How long has your TV been on?

Do you watch too much TV or feel like your new TV has been on for a long time? In the mostly hidden system menus of modern TVs, you can find interesting details: How many hours of operation does your TV have? However, accessing this system information is not always easy. Also because they are primarily intended for technicians. However: The information available there is obvious.

Warning: All manufacturers warn against changing settings in system menus. This may damage your TV and cause it to malfunction. We take no responsibility.


LG: separate remote control required

With LG, you cannot access your TV’s service menu with the Magic Remote. Instead, you need a programmable remote such as the (now discontinued) Logitech Harmony, or better yet, a regular LG remote (type designation MKJ39170828, also known as a system remote). For the “IN START” button, which takes you to the corresponding menu, you need:

  1. Press the “IN START” button on the remote control of the system.
  2. Now enter the four-digit code. These are usually: 0413, 0000, 0431, 7777, 8741, 8878 or 8843.
  3. Look for the UTT menu item, which tells the panel time in hours.
LG’s Magic Remote is not enough to access the system menu. (Photo: LG)

Important: Do not under any circumstances use the “STOP” button, as it resets the TV to factory settings – and in the worst case, even deletes the calibration of the panel.

Set working hours on Samsung TVs

Like LG, you need a different remote to access the Samsung TV’s system menu. An ordinary infrared remote control such as the BN59-01247A is sufficient. Smart remote is not compatible.

Proceed as follows:

  1. Turn off the TV.
  2. Press the keys in sequence: Info Menu/Settings Power Mute
  3. In the SVC menu item, you can find the information “Panel display time” corresponding to the working hours.

Alternatively, “Mute 1 8 2 Power” may also work. On newer TVs, “Panel display time” can be found under SVC -> Info -> SVC Info. The number is given in minutes. The first activation date of Smart TV is also interesting.

Unfortunately, Samsung's Smart Remote is not enough. (Photo: Samsung)
Unfortunately, Samsung’s Smart Remote is not enough. (Photo: Samsung)

Important: If you only want to define business hours, do not make any further changes! Normally, when you start the system menu, your TV will also be reset to factory settings. If in doubt, the configurations (brightness, contrast, etc.) should be recorded in advance.

Tip: With the combination “Play Forward Pause Rewind” Smart TV shows you the working hours. You will hear an audible notification, so increase the volume if necessary. You don’t need to go to the system menu for this, but you still need an IR remote.

Philips: read the operating hours via the key combination

On current and old Philips TVs, a combination of buttons is enough to enter the service menu:

  1. Switch to normal TV mode.
  2. Enter the keys “0 6 2 5 9 6” and confirm with OK.
  3. Accept the warning.
  4. Under “Opening hours” you will find regular opening hours.

Alternatively, Philips also offers the Philips Customer Service Menu (CSM), which you activate with a quick tap on the “1 2 3 6 5 4” keys. On page 5 you will find details of opening hours.

Sony: Hours of Operation in Settings

Sony makes it easy for you on most new TVs (with Android TV). Because you can find the working hours directly in the settings. So you don’t need to call hidden menus.

You can usually get the total uptime under System -> About -> Status or Settings -> Device Settings -> About -> Status. Operation time is always given in hours.

Sony TVs use Android TV, and it's especially easy to read operating hours here.  (Photo: Sony)
Sony TVs use Android TV, and it’s especially easy to read operating hours here. (Photo: Sony)

If your Sony TV does not have this option, there is also a service menu with more detailed information:

  1. Put your TV on standby.
  2. Quick press: i+ 5 Volume up + power button
  3. Under Self-Check / Self-Diagnosis History, there are three numerical values ​​below:

    – The first five digits are the total working time
    – The five numbers in the middle indicate how many times the TV has been restarted
    – The last five digits are the total number of hours the panel has been running.

If the uptime and panel activation time are different, there’s a simple reason: During production, manufacturers thoroughly retest devices before workers pack them up.

Panasonic: quick access to business hours

A number of Panasonic smart TVs use the Android TV operating system, which makes it easy to access business hours. Go to Device Settings -> About -> Status in Options. The last option is accessibility.

If your Panasonic TV has Panasonic’s own My Home Screen operating system, it works differently:

  1. Go to Menu -> Help -> System Information.
  2. Under “Status4” you can find the total running time in minutes

Why should I read business hours?

By reading the operating hours, you can find out how long your TV has been running or on. This is especially useful if you want to buy or sell a TV privately. But this is certainly a telling detail. Since most panels have an “expected service life” of between 20,000 and 100,000 hours – you can at least estimate how long you can still use your TV.

At the same time, the display is rightly questionable, because on some smart TVs it is possible to perform a “reset to factory settings” through the service menu and even set the operating hours to 0. In this case, there may be information such as Sony TVs. useful: the TV distinguishes between the operating time and the length of the burning panel. Therefore, it is worth a closer look.

It should be noted that most manufacturers allow their new TVs to work for several hours – straight from the factories. A TV with 0 hours of runtime would also be remarkable.

What remains: High risk

However: Reading the operating hours on most TVs takes time. You need a special remote control and reset the settings to factory settings. And if you accidentally change it, in the worst case, it can cause your TV to crash.

So, if you want to take a risk, you should decide in advance. Sony and Panasonic are commendable. Because Japanese companies provide easy access to business hours for many current models, at least with Android TV.

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