Yes, Televisions Are Pretty Much Disposable Now

It seems like an ancient, lost world now, but there was once a time when people bought electronics or appliances, and when they broke down, they hired someone to repair the item and kept using it. This may not sound weird and obsolete to you or to me or to reader Donna. Toshiba, on the other hand, certainly thinks that it’s not worthwhile to repair the television that she paid $1,800 for in 2007. She doesn’t want anything for free, and is willing to pay for parts and repair. Only the needed part isn’t available from Toshiba, or from anyone.

I bought a Toshiba 42 in tv in 2007 and paid $1800. [In] Sept 2011 the tv stopped working. I took it in for service and it needs a pc board assembly. We are still waiting for the part.

Toshiba gave us numbers and companies where we can buy the part. They are supposedly on order. We called all the numbers across the US to the west coast and no one has this assembly. I spent 3 hrs on the phone with toshiba getting transferred from one dept to another and everyone told me it is not there dept and there is NO manager or supervisor available to talk to. Also there is no email that you can issue a complaint. I was advised to submit a complaint over the phone.

When I give the serial number they say it’s invalid so they can’t submit an issue. I have the receipt with the serial number and model number and it was also verified by the service tech. So I can’t talk to anyone and I can’t submit a complaint. It’s a catch 22.

They are still making these tv’s so I know this part is available but Toshiba will not cooperate at all in getting the tv repaired. The service tech is fed up and thinking about discontinuing any service on Toshiba products. It is going on six months. How long are we supposed to wait for parts.?

The part is a PC assembly 75003371, The tv is a 42 model number 42LX196 and the serial number is [redacted]. We are paying for HD tv and have no tv to watch. I feel toshiba should give us an explanation.

We are paying for the repair and know the parts are out there since they are still selling these tvs. Maybe you can find out where and when we can get this part. Good luck dealing with Toshiba. I will never buy another Toshiba product because there customer service is terrible.

Maybe the Consumerist Hive Mind can succeed in finding the part when even Toshiba itself failed. Maybe. We know for sure that if the part isn’t found, and the TV is disposable, Donna is certainly not going to buy another Toshiba.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hungry Dog says:

    Just do what Apple devotees do, throw it away and upgrade to the latest model. ;)

    • hansolo247 says:

      sometimes they resell them.

      Of course, they claim the resale on the old product is almost exactly what they paid new, too.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        From the sounds of Consumerist posts, most of them resell their used models for more than they initially paid for the device.

      • Bravo says:

        Exactly making it impossible to buy damaged apple products for parts.

    • farcedude2 says:

      The thing is, if you’re willing either to open up Apple products, or pay someone to do it for you, there are spare parts that you can buy to replace broken bits with.

    • Sarahlara says:

      I don’t know anybody who throws away an old iPhone. They’re still valuable. We went the easy route and used the Amazon trade in program. Got about $100 for our two 3G’s recently.

    • ShreeThunderbird says:

      Hungry Dog’s statement is an excellent example of the stupid comments people still make about Apple computers. There are websites devoted to those who use older Macs. In our home we use 4 G4 models and one newer Intel model. I almost always buy refurbished Macs which have the same warrantee as new computers for less money. It’s a shame these PC devotees feel so free to express sentiments based on total ignorance.

    • donjumpsuit says:

      Yea, I find Hungry Dog’s comment funny too. I guess he/she lives in a world where his/her tech products are bland and servicable, with no need for better performance or enhanced features. Moreover, when Hungry Dog’s tech fails they go to the store and get the best deal on the cheapest piece of shit they can find that does the job.
      Meanwhile, I buy Apple products and indeed upgrade to the latest model every time a new one comes out. But this is because I can sell the old model for 200% more than I purchased it for (in the case of iPhones bought on contract and sold at non-contract prices), or Sell an iPad for $450 when I bought it a year ago for $550.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        The moment you bring up “resale value” of electronics, you’ve lost the argument.

        A product should remain useful, period. If you need to turn it in for another one for whatever reason, then it’s still disposable trash. It doesn’t matter if you can find some other equally clueless sucker to sell it to.

        Modern electronics in general is not terribly serviceable. When it is, it is due to the product being built in a modular fashion typically with off the shelf components.

        An “ugly” PC can get a new lease on life with a $30 video card upgrade. A Mac of the same era just becomes a doorstop to stuck some other sucker with.

        The Apple approach is really quite crass if you think about it.

        • Hungry Dog says:

          Shh your angering the fanboys. I’m assuming these folks are not in the chipset that Apple is abandoning for the next upgrade.

    • youbastid says:

      Ha! I have an 8 year old Powerbook G4 that still chugs along. I bought a new MBP 4 years ago and that’s my “fast” computer, and I’ve stripped down the powerbook to just run internet apps and it works just fine. You know a lot of people with Dell’s older than some of their kids?

      • Bravo says:

        I had (gave it to my brother) a Dell 700m that is over 8 years old that still works, only thing that was replaced was the battery by Dell (see Dells exploding batteries). My MBP of 4 years is barely hanging on, logic/mother board replaced two years ago already acting up. DVD drive quit working after one year, track pad button does not work, line of dead pixels on the screen, replaced three power cords, battery quit holding a charge and today it actually busted out of its seams. Second Dell did not hold up like the first, so i ended up buying another MBP i really like the OS.

  2. cheviot says:
    • curthibbs says:

      Sounded intersting, so I click through on your link. That was offering and exchange on a particular power supply. How is that relevant here?

      • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

        The PC assembly listed in the OP, is the assembly referenced in cheviot’s link:

        “REFURBISHED PE0071G-1 / PE0071G1 / 75003371 / V2800003601 Power Supply for Toshiba models: 42LX196, 37LX96”

    • psikic says:

      +1, was just about to post this link. Had the link in 10 seconds after I read the original post. Really a DUH story to me.

    • swarrior216 says:

      Beat me to it.

  3. LIthium543 says:

    Toshiba laptops have been junk for the past 4 years or so. I have stacks of dead ones at my office, most of them repaired several times under warranty. When the warranty goes, people just pitch them because they’re sick of dealing with it.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That’s a shame to hear. My previous Toshiba laptop lasted for about 8 or 9 years. When the HD finally failed, I wound up just buying an entirely new computer. The Toshiba was large, bulky, and ran very hot but it was incredibly reliable.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i’ce got a 2 year old toshiba netbook that i love. i’ve replaced the hard drive on it but otherwise, even after several hard drops/knocked off tables/etc it’s doing great.

    • Darrone says:

      Totally disagree. I’ve had 4 in row, and generally hand them off to kids and the like as they are working perfectly (just old and slow compared to new ones).

      My first one was called frankenputer, it was ANCIENT and we brought it back to life so many times.

    • spazztastic says:

      I’m on my third Dell laptop; all of which I’ve replaced as soon as the warranty (I pay extra for accidental coverage) is up simply because I’m really rough on them. I handed them off to relatives where they lasted another year or two before they were replaced.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I have two Toshiba Satellite laptops and I love them. I guess I have good luck with computers, because my ancient Best Buy Insignia Pentium IV is still chugging along. My Toshiba TV still works too.

      If it dies, I’ll just get a slightly smaller one at Walmart or something until I can afford to replace the 37″ widescreen. In the meantime I can watch Netflix on the computer. I do it a lot anyway because my internet and my Roku don’t get along.

  4. DemosCat says:

    Does it really need a whole board?

    My 46″ Samsung starting doing the turn on/turn off cycle thing. Turns out this is a common problem with Samsungs. After researching (Google), I found out the problem, in my case, was a couple of blown capacitors on the power supply board. I found step-by-step instructions on Youtube on how to de-solder and solder in replacement capacitors. Total cost of repair: $32, and that was mostly for the tools (a solder repair kit). The capacitors themselves were under $4.

    Try Googling your symptoms. If you’re lucky, it could turn out to be a relatively easy fix you can do at home. Otherwise, if you are willing to just replace–not upgrade–your TV, new 42″ models are about $500 or less.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I’ve had that problem twice with my Samsung TV. I managed to get the company to fix it themselves for free both times.

      • DemosCat says:

        My warranty had long expired. Basically my approach is, if I can fix it myself, cool, I’ve saved a bunch of money (and did). If I screw it up, just buy a new TV for a fraction of the cost of the original.

        Either way, unless you can get a repair under warranty, it simply isn’t cost-effective to call a service technician for computers, TV’s, etc.

        And if your Samsung does it again, now you know you can repair it yourself. :)

        • Dallas_shopper says:

          The last repair was outside of the warranty period but if it happens again and I can’t cajole them into fixing it, I may hit you up for some advice. :-D

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I heard there is going to be a class action lawsuit for this problem soon.

