In a “significant industry change”, electronics company Philips is offering the hospitality and other sectors a free software update to extend the lifetime of its televisions.
This means existing TVs will have access to the same features and benefits as the latest Philips models, the company said. Businesses and services sectors, such as hotel chains and hospitals, who already own Philips televisions, will no longer have to purchase a newer model to enjoy the same advantages as new customers, it added.
The electronics company believes the decision to allow older models to be upgraded will help the hospitality sector to reduce its generation of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
The update programme has been devised by the company’s Professional Display Solutions (PDS) division, which said it was committed to the move even though it recognised it would cut the number of TVs it is able to sell.
Sources close to the company suggested it was generally unheard of for a manufacturer to offer such an update, which would essentially reduce the number of TVs it sells to a customer. Philips is said to be committed to playing its part in helping the world reduce the 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste seen in 2019.
Jeroen Verhaeghe, global product manager for professional TVs at Philips PDS, said: “We don’t believe in limiting the latest and greatest features to the newest Philips models. We want our customers to be able to offer the best experience at all times, not just when their TVs are due for replacement.
“We hope our strategy brings some welcome relief to the industry, both today and into the future.”
Available now, the latest Android 9 (P) TV update can be installed either remotely or manually via software downloaded onto a dedicated USB stick here.
Philips says two million TVs are “dumped” in the UK each year, many of which are fully working but simply deemed out-dated and worthless.
Franck Racape, commercial vice president EMEA at Philips PDS, said: “At Philips PDS we are committed to creating a more sustainable path forward for the AV industry. One that brings benefits to all of our customers, reducing carbon footprints and the effects we are seeing from every type of waste.
“From reimagining packaging through to extending product lifetimes, sustainability is a key requirement for our customers and a clear deliverable achieved with these updates.”