What to Look for When Buying a Used TV

Would you believe it if you were told that buying a new TV is way easier than buying an old TV? But since the decision has been made, and you have your mind set on buying an old model, this Buzzle article will help you through it by telling you everything you should look for when buying a used television set.
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Tip to buy a used TV
"People are sheep. TV is the shepherd."
—Jess C. Scott

And the sheep must graze. In style, too. With so many advances in technology, the average consumer is spoiled for choice since he has so many options at his disposal to choose from. From the cathode ray version to plasma, LCD, and LED, the television set has evolved greatly. Watching TV is not just something that you do, it is an experience in its own right, an experience that needs to be enjoyed. Settling for the best deal is no easy task and needs a lot of thought.

Whatever your reasons are for buying a used TV, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. When you buy a new TV, your warranty will take care of all these things, but in a used model, you will have to be extra careful. To make your task easier, ask the following questions to clear all your doubts before buying a used TV.

Why is the Seller Selling it?

Why is the TV in a secondhand store in the first place? Did the owner put it up for sale because it broke down? Or was it because it is a flawed electronic piece? Did he sell it because the picture was not good enough? Or did he do that just because he got bored of it and bought a new one for himself? These are questions that must be answered before you consider the other technicalities of buying a used TV. If the owner is selling it because he found a defect with the TV, even if the defect was mended, it might resurface later. You should stay away from such TV sets. Make sure you know exactly why the TV is being sold before you even consider buying it.

Is the Price Justified?

The price of a secondhand television set depends on a number of factors, like the time gap between its buying and selling date, the presence or absence of special features, the model and brand of the TV, etc. For example, a TV that has been used for a year and put up for sale will be expensive as compared to one which was used for more than five years and put up for sale. A plasma TV will be cheaper as compared to an LED, and so on and so forth. Narrow down your choices on the basis of your preferences, and then check if it is worth it and the value for your money is respected.

Does it Fit Your Budget?

Sure, prices have skyrocketed through the roof, but there's no reason to be let down. A variety of secondhand television sets with different configurations to suit each consumer's choice are available in the market. Do your research, and shop around a bit. Decide what you need the television for, and what kind will suit your needs. Set up a budget, and then look for only those sets that fit your budget.

Is the Picture Clear?

Once you have decided on the model, brand, and price of the TV, start testing different sets. Getting a clear picture on the screen is a fundamental necessity, and should not be compromised upon. If you are buying an LCD or an LED TV, check for factors like contrast, video motion, HD compatibility, resolution, color and video quality, and make sure you like what you see. Some television sets have screens that develop a picture with spots all over it. It goes without saying that you should steer clear of such television sets.

Are There Any Loose Connections?

TVs today are facilitated in a way that they can be connected to a number of external devices. If the previous owner has used the various connection ports extensively, chances are they might have worn out and can no longer be used. Beware of this, as well as loosely connected wires, which may create disturbances in cable connections, affect the picture quality, etc.

Does it Support the Accessories You Already Have?

Many television sets that come with recent technology and hi-tech features have support for additional characteristics and devices. If you already have DVD players, video games, external speakers, or set-top boxes, make sure the used TV is not very old and is compatible with these external devices. Buying an incompatible television set would be a complete waste.

Does it Meet All Your Requirements?

Are you planning on creating a home theater? Do you want to place the TV in your bar? Is it going in the bedroom? Or are you buying it for gaming purposes? Based on all these considerations, narrow in on your options and then decide which television set suits your requirements the best. A TV for the bedroom can make do with low sound levels, but the one you need for your home theater should have a good quality sound with surround sound effects and the works.

Does it Sound Right?

The audio is as important as the video. Gone are the days when silent movies were the thing. It wouldn't be any fun to watch a basketball match without being able to listen to the thunderous applause of the audience, or watch a movie without being able to hear the dialog. Make sure the speakers are in good shape and the audio quality is not too bad.

Is the Size OK?

Obviously, there is no point in buying a television set bigger than the wall you intend to hang it on. Also, if the room in which you intend to place the TV is big enough, then buying a television with low-level volumes, a comparatively smaller screen, and less-defined viewing angles would kill the purpose of watching television and not let you enjoy it to the fullest. Also, keep in mind the size of your room when opting for a TV. A TV with a big screen can be a problem for rooms that are small. Remember, there should be at least 6–10 feet of space between the TV and the spot from where you intend to watch it.

What is the Difference in the Price?

You might have your reasons for buying a used TV set, but before you make the final call, don't forget to inquire about new sets as well. If there is not much of a difference in the price, then you could throw in some extra money and get a new one for yourself. Electronic appliances are a one-time investment and can be used for a comparatively long term. Still, it is for you to decide and make that purchase. The benefits of a new set over a used one are peace of mind, warranty, and choice.

At the end of a hectic working day, when you sit down on the couch in front of your 'new-cum-old' television set, you should enjoy watching TV. It should be a treat for your eyes and senses. Don't let blurred pictures, distorted signal reception, or broken sounds ruin your experience. Look for the above-mentioned points, and buy the TV set only once you are satisfied that it is a good deal.
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Published: October 15, 2013
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