    • spittingangels says:

      I was coming into the comments to suggest this. This is probably by far the most common failure for modern electronics. Since there is not many moving/mechanical parts anymore, most electronic issues will end up being capacitors that have gone bad.

      Especially if the issue is a power supply board as mentioned here. The board itself is probably not going to be easy to source if you can’t get it from the company or authorized service providers but most of the time, it’s easy to open the device up and visually identify blown capacitors on the board if you have a little electronics know-how. Even if none are obvious, most boards will have only a few capacitors so if you can read the marking indicating voltage and microfarads (¬µf) you can typically order a full set of replacements for between $10-30. That and 2-3 hours of work might get you back in business and much cheaper than what a service provider would charge for parts and labor. For any device costing more than a few hundred dollars and beyond the warranty period provided by the manufacturer, I’d consider re-capping (as the practice of replacing capacitors is commonly called) worth a try before throwing out the device. Even if you don’t plan on keeping it, you maybe able to get it back into working condition so you can sell it and recoup some of your initial investment.

      My suggestion to the OP is to look around locally for an friend that knows electronics and how to solder and see if they’ll take a crack at fixing it or look for a knowledgeable person on Craigslist. This is assuming that the OP does not want to actually learn anything about electronics herself. It’s a good skill to learn and not that hard.

      Some places online to order parts are and and there is always Radio Shack, as well.

      • azgirl says:

        Mine broke a few years back, still under warranty- but if I recall correctly the soldering and some capacitors were the fix.

        As for getting a new tv- if you bought a large custom piece of furniture to house your monolith rear projection tv like I did, you would be interested in keeping it just a little longer too.. lol

  5. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    when i repair vintage appliances, the parts often have to come out of dead ones of the same thing. perhaps someone out there has one of these that is dead for another reason and has a used part to sell?

    • Not Given says:

      My husband used to make our microwaves out of 2 or 3 dead ones that the customers decided weren’t worth fixing after hearing the quote.

  6. BrownLeopard says:

    From a search of about 30 suppliers I came back with 0 in stock. Even the one listing on eBay was an exchange service.

  7. mramos says:

    There’s one big problem with this whole posting. They are most certainly not making this model anymore nor have the made it in some time. It’s actually a 2006 model.

    • Dave B. says:

      Good thing I read first, was going to say the same thing, no way a model released in 2006 is still being manufactured or sold.

      • scoosdad says:

        Exactly, and the reason the part is unavailable is simple. When a manufacturer orders a run of sets, they also order that a certain number of key repair parts like entire circuit board or power supply assemblies be made and set aside for repairs.

        When they stop production on that particular set, unless the board or power supply is going to be used in the next model, they stop making the extra parts also. And when the parts are gone, nothing is going to force Toshiba to go back and make more parts. It’s just too costly to set up a production line again just to make more, and you’re SOL.

        • scoosdad says:

          I forgot to add that I have a friend who bought an expensive set from Samsung about seven years ago. That model had so many bad control boards that the demand for the boards to fix broken sets was huge. When my friend’s set crapped out, Samsung had totally run out of boards. His set was still under warranty and they replaced it for free with a newer model since there was no way to fix it.

          The next model he got unfortunately had a similar issue, but with a different circuit board. He got a replacement for that set, again for free. His third Samsung finally started to fail, but this time right after the warranty had expired on the second set. He replaced it with a different brand and will never ever buy a Samsung TV again.

        • bwcbwc says:

          And when you combine that with the “just in time” inventory model, you end up with the whole concept of disposable electronics. Even if you want to repair a $1400 TV, you can’t.

          OP’s best bet may be to find a hobbyist or a technician that can do more than just board-swapping and maybe identify the bad component(s) on the board. Even if the PC assembly isn’t being manufactured anymore, in most cases the ICs and electronic parts are standard. It’ll be a crapshoot whether it’s a part that can be manually replaced or something soldered in with pins too close together to resolder manually.

  8. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    Donna: Goto eBay. Search “Toshiba 42LX196 Power Supply”

    For $99.00 you can exchange your bad one for their refurbished one.


    • ronbo97 says:

      Yes, the holy trinity of google/ebay/YouTube has helped me many times when I had to do computer upgrades or automotive repairs.

