Don’t be too Quick to Get Mad about Your Obsolete Electronics

Woman pointing remote madIt is a scenario I hear all the time. Somebody bought a 50-inch TV five years ago for $3500.00 and now it needs repaired. Guess what? It isn’t worth fixing.

“What do you mean it isn’t worth fixing? I was told when I bought this TV it was the best. When my mom and dad bought a TV it lasted 20 years. This whole thing is a racket just to get you to buy new stuff.” 

I understand the frustration. However, there are a few less obvious provisos to this little scenario.

For one, television technology did not change much from the first explosion of the medium after WWII through the 1980s.  There was color in the 1960s and stereo sound decades later but for the most part television manufactures and broadcasters tweaked the same basic technology that governed television broadcasts during the era of most of our parents and grandparents.

Second, consider that the electronics industry is unique in one very profound aspect. What other industry exists in which, after a product is introduced and as time goes by, the cost of the product goes down and the performance of it goes up?

Imagine taking your car in for repair and the dealership telling you that the new model of your car now costs half as much as the old one and also runs twice as good. Yeah, that’s going to happen.

So, it is not a complete insult to your past investment when you consider that the industry offers up updated models for less cost than your original purchase and they often work considerably better.

All things considered that’s not such a bad reason for the TV not to be worth fixing.

Besides, don’t you really want a bigger TV anyway?

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6 thoughts on “Don’t be too Quick to Get Mad about Your Obsolete Electronics”

    1. I am amazed how big flat screens, good ones, are just a fraction of what they once were just five years ago. In fact, probably less than that old TV that was the bomb in the day.

  1. Actually, I think automobiles HAVE improved in the few years, after remaining nearly the same for decades. More and more models now are getting over 35mpg and the hybrids get over 40 — this was unthinkable 10 years ago. And this improvement has come without a sacrifice in horsepower when needed.
    But, as an electrical engineer, I won’t argue against my industry — it is the most rapidly changing area of technology and I enjoyed very much being a part of it!

    1. Absolutely correct, my latest vehicle is nicer than the one that preceded it. Of course, it was more expensive than my first home.

  2. Yeah I totally understand this. I showed my granddaughter the (what I thought) was the newest smart phone and she said, “Grandmom, phone is so two-days ago!” I wept.

  3. I almost cried when my nice Cuisinart coffeemaker with the built-in coffee grinder finally died on me after a number of years. It was like losing an old friend. I like to think that it is now in a better place, where all good gadgets go, but that seems like wishful thinking.

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