Issues in bringing TV from USA to India - is it worth?


Are you planning to bring a Television from USA to India and want to know the issues involved? Read this post to learn more about how to plan bringing a TV from USA to India, what are the issues you are going to face here etc.

We moved from USA to India in May 2011 and brought 2 High Definition TVs. One of them is a 4 year old, 42 inch Panasonic Plasma TV. The second one is a new Sony Bravio, 3D enabled, 55 inch LED TV. In this post, I will talk about the mistakes we did and also offer some tips on how to plan and bring a TV from USA to India.

PAL - NTSC compatibility issues


The transmission in India uses video standard called "PAL". The standard in USA is different and is called "NTSC". Most TVs made in USA will support only NTSC format. There are very few TV models that support both NTSC and PAL in USA, however, they are hard to locate. Most TV manufacturers do not publish their dual mode support. Even if you go through all the specification, you may not be able to find if a TV purchased in USA has support for NTSC system.

If you are planning to bring a TV from USA to India, make sure you carry a PAL to NTSC converter, which can be used to convert the PAL transmission in India to NTSC format. You may not be able to buy PAL to NTSC converter in India.

Alternatively, you can look for TVs that support both PAL and NTSC, even though they are rare in USA.

If you bring an NTSC TV to India, plan to spend about $200 to buy a good PAL to NTSC converter and remember to buy it from USA to itself.

Voltage compatibility issues


All electrical and electronic items in USA are made to work at 110 volt which is the standard voltage for residential purposes there. In India, the standard is 220 volt. If you connect a 110v TV to the 220 volt power outlet in India, it will damage it's electrical system and you may not be able to repair any more.

If you are bringing a TV from USA to India, try to bring a TV that supports voltage range from 110 to 220. Very rare models are available that support the said range.

Alternate option is to buy and bring a 110 volt TV and use it along with a step down transformer in India. You can buy transformers that can step down the 220 voltage to 110 voltage. Your TV can be connected to the outlet of a step down transformer and safely use in India.

If you plan to bring a 110 volt TV from USA to India, plan to spend about Rs 2,000 for a voltage converter in India. You can buy step down voltage converter in India.

(You will need to buy a voltage stabilizer to save your TV from voltage fluctuation in India. This is no different whether you buy a TV in India or bring from USA.)

Custom duty for importing TV


Custom duty is another issue you need to deal with when you bring a TV to India. If you avail Transfer of Residence when you move to India permanently after living in USA for few years, you can bring a TV by paying 15% customs duty. If you bring more than 1 TV, each additional TV is charged at 30% customs duty.

The custom duty is charged at the current price of the specific model of the TV in India. In case of used TVs, a depreciation will be calculated before the customs duty is calculated. You may get the TV at a low price in USA, but the customs duty will be based on it's price in India.

Brand and price difference between USA and India


When you bring TV from USA to India, the customs duty is charged based on the price of the equivalent models in India. Certain models which are relatively expensive in USA may be cheaper in India. For example, Samsung TVs are usually more expensive in USA than SONY brand, Sony is more expensive than Samsung in India. So, if you bring a SONY Tv from USA to India, you will end up paying higher customer duty since they are more expensive here.

Repairs and warranty coverage out of country


Many manufacturer warranties are void if you ship an item out of state. This is because of the difference in the consumer laws from state to state. Almost all warranties are void if you ship an item to another country. And to make it worse, whether the warranty is void or not, you may not find spare parts or skilled technicians in India to repair your US made TV.

Considering complaint rates are relatively low for modern televisions, most people usually takes the risk of bringing TV.

Shipping charges


Even though TVs are cheaper in USA, if you consider the shipping charges, it may not be worth shipping. If you already shipping several other items, especially container shipping, adding a TV to the shipment may not be very big deal. But if you are shipping a TV alone, the shipping cost will be very high.

You can bring small TVs like 32 inch LED/LCD Tv as a check-in baggage in the flight. You are allowed to bring electronic items worth up to Rs 25,000 free of duty in the flight and most 32 inch TVs will fall in to this category. However, smaller TVs are relatively cheaper in India and it may not be worth bringing them considering voltage compatibility issues, PAL-NTSC compatibility problems and customs duty.

Summary - Is it worth bringing TV from USA to India


I explained various issues involved in shipping a TV from USA to India.

1. PAL - NTSC compatibility issues

2. 110 volt to 220 volt compatibility issues

3. Customs duty

4. Repairs and warranty coverage

5. Shipping charges

This is what you have to consider. Add the price of TV in USA, add $200 for PAL to NTSC converter, add Rs 2000 for step down voltage transformer, add customs duty and shipping charges. Is it still much cheaper than the price of the similar TV in India? Go for it. If the price difference is very narrow, it is not worth taking the risk.

Usually, it is not worth bringing TVs less than 50 inch to India since smaller TVs are available in India for low prices and it may not be worth bringing after considering all extra cost involved in it.

Read Top Samsung LED TV under price of Rs,30,000


Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

Follow Tony John or read 639 articles authored by Tony John

Comments

Guest Author: Prasad Kopanati26 Sep 2013

Great article, Tony. It goes into a good detail on the question of sending a TV to India. For one, the cost of TVs is much lower in USA. So, people see a lot of value. But, shipping might be expensive.

We built a company that can help shipping problems. We leverage social networks to cut down on shipping costs and improve speeds.

Guest Author: Rahul A Deshmukh06 Oct 2013

Very Helpful. Great Job!!!!

Guest Author: Pramod19 Nov 2013

Thank you for this very helpful article. It clarified several doubts regarding bringing TV from USA to India. Looks like it is not worth the pain. I would rather live with the televisions available in India. These days, you can get everything in India itself and I don't see a need to bring any TVs from abroad.

Guest Author: chetana31 Jan 2014

That was really informative. Appreciate your time concern given towards such a detail mail.

Guest Author: prabhakar10 Feb 2014

It is a lot information. I am planning to take a tv to India but after reading this I changed my mind. Thanks to you.

Guest Author: Skumar01 Mar 2014

Thanks a lot for explaining all the pros and cons of shipping a TV from US to India.

Guest Author: Ahamed06 Mar 2014

Hi, great article I am very thankful to you. I was planning to buy a LED TV from US. But after reading this article and your experience, I have changed my plan. Looks like it is not worth bringing a TV from USA to India.

Guest Author: Sairam18 Jun 2014

Thank you very much for sharing information regarding pros and cons of bringing a TV from USA to India.

Guest Author: shekar24 Jun 2014

Useful information. It helped me a lot.

Guest Author: lSwaroop24 Jun 2014

Hi Tony,

Nice article. I would like to know whether your 55" TV was shipped as an extra baggage in flight? Do airlines allow TV bigger than 46"?

Guest Author: Prabhu24 Jun 2014

Very much appreciated on your effort to put this information. Thanks a lot

Author: Tony John24 Jun 2014 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

lSwaroop,

I brought the TV when I returned to India permanently. We brought a full container of used items and the TV was also shipped in the container. I don't think airlines will allow such big items as a carriage items. It will be too big to ship in a flight. Moreover, you will need a lot of protection and padding to ship such items which will make the packing too bulky.

Guest Author: lSwaroop25 Jun 2014

We are having a 50" TV. Wondering how to take it back with us to India! We don't have anything else to take back. So don't think container shipping would be worth for this alone. Thank you so much for the prompt response Tony..really appreciate it.

Author: Tony John25 Jun 2014 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

lSwaroop,

Most of the relocation companies offer partial container shipment. They will combine yours with other shipments and charge your by weight and size. I used Universal Relocations (http://www.unirelo.com/) for my transfer. You can try them.

Guest Author: lSwaroop25 Jun 2014

That's good news!Would check that out.Thank you so much again...

Author: Mukesh17 Jul 2014 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 2

Hi ,

Thank you for very detailed and informative details.

I have a question related to point 1 PAL - NTSC compatibility issues.

As now most of the TVs accept HDMI, and many of the cable boxes have HDMI output, is PAL - NTSC compatibility still an issue?

Thank you in advance
Mukesh

Guest Author: Raju29 Jul 2014

I guess some of these advance Tvs with full array capability etc are very pricey in India. It might still make sense to take Tvs ( it is like taking calculated risk)

Guest Author: ravi29 Jul 2014

I am planing to send my parents a PC monitor of 24 inch with them to India. Will there be any duty on that?

Guest Author: Sirisha Gummadi07 Aug 2014

Thanks for the nice analysis.

Guest Author: Samy21 Aug 2014

I have a question regarding customs duty.

I want to take one Sony 32" LED TV from US to India on Emirates Flight to Chennai, which was purchased from Craiglist in USA for $300. I am taking an invoice from the purchaser and e-mail correspondences from the buyer as an evidence. I am taking as a check-in baggage on emirates.How much the Chennai custom officer will charge as custom duty from me for this LED Tv and how much the Emirates will claim for shipping.

Someone will guide me for this issue
Thanks

Author: Tony John21 Aug 2014 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

Samy,

I am not sure if you will be able to bring a 32" TV as checkin baggage due to the size. Please check with the airlines. The customs people may not accept the invoice from the seller unless it is a receipt from a shop. I am not sure what would be the customs duty in the airport.

Guest Author: Vijay David16 Sep 2014

Tony, can you please let me know how much you ended up forking out for the TV for shipping, import and customs?

Guest Author: Vijay David16 Sep 2014

Can you also please let me know how to avail the "Transfer of Residence"? Is there a form that I need to apply?

Thank you for your forum. It is a wealth of information!

Guest Author: yogesh goyal21 Sep 2014

Hi. I have 42inch LG 3D tv (42LM3400 model). Can someone please suggest me if I can check-in it as checked baggage in airlines. If so, then how much extra I need to pay to airlines. Also, nearly how much will be custom duty. (Please note I am using this tv from 18 months, so its old tv). Lastly not sure if I need a PAL-NTSC converter for this (its having HDMI)..Please suggest. Any response will be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Guest Author: Mahesh04 Oct 2014

Hey

I took my new LG 47 inch TV on Sep 26 to India, Airlines did not charged any thing and I paid 8k as customs.

Guest Author: Ram20 Oct 2014

It is a lot information. I am planning to take a tv to India but after reading this I changed my mind. Thanks to you.

Guest Author: Ranjit Bhusry24 Oct 2014

I had apprehension on the same as mentioned above that TV in India have to be PAL compatible.For experiment I had a Colby TFTV 1525 which word on antenna in Phoenix well.I brought it to India and connected to TATA Sky set top box through the HDMI port. It works well. I am not an electronics engineer but I think if you are watching through a set top box then it does not matter as output of transmition is digital and the output is through HDMI on the TV screen irrespective of PAL or NTSC. It may be a problem using it directly through antenna in India. Which I never tried.I have a step down converter from 220 to 110

Author: Tony John24 Oct 2014 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Ranjit,

Nobody uses Antenna in India these days! The TVs I bought doesn't work with TATA Sky set top box. I am using one Panasonic and another Sony TVs, both with 220 to 110 converter. Both do not work without an NTSC - PAL converter.

My son connected the Panasonic TV directly to 220V and nobody noticed it for many weeks. Thus we learnt the TV works fine with 220 volt even though the back of the TV says Input 120V only. We haven't tried the Sony TV with 220V yet since that is an expensive 55" TV!

Guest Author: Vikas24 Oct 2014

Mahesh,

Thanks for sharing the info. I am also planning to buy new tv and take it to india. Can you let me know in which airlines you went and also what all documents you carried along with you for TV. Also how did the Custom come with 8k amount.

Guest Author: Ranjit Bhusry24 Oct 2014

Mine is a HD tata sky Set top box with latest firmware updates.It has no model number. It does have a Hdmi and a usb port in the rear other thanthe traditional type of ports. The charge / card port is also at rear. May be that will help to find the model that is compatible.

Guest Author: palanisamy28 Oct 2014

I will clear all your doubts

1. Some airlines allow two check in bags free of cost. Some airlines one & some airlines no free check-in bags. Consult the airline on which you’re traveling. Check in bags wt-23 kg size 62"(h+w+d) total. If your TV comes with this size and weigh your carry as one of your check-in bag. Balance weight cannot be adjusted with other check-in bag.

2. Consult your TV manufacturer to know whether your TV is capable for 220v input. Otherwise buy 220v to 110 volt converter. Also check the manual if any voltage selector is available.

3. Consult your TV manufacturer to know whether your TV is capable for PAL G system input (antenna input).Otherwise NTSC to PAL G converter necessary. For HDMI input don't worry about NTSC or pal systems.