  9. technoreaper says:

    2007? Why bother? TV’s are so cheap now that it’s pointless to buy one over $1,000. You can get a dang good one for under that price. Junk the TV and go get a better one online for $500 and free shipping, or go to Best Buy, Sears, Wal-Mart, Sam’s, Costco, Target, wherever, and get one for a little bit more!

    • longdvsn says:

      I think this is the big reason for calling TV’s disposable. That $1800 TV in 2007 would retail for about $200 right now. She’s spending many hours and probably at least $100 in parts to get it repaired. She could probably spend $400 to get a better TV right now and be better off than bothering to repair it.

  10. MonkeyMonk says:

    I’m in the market for a new TV. I guess I can strike Toshiba off my list.

    Good job Toshiba. Keep feeding those landfills.

    • Rachacha says:

      This is not a problem limited to Toshiba. Technology increases so fast that TVs are obsolete within months of being sold. That said, Toshiba is a second or third tier TV manufacturer.

  11. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    This is part of the reason why I’m so hesitant to upgrade from my 1080i CRT TV. That and because the thing weighs about 150 lbs, I really don’t feel the need to upgrade anytime soon.

    I don’t think I’ve ever gotten less than 10 – 20 years out of a TV. It’s crazy that people have to replace relatively new ones so frequently.

  12. az123 says:

    My guess is that the OP is being a fool trying to repair it anyway… what is the cost of the part and labor to repair that TV and compare that to what a 42″ flat panel TV is today… ($400-$600 maybe). I would guess an new TV has better features (like internet access) as well.

    People need to be smart, just because you paid $1800 five years ago does not mean it is worth spending the money on fixing it today, because prices have dropped a Lot. Toshiba probably does not make the part for that anymore because the cost of the part and labor exceed the cost of a new TV (or are close to it) and thus 99.9% of people would never get it fixed

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’d rather spend $100 for a replacement part than spend $500 on a new TV set. I think the key is to find a non-OEM source for parts and do the work yourself.

      • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

        And how much time will you spend disassembling the tv, diagnosing the problem, finding replacement parts, desoldering bad capacitors, soldering in new ones, reassembling and testing it? Only instead of a new tv with current features and video quality and a warranty, you now have one with no HDMI ports, 720i picture quality, and if the ballast goes bad on the backlight, you’ve either got to start the process all over again, or toss it at that point.

        • bwcbwc says:

          Reduce, reuse, recycle. Reuse is more resource-efficient than recycling, and if a person is environmentally conscious a repair that keeps a 42″ TV out of salvage may be worth some extra grief.

          • Anna Kossua says:

            This. I’m a big fan of keeping things I purchase for as long as possible. LOL, I have a 19″ TV that I use for playing Atari games that my parents bought in the late 1970’s! Plus, I don’t know how any company can straight-faced expect a person to spend $1800 and consider it disposable. To me, that’s a HUGE amount of money, something I can’t imagine spending and tossing after five years.

    • valthun says:

      internet access on my tv isn’t a feature i want. I have a computer for that. However you are correct in that sometimes the cost of the repair may be more than the cost of replacement. In this case she has gone 6 months without a tv, and is paying for tv service she isn’t using. Assuming that is 45 dollars a month that would be 270 dollars plus the cost of parts maybe 100 to 150, plus labor costs for the repairman which can’t be cheap. She is well over the cost of a new tv she could have had when the tv failed initially.

      My father-in-law has a DLP 720p tv and has had it for a while, no HDMI inputs, the bulb has already failed once and the cost of repair was around 300 bucks. He was shown how to do the fix himself when it goes again but the bulb wasn’t cheap. He has decided that when it fails again he will replace it with an LCD. I will be so happy when it does.

    • taserian says:

      Very true. When our 32″ flat panel went bust, we took it to be repaired; at the same time, we scoped out what a new TV would cost ($X), and decided if the repair costs were more than $X/2, we’d junk the old TV and purchase a new one. When we got the quote for the repairs, it was below our threshold, so we went ahead and did the repair.

      If we ever need to repair it again, we’ll decrease the threshold to $X/3 or $X/4 to account for multiple repairs.

    • spittingangels says:

      To be fair, in this case the issue is a power supply board (and to be more specific, probably some bad capacitors on that board). If the TV is out of warranty, there no reason to go through an authorized provider, especially if the service provider and manufacturer don’t want to support it. ASPs will typically only do board swaps and won’t waste time with recapping the board.

      But a local independent service technician or hobbyist could probably fix this problem for a parts cost of under $30 plus whatever they’d want to charge for labor. Maybe around $100 to $150 total, cheaper if you have a friend that knows basic electronics or you are willing to learning how to replace capacitors yourself.

  13. madsquabbles says:

    unless it’s the power supply, capacitors or lights it’s sometimes is cheaper to just replace the tv.

    yes, 5 years ago the tv was 1800, but now it’s it’s less than half that.

    adding the cost of the parts and labor you could be near the price of a new tv. it’s sad that tv mfgs have gone this route and have such lousy after-market support. tv’s are like laptops now, you just toss them out and upgrade in a few years. i’ve had 2 lcd tv’s die on me so far… to expensive to fix. my crt’s from 2002 and 98 are still around.

  14. ole1845 says:

    “They are still making these tv’s so I know this part is available “

    BS. They are NOT still making this TV. They don’t stock parts. Sorry, but consumer electronics aren’t like cars where you can go back to the dealer and they have a parts department and make repairs. Go buy a new TV.

    • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

      Yeah, you are right, but remember, you are talking about someone who wants to spend money on repairing the TV. They maybe making the TV with the same name, but I guarantee it’s not the same model number.

      By the way, I’m all for repairing the equipment…I grew up with no cable…only three channels on the TV (as long as you had rabbit ears or big antennae on your house) Yes, we had a console TV with no remote. Yes, my parents still have their console TV from the early 80’s late 70’s.

  15. HalOfBorg says:

    Just because they sell the same TV, that doesn’t mean the internals are the same. I used to repair some of the electronics and one item I remember was a CD player. Same model, next year. Older one had 3 circuits boards – big ones. Next years had one small one with a big chip doing the bulk of the work.

  16. Taliskan says:

    It’s been like this for a while now hasn’t it, since LCDs became prevalent? Most television manufacturers update their models annually. The tv’s then created go for a small production run. Technology gets better each year, or at least changes, so the stockpile of parts isn’t worth the storage. A 2007 model is likely much different than a 2012 model due out. Though, depends on the part that needs to be replaced.

  17. Downfall says:

    Yeah, I know. I want my TV to break so I have an excuse to upgrade. Stubbornly, it keeps chugging along. I may have to invite my friends with children over.

  18. joako says:

    Actually Toshiba will not replace a part in an in-warranty TV. I had one in my office and their resolution was to send us a check.

    • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

      Your statement about Toshiba maybe true in your case, but it was not with my Toshiba TV. I had less than month left of the warranty. The TV had a some stuck pixels on the screen (thanks to my 4 year-old daughter throwing a toy)…they sent out a tech and a replacement LCD…he replaced and TaDa….cost me nothing.

  19. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Sorry… You lost me at “Its not there department”

    The department wasn’t there? Where did it go?

    Oh, I see… You meant to say that it wasn’t their department….


  20. scoutermac says:

    From what I can find this part number 75003371 is a “Toshiba 75003371 Power Supply”. Not a PC Board Assembly. But it appears to be sold out everywhere. Best case I guess is you could have a competent component level technician repair the power supply.

  21. APFPilot says:

    Try these guys, they have a TV junkyard that is pretty impressive.

  22. NOS says:
  23. Darrone says:

    They are still making these tv’s so I know this part is available but Toshiba will not cooperate at all in getting the tv repaired.

    How does she know they are still manufacturing that model? I am guessing she either means “they are still making 42″ tvs” or “they are still selling them at Best Buy”.

    Neither means parts are in production.

    • jeadly says:

      Maybe she works on the assembly line for the model she’s talking about. In which case she should just swipe the replacement from work.

      If not I be she has no idea that they actually stopped producing this thing in 2006.

  24. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    The OP can do what I did when I had an issue likes this. Go out and buy the exact same model TV. Take the broken one back and ask for a refund….maybe a bit on the shady side, but when I have to take off work and waste a vacation day on the phone trying to get someone to repair my device…only to be stuck in the continuous loop….then I have resorted to this.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      That isn’t merely shady, that’s outright fraud. You’ll also probably notice that when you buy most major electronics and appliances nowadays, the receipt shows the serial number of the item.

  25. Darrone says:

    According to a simple google search, this model has been discontinued for years. OP is lying when she states “They are still making these tv’s so I know this part is available but Toshiba will not cooperate at all in getting the tv repaired.”

