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With most of the best TVs under $500 offering 4K resolution, HDR support, and a slew of smart features, it’s a great time to upgrade your living room without breaking the bank.
But adding a new TV to your home might raise questions about what to do with your old TV. Should you get rid of it, or try to repurpose it? How long should a TV last, anyway?
At Reviewed, we spend a good deal of time talking about the best stuff to buy and what to do with your stuff once you get it, but we don’t often talk about what to do with that stuff once you’re ready to move on to something new. Here are some simple ways to get the most out of an old TV—none of which involve dropping it on the curb outside of your home.
What should I buy if I’m moving my TV to a room without cable?
Let’s say you’ve recently upgraded your living room with the best TV money can buy (lucky you!) and you’re planning on moving your old TV from the living room to a guest room. Now, let’s imagine that the guest room isn’t properly wired for a cable box, or maybe that the guest room doesn’t get enough traffic to warrant a cable hook-up.
There are a few ways you can turn a cable-free TV into a fully-fledged media device, and crucially, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to do it.
We’ve tested several of the best streaming devices you can buy, and while we stand by the Roku Ultra (our pick for the best overall streaming box), the truth is, your guest room TV probably doesn’t need all of the bells and whistles that the Roku Ultra is offering.
Instead, consider our choice for the streaming device with the best value: the Roku Streaming Stick+. It offers most of the same features as the Roku Ultra (including 4K/HDR support) but carries a much more affordable price tag. For a secondary TV, it’s about as sensible as you can get.
Just about every TV is equipped with an input for coaxial cables, so you can also pick up an HD antenna for your secondary TV if local, over-the-air channels interest you. The most important thing to consider when buying an OTA antenna is its range.
For most people, a 30- to 40-mile range is ample, but you should do a little bit of research ahead of time to figure out your region’s channel availability. Use the FCC’s DTV reception map tool to get a sense of how much range an antenna will need in your particular area.
We tested several of the most popular models in our round-up of the best indoor HD antennas, and our pick for the best overall is the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse. Its 35-mile range should be suitable for most people and its performance is as reliable as OTA antennae get.
What do I need to mount an old TV?
If your soon-to-be-replaced TV is relatively small, you might consider mounting it in a room beyond your living room. Among my friends and family, this has been a go-to move for squeezing a bit more life out of those old, small LCD TVs that might’ve originally lived in a dorm room or apartment.
Whether you’re looking to turn your modestly-sized television into a wall-mounted kitchen companion or office assistant, buying the proper wall mount is as imperative as the installation process itself.
Fortunately, we put together everything you need to know about how to wall mount a TV, including a list of every tool you’ll need for the job.
How do I recycle or donate my old TV?
Instead of kicking your TV to the curb or sending it to the dump, why not recycle it or hand it down for someone else to use?
If you don’t personally know anyone who’s in the market for a hand-me-down, your TV will surely find a good home at your local Goodwill. Alternatively, you can locate your city’s electronics recycling center to ensure the safe and swift disposal of your old TV.
For more info, check out my colleague Lee’s guide to recycling or donating a TV.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.