9 Signs You Need to Upgrade Your TV

Woman flipping through channels on static-covered TV screen Finally! You come home, put your feet up, and reach for the remote. You’ve been waiting for this moment all day. Whether you’re catching up on your weekly show, cheering on your favorite sports team, or hosting the best movie night ever—TV time is something we all look forward to. But a TV that’s not working can put a damper on everything. Watch for signs it’s time for a new TV and find out how to upgrade your TV on a budget.

Signs It’s Time for a New TV

1. Your electricity bill is too high.

Did your electricity bill jump from one month to the next? Or has it been slowly creeping up? Check with your utility provider and confirm that they haven’t raised their prices. Otherwise, an old TV or other major appliance could be to blame.

Here’s how to test out the theory if you suspect the TV is racking up your energy usage. Unplug the TV for a few weeks this month and watch how it impacts next month’s bill. Use your other electronics, like your sound system or computer, as usual to avoid influencing the result! This method can be used to test out the electricity cost of almost any appliance in your home.

If you do find your TV is costing you more money than it’s worth—upgrade to a newer, more energy-efficient TV from Rent-A-Center.

2. It won’t work with your other gadgets and services.

Do you find yourself relying on your laptop for streaming? Does your current screen make your new game console’s graphics look like a bundle of pixels? If so, you’re missing out on the wonders of HD smart TVs!

Smart TVs are WiFi-enabled, allowing you to stream your favorite content without needing a laptop. HD and UHD smart TVs allow you to watch that content in vivid, lifelike resolution!

If your current TV screen isn’t letting you enjoy your entertainment options to their full potential, it’s a good time for a change. After all, what’s the point in paying for HD channels and top-of-the-line gaming systems if you can’t take advantage of them?

Get the full HD experience on your next movie night with a top-rated smart TV.

3. There are colored lines across your screen.

Does your favorite soap opera look more like your teenager’s tie-dyed leggings? If there are red, blue, or greenish stripes interrupting your viewing experience, there’s probably something wrong with your TV’s hardware.

Lines across a TV screen are usually to blame on loose or frayed cables within the screen, which is why knocking the side or back of the TV can be a temporary fix. (You’re knocking the cables back into place.)

Repairing this problem leaves you with two potentially expensive options: a) calling a professional repair person, or b) ordering the parts and opening the TV panel at the risk of damaging it permanently and voiding the warranty.

With Rent-A-Center, you can easily enjoy the benefits of a new TV with low, fixed payments.

4. Your TV screen is going out or fading.

The TV is on, but the picture doesn’t look right. One side of the screen is faded. You try to look past the blemish and focus on the movie in front of you, but it only takes a few minutes for you to identify the real villain in this story: the faded quarter of your TV screen!

Sadly, faded spots on TV screens are not uncommon. What’s more, they may be accompanied or followed by more significant problems such as your screen fading to black just minutes (or seconds) after turning on the TV.

Fading TV screens point to a compromised backlight system. To troubleshoot this issue, some models enable you to “Picture Test” your TV. A “Picture Test” walks you through an on-screen questionnaire to help you determine if the issue is the source (the input, channel, or signal) or the TV hardware.

If your TV’s backlight display is faulty and you don’t have a repair and replace benefit or manufacturer’s warranty, you may have to shell out some cash on professional repairs. Or, you can upgrade anytime with bite-sized payments on rent-to-own TVs from Rent-A-Center.

5. Your TV takes forever to start.

First, you check your remote’s batteries. Then, you walk up to the TV stand and give the TV’s power-on button a long, hard, angry press! The power light blinks and finally, nothing happens!

It seems like your TV takes longer to come to life with every day that passes. On top of that, the screen makes clicking noises as if it’s straining to turn on. Most of the time, an unresponsive TV screen is caused by a faulty capacitor or power system—which is difficult to troubleshoot and expensive to repair.

If your TV takes forever to start, it may be announcing its impending death, which means you’re better off investing in a replacement than wasting money on a short-term fix.

6. You’re experiencing poor sound quality.

Poor TV sound quality is a common complaint among TV owners. For some, the issue presents itself as distorted dialogue that’s hard to understand and is accompanied by staticky background noise. For others, poor sound quality means no sound is coming from the TV at all, or that its volume capacity dropped significantly.

If your TV doesn’t sound the way it used to, there are several potential culprits:

  • Static sounds may be caused by a weak antenna signal or faulty cable connection.
  • If no sound is coming from the TV, misconfigured audio settings (such as SAP) or even the mute button could be to blame.
  • If your TV’s volume capabilities are significantly reduced or nonexistent, your sound system or internal speakers are likely damaged.

Before you ditch your TV, check your audio settings and cable connections. Try plugging in a different set of speakers to test out the sound, too. If all of those check out, it’s time to either replace the TV or supplement it with an epic sound system.

7. You’ve got a case of TV screen burn-in.

Is there a ghostly shadow lingering on your TV screen, no matter what channel you’re on or whether it’s on or off? You may be experiencing burn-in.

Burn-in, also known as a ghost image, is a faint outline that evidences permanent damage to your TV. This damage usually occurs when the same image is displayed for extended periods. For example, if you always tune into the same news channel—the shape of their logo could become burnt into a corner of your screen.

Burn-in is not fixable, and many manufacturers exclude it from their warranties. To prevent it, you should flip through the channels regularly, avoid leaving your TV on for too long, and enable auto shut-off in your settings.

No DIY or professional fix can purge a ghost image once it sets in. If there’s a haunting shadow on your screen, the best choice is to cast it out of your home and replace that TV with a new, ghost-free one from Rent-A-Center.

8. Your screen is cracked.

It was an accident. The game got really exciting, and the remote just happened to hit the TV. Things just got out of hand, and somehow, your TV screen cracked. Whoops!

A crack on your TV is a problem for obvious reasons: it interrupts your viewing experience and represents damage to the hardware. However, there are less evident yet more concerning reasons to replace a cracked TV:

The broken glass poses a cutting hazard that will continue to spread with time, further limiting TV viewability.
In some cases, the crystals from an LCD screen can leak out—posing a health risk to those that come into contact with the screen.
In LCD TVs, Mercury vapor can seep out through a cracked screen, causing allergic reactions and other health dangers.

Most of the time, a cracked TV screen can’t be fixed. Moreover, the health risks of keeping a broken TV around far outweigh the benefits of being able to watch movies through a shattered screen.

9. You want a new TV.

If you’re asking yourself, “Should I get a new TV?” The answer is likely, yes. If your current TV lacks the features you need, or you’re experiencing TV issues that are too expensive to repair—it’s time to kiss your old TV goodbye!

With Rent-A-Center, there’s no need to wonder how to upgrade your TV. It’s as easy as submitting a quick, no credit check order online or in-store, then picking out a smart TV. We’ll help you set up a rent-to-own payment plan that works for you, and, if you ever have problems with one of our TVs, we’ll repair or replace it. Find your perfect TV online or visit your local Rent-A-Center to upgrade your home entertainment today!