  26. Blackadar says:

    The same thing happened to my 2007 Toshiba $1500 TV. It wasn’t worth the repair cost…I got a better LG TV, 3D, larger size for $1k. Just replace it.

  27. lousybutler says:

    Why the hate for someone who wants to repair a TV? IMO it’s a terribly wasteful way to be to just throw something away when it breaks. At least try to fix it rather than tossing it to the landfill. I don’t know why that’s such a hard thing to comprehend.

  28. Scoobatz says:

    Loosely related…

    Attention Craigslist posters, I don’t care that you bought your enormous rear-projection TV ten years ago for $2700. I have to laugh when you think an asking price of $500 is still justified. $25 is probably a better price.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      Worse yet is people who still think a CRT TV is going to get them anything more than $5 if they can even find a taker for it.

      I consistently see $25-40 CRT TV’s for sale around here, and I know they are not selling.

      • Doubting thomas says:

        Yeah, the one thing Best-Buy is really good for is unloading old CRT TV’s and monitors. I just dumped 2, 32″ CRT TV’s and 3, 15″ CRT Monitors off last week.

        They don’t pay you anything for them, but everyone else I fopund charged you to take them off your hands, BB was free.

        • jeadly says:

          Awesome, I’ve got a printer riding around in my trunk because I had no idea who will take it from me.

          • Froggmann says:

            If you are in California It’s easy. Otherwise just do a e-waste search in your area. There’s lots of money in e-waste between the subsides and the precious metals reclamation so it should be easy to find a place to drop the printer off.

      • AldisCabango says:

        I just sold 3 for 40 bucks apiece. There are people who will pay 40 or 50 bucks for a analog TV because they dont have cable, satellite, or any other need for HD digital TV. They also dont have or a need to pay several hundred bucks for a flatscreen that will last only a few years.

    • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

      Our accountant says she constantly has clients who donate their CRT TV to Goodwill and try to write it off on their taxes as having a value of $100 or more. She knocks it down to $5 – $25.

    • sea0tter12 says:

      We put my parents’ working one on the side of the road, and it took more than a day before someone picked it up. And that was after posting a notice on Freecycle.

  29. vliam says:

    As a child, I remember being able to test the vacuum tubes at the local drugstore and purchase a replacement for the specific one that had failed.

    Those days are long gone.

    • DemosCat says:

      Yep, I remember those days too. I think that’s what inspired me to Google the symptoms when my TV started cycling on and off. That, and the TV breaking after only 4 years. Then again, back in the vacuum tube days, TV’s and radios went on the blink with regularity when a tube blew.

      Turned out to be well worth the effort to do my own repair. TV is working like a champ now.

  30. zep says:

    All right, I guess I’ll be the jerk that points out that it appears Donna does not know the definition of a “Catch-22”.

  31. Outrun1986 says:

    Hmm that doesn’t seem like a bad life for a TV, yes it should last longer than 5-6 years but if it was used a lot and constantly left on like I see at most houses I visit it doesn’t seem like a bad value. Its always possible to spend less for a TV you know, you don’t have to spend $1,800 on a TV. Even in 2007 I am sure there were TV options that cost less than $1800. Then you won’t feel so bad if it breaks. I don’t think its really worth it to buy a more expensive TV these days, they all seem to break the same, and you will be out more money if the TV breaks and is unrepairable. Just pick out a size that fits your house well. Still better than having a TV break right after the manufacturer’s warranty is up.

    Most people don’t even use the internet functions of their TV, I am lucky as I seem to have gotten one of the last dumb TV’s which is all I need, as I have a PC sitting right next to my TV. I don’t need more useless features driving up the price of my TV.

    You can get a decent 32 inch set these days for around $300 or less, a bigger TV for around $400-500 and it will probably be a much better quality set with a much better picture than spending the $300-500 in parts and service costs to repair the old TV.

  32. billpendry says:

    The idea that ANYONE is still selling a TV model that was available in 2007 is preposterous.

  33. jon_s says:

    You think this is bad… IIRC, Vizio will not repair any televisions in or out of warranty. The will replace defective in warranty sets with something refurbed. Out of warranty, you have to buy a new one… Just google Vizio warranty televisions…

  34. PhiTauBill says:

    Looking like $400-600 to replace a 42″ 1080p…

    Not completely irrational to do, mind you, but also not a slam dunk either… considering advances in technology and warranty benefits, I’d opt for the replacement… but I can see how the tree huggers might want to object…

    I do think that good customer service demands that there be a reasonable amount of time for which a manufacturer (especially one as large as Toshiba) should provide informational or logisitical support necessary to allow people to repair the goods they purchase, but I’m not sure exactly how long that is… 3 years? 5 years 7 years?

