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CableMover 2014 Home Technology Resources: David Gregg asks: Should you upgrade your flat panel TV?

David Gregg: Should you upgrade your flat panel TV?

Compiled by David Gregg – Senior Editor of

The answer I give to people who ask me when they should upgrade their old flat panel TV is, “When it dies.” 

Most TV manufacturers would have you believe the flat panel TV you bought 5 years ago is totally outdated and unable to provide an enjoyable viewing experience.  While there have been many enhancements in TV technology (3D, faster screen re-fresh rates, smart/connected services), they are not enough to justify getting rid of your TV if it’s under 8 years old.

One exception to that rule is if you just moved and your current TV’s screen size is too small for the room.  In that case, move that set to a bedroom and buy a new one.

But what if you are frustrated with your 5+ year old TV’s inability to connect to the internet?  Fret not!  All those devices you’ve been hearing about that easily turn your TV into a smart one are now both affordable and reliable!  For around $50 and 5 minutes of time, devices made by companies like Roku, Google and many of today’s Blu-ray players have smart TV capability!  That’s a small price to pay compared to the many hundreds of dollars a new smart TV will set you back.

Additionally, when you subscribe to cable TV and their high speed internet service, you will get the best of both worlds to enhance your old flat panel TV’s capability!  You’ll be able to access a massive selection of on-demand programming services so your entire family can view their favorite TV shows and movies, from both recent and past releases/seasons!  Additionally, cable’s high speed internet service provides the fast and reliable connection required to optimize the performance of smart Blu-ray players and Roku type devices.

Here’s my pick for a device that will help you get the most out of your current TV:

THE ROKU 3500R STREAMING STICK (HDMI Version) – This is a convenient little stick that streams loads of entertainment to your TV. Choose from 1,000+ channels and 31,000+ movies with more added all the time. Control it with the included remote or from your mobile device. Even cast Netflix, YouTube and personal media from your smartphone or tablet to your TV.  $49.99

  • Compact stick design plugs discreetly right into the HDMI port--great for wall-mounted TVs.
  • 1,000+ entertainment channels and counting.
  • You can choose to control your entertainment via your iOS or Android device or use the included remote that everybody can share.
  • Stunning HD video quality will immerse you in the action with rich, vibrant video streaming up to 1080p HD. 

Today’s flat panel TV’s were manufactured to provide anywhere between 15-20 years of viewing enjoyment.  Before you consider opening your wallet to buy a “new and improved” model, ask yourself if the improvements can be accomplished more affordably. 

DISCLOSURE:  David Gregg has not received any compensation from the product manufacturers in exchange for featuring them in these information resources for