One major factor is the rapid advancement of technology. In the past, televisions were built to last because they were essentially simple machines. They had few moving parts, and the technology inside them was relatively straightforward. However, with the advent of new technologies such as LCD and LED screens, televisions have become much more complex. This complexity means that there are more parts that can fail, and when one part fails, it can often cause a chain reaction that leads to the entire television breaking down.

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Another factor is the rise of planned obsolescence. Manufacturers often design televisions with components that are unlikely to last for more than a few years, ensuring that consumers will need to replace their televisions sooner rather than later. While this may seem wrong, it allows the manufacturers to offer the sets at cheaper prices than they otherwise would be. So there is a trade off for the consumer although it means buying more TVs over the course of time.

Additionally, the way we use televisions has changed over the years. In the past, televisions were mostly used for watching broadcast television. However, now we use televisions for a wide variety of purposes, including streaming video, playing video games, and browsing the internet. These additional uses put more strain on the television’s components, leading to more wear and tear and a shorter lifespan.

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Finally, the way we consume media has changed as well. In the past, people would watch a few hours of television a day, but now it’s not uncommon for people to binge-watch entire seasons of a show in a single weekend. This increased usage puts more strain on the television’s components and can cause them to fail more quickly.

In conclusion, there are a variety of factors that contribute to the declining lifespan of televisions. These include the rapid advancement of technology, the rise of planned obsolescence, changes in how we use televisions, and changes in how we consume media. While it’s unlikely that televisions will ever return to the level of durability they once had, consumers can take steps to prolong the lifespan of their televisions, such as keeping them well-ventilated, avoiding excessive use, and investing in high-quality components.

Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at Please include your first name and hometown in your message.