I'm living in the Philippines right now. A month ago we moved to another house that does not have a TV included, so I was thinking of buying one. But we are planing to move to Mexico in a year, and it would be a waste splashing out a lot of money on a new TV just to discover that it will not work in Mexico.

AFAIK, a modern TV uses DC rather than AC so the power has to go into a DC converter at some point. I cannot think of a single good technical argument for making a TV with a 100-120v converter and a 200-240v instead of a 100-240 as you find in laptops.

But its not always the technical arguments that win. Maybe Sony/Samsung/LG/Philips/Panasonic/etc... want to divide the markets so it not as easy to do imports between the continents or something? Does anybody know if this is now possible, or is it still impossible to run the same TV on 100v and 220v?

  • related: expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/664/…
    – StrongBad
    Jun 27, 2017 at 15:28
  • You'll probably pay more to move the TV overseas than it would cost to buy a new one in Mexico. Jun 27, 2017 at 20:41
  • @greghewgill I already have so much stuff (mainly diving gear) that I would have to get a container anyway so I dont think an additional tv will cost me more to transport.
    – andreas
    Jul 19, 2017 at 2:47

2 Answers 2


Some TVs may be dual voltage but many are not. A dual voltage power supply is more expensive and few TVs are moved between countries. Check carefully before you buy a set.

However, also consider that TVs are not universal global products. A TV that you buy in one country is not necessarily the same as the TV in another for reasons other than voltage. The Philippines uses the Japanese ISDB-T standard for digital TV and Mexico uses the American ATSC standard. The two standards are substantially different, so a Filipino TV will not necessarily work in Mexico regardless of the voltage.

  • Hi should probably have specified that I have used streaming exclusively the last 5 years so linear tv is not an issue for me. Are you sure about the dual voltage? I know for a fact now that Samsung have dual voltage power supply but just label them differently in different regions. (just having one line in the factory is probably a lot cheaper than the small if any difference in price between a single or a dual powered DC/AC converter)
    – andreas
    Jul 19, 2017 at 2:51

Most flat screen TVs are dual-voltage (100 to 240 VAC). The input power is unlikely to be a problem, though obviously you must check the label before you try it.

Over-the-air TV inputs are region-specific, meaning that the TV you buy now may not accept antenna connections in other countries. However, HDMI and other non-antenna-type connections like composite video or VGA are not region-specific. So while you may need a converter box in your destination country, in practice this is not a big deal and often you would end up with one even if you bought a local set, e.g. for DVR or premium channels.

One thing that can go wrong when you relocate a TV is that any "smart" features such as Netflix which the TV may contain may not work anymore. For example, LG TVs made before 2012 had their Netflix region permanently set at the factory. Again, this can be overcome by treating the TV as a dumb display and using an external video source via HDMI.

  • @anomuse: Can you name a single model of TV or point to a single clear report of a TV currently being sold which does not support 50Hz content via HDMI? I can't find any. Jul 5, 2017 at 14:36

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