4. Tata Sky HD set top box is having HDMI output. This output can be connected directly to your TV HDMI input. NTSC to PAL converter is not necessary.

5. Regarding custom duty: It depends upon which airport you are landing and that airports custom officer on duty. Directly discuss with that custom officer and say that TV is for your personal and family use (only one TV). Whatever he charges pay through chalan and later apply for reimbursement.

Guest Author: ritesh kumar awasthi07 Nov 2014

I bought a 40 inch Samsung 3D 40uh 6400 from USA 3 months back. Adapter is showing 110 volts but there are no details of whether it is PAL compatible or not.
Please tell me how much duty I have to pay in India. It cost me 700 USD and secondly will this TV work in India without PAL to NTSC converter?
Thanks

Guest Author: Sanoj Samuel14 Nov 2014

Hey how I can reimburse the import duty paid?Is it possible? Somebody just said "Whatever he charges pay through chalan and later apply for reimbursement."

Can someone explain this better?

Guest Author: Gopi17 Nov 2014

Very helpful and detailed cost comparison. I bought a SONY 32" LED to take it to India tomorrow, but after reading your insightful information I decided to return it today.

Guest Author: PT20 Nov 2014

I am planning to carry a 50 inch sony tv from usa to india. Does anyone have idea about airlines that consider this as checkin baggage! (I am ready to pay additional charge). also does it required any special packing if they allow it as checkin luggage. Appreiciate your inputs. Thanks.

Guest Author: lakshmi26 Nov 2014

Hi, The post and comments are really very helpful. I am also having the same doubt as Gopi. Can anyone please assist to get the information?

Guest Author: Sandesh27 Nov 2014

Stepdown from 220v to 110v is OK. HDMI will take care of NTSC or PAL system. Can someone tell me about difference in frequency USA has 60Hz while India has 50Hz. Another doubt is, a DVD player running on 220 V will be able to play Indian movies, if we connect using HDMI port? Will there be any issues on picture aspect ratio or video quality? Need urgent response.
Cheers
Sandesh

Guest Author: Pravin Shimpi27 Nov 2014

Hi,


This is really very helpful information to someone planning a TV from USA To India.

Thank you.

Guest Author: Fredric27 Nov 2014

HI Tony,
After all the charges to bring tv still it is worth to bring, you are big useless.

Guest Author: Navya Marupaka07 Dec 2014

Hi,

I got a Samsung 60inch LED TV for $845 and I am thinking to take it to India and the box for the TV would be like 70-75inch...will the airlines allow this big 75inch box and how much would they approximately charge and I need to take first take local airport...and will the airlines

Author: Ashish23 Dec 2014 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 4

Hi Navya,

How did you sent 60 inch TV to India? Please let me know.
I have a 60 inch LED TV and planning to courier it to India. Will officers in the air cargo or customs in Mumbai airport asks for custom duty? Will Air Cargo and Custom the same? What If I pack the TV in old box of U-Haul and say that TV is 1.5 yrs old? It is a LCD TV of 60 inch; Will custom officer open it and check it? I can save some money this way. Is it possible?

Dear All, Please suggest Immediately I will be flying on 3rd Jan 2015 from US to India.

Guest Author: Satheesh02 Jan 2015

I have shipped a 40" Samsung TV and the Bangalore Customs appraised the value as 800$ ( actual price in USA is 420$, when i bought in walmart, back in 2013). Later, I learnt they have their own database of prices.
I paid 18000rs as duty tax. My perception is, its not worth taking from USA.

Guest Author: Shri Haran18 Jan 2015

Awesome article! I have decided to take LG Ultra 4K 55 inch via UniRelo under transfer of residency. This TV supports 110-220V 50/60 Hz supply directly. As I'll be plugging it to a TATA SKY via HDMI, I'll not be worried about the NTSC PAL constraint. Will keep you guys posted

Guest Author: Abhishek Rastogi01 Feb 2015

Very useful information. Thanks

Guest Author: sac198418 Feb 2015

Where to look for TV's in US with 240v support

Guest Author: Col V M Joneja03 Mar 2015

I need a 70 inch 4k sharp tv, which is only available in USA and can be delivered by Amazon to my sister in USA. What's the best way to get it in India through a shipping company? I have no hassle of paying custom and no issue of voltage or NTSC - these are resolvable issues.