  35. Rachacha says:

    Electronics are really disposable. Back in the 1970’s and earlier, TVs were expensive ($3000 in today’s dollar), so when they broke, it was well worth $200 to repair it. Also, products were larger, and discrete components were soldered to the circuit board and could be easy removed by a knowledgable technician. Now, components are all contained in a 100 pin surface mount chip and can not be repaired in the field. Reliability has generally improved while costs have decreased. That 5 year old $1800 42″ tv can be replaced for $500, most people would rather take the money for a repair and apply it to a newer and better quality TV.

  36. timp says:

    Visio was the in the lead for selling the “disposible TV”. You would expect a throw-away TV if you only pay $100 for it…. but Visio has also been refusing to even attempt repairs to their televisions.

    I recall reading about Visio disposible TV’s here on Consumerist while ago.

  37. Torchwood says:

    I’m looking at Amazon, and a LG 42″ television will run you $500. Other TVs, especially when you don’t add in the Internet connectivity, will run you between $500-$600.

    As for a CRT TV… I had replaced my 20″ CRT television purchased in 2003 with a 32″ LCD HD. I had offered my old CRT TV to my friends, co-workers, and even my facebook buddies for FREE. All they need to do is pick it up. No takers. I ended up putting it out for neighborhood cleanup. Within five minutes of putting it outside, an electronics locust had grabbed it and ran away with it.

    As for the 32″, it is working fine, but I spent only $323 on it. When it eventually breaks, repair would be a remote option. By then, there will be newer and better models.

  38. quieterhue says:

    Buy your TV at Costco. They have a great warranty (I think it’s 2 years?) and will replace any TV that is defective.

    Unfortunately, it’s just not worth the money/effort to repair TVs anymore. So look for a place that has a good warranty so if your TV breaks down you can just bring it back and they will give you a new one.

  39. shufflemoomin says:

    That’s one of the major problems people have with electronics is holding onto what YOU paid for it and not what it’s WORTH. I had to deal with someone selling a Canon camera used for more than it goes for new now. He explained how much he paid for it and why he was selling it for so much. That’s not how the world of electronics work. You have paid $1800 for your TV, but you’ll likely find you can get equal specs for around half that now. I would say it’s simply not worth the hassle. I’d sell the TV for spares for whatever I can get for it and get myself a new one. You’ll likely spend 50% of the cost of an equivalent new one to repair this one and who knows how long you’ll get before something else breaks. What are you going to do then? You either pay more and end up out of pocket for the same cost as a new one in total but still stuck with an old, crappy TV or you write off the money you paid for the first repair and end up paying 50% more for your new TV.

  40. MarvinMar says:
  41. jpdanzig says:

    I’m sorry, but I refuse to buy a $500+ TV that dies in two years. I’ve had my trusty old Panasonic CRT for way more than a decade now, and I’m not giving it up until it dies. By that time, perhaps a new set will only cost $250. Of course, if that dies in two years, it will still be far less cost effective than the Panasonic that cost me $250 and has lasted more than ten years. So much for new technology — humbug!

  42. Ishbar says:

    The SN on the receipt isn’t always the SN on the actual device.

    Perhaps the OP should go off of what the MFG catalogs the hardware under, rather than what the Reseller does. Often several important alpha-numeric characters are omitted when printed on receipts.

    And I also doubt that Toshiba is still “making” a now 5 year old model. Instead, it is just the overstock they are still burning through from over-production to recuperate cost.

  43. kwjayhawk says:

    Recently my Samsung 215tw monitor was going out. Did some Googling and found that others had the same problem. The monitor was originally $300 and the only thing that was going bad was some capacitors that were about $2.00 in cost.

    So I went to Radio Shack and with a soldering iron and about 30 minutes of time I replaced the three capacitors and had a monitor good as new.

    Yeah, it’s an old monitor. But the project was totally worth the learning experience.

  44. Suburban Idiot says:

    I had to wait over five months for parts to ship from Japan for my Nissan Altima a few years back (the car was two years old at the time). Perhaps Nissan thinks their cars are disposable, too.

  45. gman863 says:

    Christ. All of a sudden the extended warranty pitch is starting to make sense.

