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Technology.

21 October 2021

Which TV brand to buy in 2021

Unique Which? data can help you choose a TV brand that lasts. We surveyed owners of LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and Sony TVs to find out which sets develop the fewest faults over time
Martin Pratt
Cracked-screen

Few tech devices last longer than TVs, but when they do go wrong it's the picture causes the issue. Our research found that 25% of all faults were to do with picture quality.

A new TV is an expensive purchase we don’t make very often. Many of us don’t upgrade more than once a decade, so it’s vital to choose the right set from the right brand. Knowing which ones develop the most faults, and how quickly, will save you stress and money down the line. 

That’s why each year we ask more than 15,000 Which? members to tell us whether they're pleased with their TV or have experienced problems. Our unique survey data takes into account the reported fault rates, the severity of these faults and how quickly they occurred. 

In our latest analysis, we've looked at the performance of the biggest manufacturers, including LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and Sony. We've calculated how long each brand's TVs will last, so you know which brand won’t let you down and which don't last long enough.   

TV brands rated

Brand
Customer satisfaction score
Loyalty score
Estimated lifespan
Consumer lifespan
% replaced within two years

82%
51%
11 years
11 years
14%
81%
50%
12 years
12 years
14%
80%
26%
11 years
11 years
2%
78%
28%
11 years
11 years
10%
72%
5%
n/a
9 years
19%
  • Table notes Results are based on a survey of 15,283 Which? members who own TVs, conducted in July 2021. Where 'n/a' is reported, there isn't enough data.
  • Customer satisfaction rates how happy the respondent is with their TV brand and how likely they would be to recommend it to a friend.
  • Loyalty score is the percentage of respondents who have or would choose the same brand again when they upgrade.
  • Estimated lifespan is the average length of time a TV would last before needing to be replaced due to a fault or significant drop in performance.
  • Consumer lifespan is the average length of time before a respondent upgraded their TV for any reason other than a fault or significant drop in performance.
  • % replaced within two years shows what percentage of the total number of TV replacements occurred within two years.

Best vs worst TV brands

A 10% difference between the best and worst scoring brands for customer satisfaction is significant, and when you take into account the average test scores it really starts to make sense. 

How long will my TV last?

Whichever brand you go for, your TV is likely to last you a decade or more. The table below shows the estimated lifespan, which is how long each brands' sets should last before needing to be replaced due to a fault or drop in performance.

The three most common TV faults

There's not a great deal you can do to maintain your TV other than keeping its software up to date (it's worth switching to automatic updates in the settings) and wiping the screen carefully according the manufacturer instructions. Usually this means a dry soft cloth, such as a microfibre one, and not using any household cleaning fluids.

1. Picture problems (25%)

Some 25% of all TV faults are to do with the display. This can cover all manner of failures, from dead pixels to backlight failures or strips of uneven colour. There's not much you can do about these sorts of issues other than replace the screen. 

2. Problems connecting to the internet (9%)

There's nothing more aggravating than typing your password with a remote – so having to do it repeatedly as your TV refuses to connect is extremely frustrating. Keeping your TV up to date can help with this, or restarting the router to refresh the connection.

3. Hardware failure (8%)

Internal components going kaput is another issue you can't really avoid. TVs are outwardly simple, with very few ways to interact with it other than the remote, so it makes sense that the majority of issues can't really be caused by the user or fixed very easily. It's a good job TVs tend to last a long time, then.

How we calculate the best and worst TV brands

Which? has a wealth of information on the UK's favourite TV brands. Every year, we ask Which? members to tell us about the technology products they own – from how likely they would be to recommend a brand to how long the product lasted once they get them home. 

This year, more than 15,000 Which? members told us about more than 100,000 devices. We calculate a brand's lifespan and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey.

Our brand surveys, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean that we can recommend the best TV you should buy.

This data is crucial for our testing, too. If a brand falls far below the category average, we take away the manufacturer’s Best Buy awards and won’t recommend any of its products unless there's a marked improvement in longevity.

Head to our TV reviews

We don't just test the flashy high-end models, we test almost every TV from the cheapest 43 incher up to 65-inch OLED and QLEDls that can cost more £3,000. We test some 8K TVs, too. This breadth of testing has given us unparalleled knowledge of what makes a good TV. 

Know which TV brand you want? Use the links below to go straight to our reviews and find your ideal TV: