How Much Is Too Much To Spend On A TV?

How Much Is Too Much To Spend On A TV?
Image: LG

There’s been a rush of new TVs announced over the last few weeks. And while new hardware is great, it’s especially handy because it means the prices on last year’s models get a healthy discount.

For this week’s Off Topic, I’d like to know from you: when it comes to buying a new TV, or upgrading a TV, what’s your limit? Do you tend to stick to triple figures? Do you make sure you spend at least a couple of thousand before tax time? Or do you splurge out and, oldschool style, make sure you don’t have to buy another TV for the next 7-8 years?

I’m also curious whether people ever consider upgrading their second TV, if they have one. Most Australian households do, although that amount has been falling over the last few years, but at the very least people do upgrade their TV and put the second in the bedroom or the spare room.

Are the budgetary considerations different for a TV that’s in the bedroom?

So let us know! And to help things out, here’s this handy poll…

[polldaddy poll=9998160]


  • In the USA in 1970, a nice 23 inch colour TV would set you back about $600 and the average annual wage was $6100, so a good TV was about 10% of your annual gross wage.

    The average weekly wage in Australia is currently about $62,000 per year, so that would equate to about a $6000 TV.

    You certainly get a lot more TV for your money now!

    Personally though, if spending big dollars, I prefer a projector. Even the biggest TVs look too small to me to watch anything on. You get used to having a screen that is nearly 3 metres wide, and everything else feels not worth sitting down in front of.

  • I paid early adopter premiums for a 720p and 1080p LCDs, a bit sore on the 1080p one especially as the next year’s model released at half the price. Someone at work got the newer model six months after I got mine and never let me forget it lol. Those prices came down fast!

    I am eyeing OLEDs now though, time to get ready to pay through the nose again!

  • My current TV (Panasonic 50 inch 1080p plasma) cost me $3500 back in 2008 & is still running like a champ. I’ll probably buy a 4k OLED for around the same price when the next generation of consoles come out.

  • I last bought a 55″ 1080p Samsung for $1400 in 2014 and I’m still very happy with it. Being able to decode H265 is helping its longevity.

    I’m starting to eye off 4K sets and would be willing to pay more (around $3000 max)for HDR and better quality. What’s stopped me so far is that it seems a little unnecessary without also increasing the screen size, and my lounge room setup doesn’t lend itself to anything bigger. 🙁

    As an aside, I paid $3500 for a 32″ Loewe widescreen CRT in around 2000 when widescreen in Australia was barely a thing. It pains me to see what you can get for the same money now.

  • I think it depends on the person, and the use. I’m eyeing off a cheapo for the bedroom at the moment, which is likely to double as a computer monitor. That means “smaller” size (read: ~100cm) but it also means cheaper prices. At that size, there are 1080p options starting at $350.

    For my main tele, I have no idea when I’ll upgrade, and what I want to spend very much depends on that moment. If I needed to replace it today, I’m limiting myself to $2000, simply because I have other bills. That opens up a big range of options, at sizes well beyond the 50″ tele I have now. Which seemed so big when I bought it…

    But if my tele lasts another 5 years, I might spend $5000, simply because I can. I wont have near the amount of bills I have today, and being The Jones will be an option.

    • I wont have near the amount of bills I have todayWhat’s your secret for not having nearly as many bills in the future as you have now?

        • Damn. Hoped you’d found a way to turn ignorance and negativity on the internet into a new crypto-currency.

          • I turned ignorance and negativity into owning my own place :p

            Way off topic, but I simply I took advantage of the GFC hitting just after I bought, and with a job not at risk (career public servant) just paid it down as fast as I could. Modest inheritance along the way sped things up as well.

            No big secret, the hardest part was walking through the door to ask if my average income could afford it. And being surprised how easy it was at the time. Not everyone will be in the same situation I was though.

  • Depends on the size and how long you are planning on keeping it.

    I buy a TV for between 2000 and 2500, but like to turn them over every few years.

    My brother buys a $4000 TV and will try and keep it for 10 years.

    So when my brother upgrades he has a better TV than myself for maybe 18 months before I upgrade.

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