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Is it Worth It to Ship a TV Internationally or Overseas?

Published on Apr 30, 2020 by Kfir Cohen

One of the first questions people ask when preparing for an overseas relocation is: “is it worth it to ship a television overseas?” Many of our clients are moving to Canada or Mexico. Though these aren’t overseas, they are still different countries, and permanently shipping your TV there must be done correctly.

International relocation is sometimes a great opportunity to save a lot of money by sending appliances from the USA to your new country. However, not all devices work everywhere. TVs aren’t the only thing that makes sense to ship from the USA. This article will speak mainly about TVs, but keep in mind that you should also send additional complementary equipment.


Entertainment from the USA

Many of our clients have been living in the USA for several years. However, they are moving back to their home countries for retirement or after a stint working or studying. Others are Americans who have decided to start life anew in another country or relocated by their employer to work in an overseas branch.

Whatever the reason for your move, you likely have become accustomed to American entertainment. Even if you are excited to experience the culture of your new (or renewed) country, you might still want to keep up with American sports or entertainment.

Even if you decide not to send a full-sized TV, you will send streamers and home theatre equipment. Please note that typically streamers are not sent out of the USA by companies like Amazon, and if you want a streaming device, you will have to bring one with you.

Other essential equipment to bring with you are gaming consoles, home entertainment systems, and projectors.

If you want to continue watching TV content from the USA, you need one of these streaming devices. They can also plug into a TV that you buy in your new country. [Please note that many of the streaming services you are familiar with, like Amazon and Netflix, show more restricted content outside the USA. There are available services that will allow you to see the American versions and search for them on the Internet.]

Which TVs and home entertainment equipment should not be sent internationally?

In the old days, TV’s from the USA wouldn’t work in other countries. If you still watch movies on a DVD, for instance, or some older Blu-ray player, they are likely to be region locked. It is an artifact of a time gone by when there were different TV broadcast systems in use. In the USA, they used an NTSC system, while most of the world used other methods called PAL or SECAM. So if you are bringing media-like discs with you, they might require an American player to play them properly.

With modern TVs, this is usually no longer an issue. If your equipment uses HDMI, it should work on any screen that can receive HDMI input. If you are using older standards, it might not work. Your American TV will work in many places.

Most smaller complementary electronics, like speakers and home entertainment systems, will work with simple adapters. Check your appliances. Those that have an external converter or power block are almost all suitable for use anywhere. If it is written “input 100-240 v” or something similar, you usually need to buy the simple adapters. Also, anything powered by USB will work universally. However, appliances, especially audiovisual equipment, should not be used with transformers.


Types of TVs

There are many kinds of large-screen TVs. They often have the same multi-input transformers as external power blocks, but they are built into the TV and can still be used. It is not always easy to read the input settings from the back of the TV, and sometimes it makes the most sense to consult your TV’s user’s manual. Don’t worry about the fact that you tossed them long ago; they are readily available online.

One other piece of equipment that you should consider sending is a router. Often, there are routers available in the USA that have all of the latest standards built into them. These routers are superior and far cheaper than those available in most countries.

If your destination is in the Western Hemisphere, all of your devices should work. It is pretty easy for you to compare prices. In Canada, prices are relatively similar to those in the USA, but sending your TV from the USA for most other locations will be a significant saving.

5 / 5 ( 3 votes )

By Kfir Cohen

Kfir Cohen is handling global operations, cargo shipping, negotiation, and management of different suppliers around the world. He has more than 15 years of experience in the avant-garde of relocation and the sea/air freight business.
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