    • DemosCat says:

      Maybe. I would love to see people’s responses on how well an extended warranty worked for them. Consumer’s Union does not recommend extended warranties.

      I my particular case, I did not get an extended warranty when I bought my Samsung in 2008. I went with Samsung because it was highly rated. And indeed, it was trouble-free until last month, nearly 4 years after my purchase. An extended warranty would have been money wasted.

      See my first post, and spittingangels’ reply in particular about doing a self-repair. If your TV starts to act up, it’s very worthwhile to at least check the capacitors. If that’s the problem, replacing bad capacitors is cheap. Beyond that, I’d probably just buy a new TV.

      An alternative would be to set aside the money an extended warranty would cost towards your next TV. Who knows, the price of an extended warranty might buy you a replacement TV in 3 or 4 years. :)

  46. Gehasst says:

    TV is 5-6 years old. Parts are on ebay. If you can’t google it for yourself (but you can submit it here), then you need to pony up some bucks for a new tv.

  47. maxamus2 says:

    I buy my TVs from Sam’s Club then every 3 months take them back, have done this for years now. They don’t even ask why I am returning and I am following their “100% satisfaction guaranteed” policy. And considering I need to go to Sam’s about once every 3 months to stock up on stuff, it isn’t even a hassle.

  48. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Reminds me of a Consumerist article some time ago…person was whining about the fact that their $30 DVD player was refused for service by some repair shop. And the Consumerist ended the article with something like “when it costs less to buy a new one than repair the original, something has to be done.” Implying that it should *always* be possible to repair something for some fraction of what a new one would cost.

    In the case of the DVD player, it’s pretty darned obvious – if a repair shop charges $50 an hour, and it would take even just 30 minutes of labor and a $10 part to repair the old DVD player – guess what? Not worth repairing. And no…nothing needs to “be done about” that. What exactly do you think you would do? Require skilled labor like that to be billed at no more than $5 per hour? Require that parts always be made available, for a dollar a part?

    Same applies here. She’s got a 5 year old TV for which parts are no longer made. Others have pointed out she can do a swap for a refurbished part on eBay. OK, there’s $100. Then how much is it going to cost for labor to have the TV fixed with that part? I’m going to arbitrarily make up a number: $300. Maybe that’s low, maybe that’s high, don’t know – not an expert on TVs. But bear with me… – There’s a 42″ 1080p TV for $370. Not even on sale, as far as I can tell. – For $460, you get it with a 5.1 sound system too.

    I spent all of 10 seconds looking those up. So if you want to argue about them not being “as good as” the original Toshiba, or whatever, go on and look something else up.

    The point stands that a 42″ TV today costs somewhere in the vicinity of $400 brand new. So are you going to spend $400 on fixing your old one, with a refurbished part, or are you going to buy a brand new one and have a new warranty to go with it?

  49. buzz86us says:

    I am so glad I invested a little bit of money to put a 4 year warranty on my $300 westinghouse tv from target I figure if it goes bad a few years later I can atleast get my money back and by the time it does go bad with the way things are going I can probably get a better tv for $300.

  50. suburbancowboy says:

    I recommend everyone read the book “Cradle to Cradle”. Our disposable lifestyle has a hugely negative effect on the planet.

  51. Press1forDialTone says:

    Should have bought the TV at Sears and gotten a Sears Master Protection Agreement.
    They mean what they say. I have the same washer/dryer pair (which do all that I want)
    I bought in 1996 from them (Kenmore a.k.a. Whirlpool that year) and I have paid
    less and less each year for a service contract. If the can’ t find a part, I get a new
    waster or dryer equal to the value of the premiums I’ve paid on the service contract
    PLUS 1/2 the cost of the original units when I got them in ’96. No one beats Sears.
    at least where I live.

  52. skakh says:

    Hey, its a Toshiba! I had several Toshiba products, all crap. The last was a Toshiba laptop. Crap product for which Toshiba would not support. Never buy Toshiba is the smart move.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Understanding that the name on a product means next to nothing is a better idea. Especially electronics, which are almost always produced by the same ODMs, in the same factories, with the only real difference being the sticker that goes on the box at the end of the day. Reality is different from your perception.

  53. Happy Dad says:

    The problem here is the brand name; Toshiba.

  54. peggysister says:

    According to a article in Reader’s Digest, flat screens are disposable.
    They only last about 5 years.