Guest Author: Suresh Kaushik31 Mar 2015

Great article with useful information on whether or not it is worthy the trouble to get your TV from USA to India.

Guest Author: Hari07 Apr 2015

Very helpful article. I was planning to purchase and ship a 40" TV. Looks like its not worth the effort.

Guest Author: Satheeshkumar09 Apr 2015

I sent my 42" Samsung TV via DHL bangalore airport paying duty of 18k in Jan 2015. Later I went to India on vacation and used the 240-110v convertor[750rs] along with SunHD SetTopBox[1300rs with 1 month free as I replaced only the SetTopBox from Standard type and not the antenna\cables].

I was happy by seeing the output, atleast my parents are watching on that TV now.

1. It was not broken while shipment +
2.Paid 18k for duty tax apart from shipping charges -
3. Converter and SetTopBox availability +

Guest Author: DG07 May 2015

Hi Shri Haran, wWaiting for your update!

Guest Author: Pradeep Kanoor15 May 2015

Very helpful information for bringing a television set from America to India.

Guest Author: Satheeshkumar24 May 2015

All,

I have updated my perception and experience on 9th april 2015, however a week ago my mom told me the TV is rebooting when she is using the remote control.
1. Raised a call with Sun STB CC and paid around 150rs
2. He checked and raised a SR with Samsung
3. Samsung CC contacted my mom the next day about the cost[for checking the issue 1000rs and for fixing\troubleshooting its 5000rs for foreign TVs+ parts]
4. Samsung Tech visited couple of days later and asked my mom not to use the remote control as the TV was working fine only without it. He took 500rs seems.
5. As of now its been less than a week and the TV is working as per my mom and not sure what will happen next.

My perception getting changed based on the issues\experience.. I dont want to get one more TV in future from USA :(



9th April Update as below for your ref
============================
I sent my 42" Samsung TV via DHL bangalore airport paying duty of 18k in Jan 2015. Later I went to India on vacation and used the 240-110v convertor[750rs] along with SunHD SetTopBox[1300rs with 1 month free as I replaced only the SetTopBox from Standard type and not the antenna\cables].

I was happy by seeing the output, atleast my parents are watching on that TV now.

1. It was not broken while shipment +
2.Paid 18k for duty tax apart from shipping charges -
3. Converter and SetTopBox availability +

=============================

Guest Author: AMIT SHARMA01 Jun 2015

I have a 47" 3D TV which I need to take it to India. What are all the airlines allowing this size of TV as a checked-in baggage?

Guest Author: Ansh18 Jul 2015

Great Article Tony !! Thanks a lot !

Guest Author: Anish Agarwal22 Aug 2015

Any idea how much Unirelo will charge for a 50' TV?

Guest Author: Trupti02 Oct 2015

I am currently in the United States and have purchased a Samsung UN32H5203. This TV only supports ATSC and Clear QAM. It is not mentioned whether it supports NTSC or not. Will PAL to NTSC converter will be suitable for this TV to run in India? Please reply at the earliest.

For TV specification, please see link below -
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/compare/Samsung_UN32H5203_vs_Samsung_UN32EH5300_vs_Samsung_UN32H5500_vs_Samsung_UN32EH5000/BHitems/1061254-REG_840997-REG_1026274-REG_840978-REG

Guest Author: SOMASHEKHAR NAGARAJA16 Oct 2015

I am planning take 40 inch LED TV to India from Austin Texas via Ethihad airways. Please give me some suggestions.

Guest Author: Dev21 Oct 2015

Very useful information to know about bringing a TV set from USA to India. Thanks!

Guest Author: Venkat18 Nov 2015

Very useful information. I am planning to send my 40" Samsung led tv to India. This information and the suggestions you gave me lot of inputs.

Guest Author: Harish27 Nov 2015

Hi everyone,
I am planning to courier a Samsung 60 LED to India. Suggest me which courier/carrier I have to go with for safe delivery and also how much I need to pay for Customs (my TV cost is $860). Please guide me.

Guest Author: Chithu28 Nov 2015

Could you please tell me what TV supports 240v buying from USA? Is it that LG all models supports 240v and one can safely bring to India?

Guest Author: Venkat28 Nov 2015

I am trying to take same 55" LG not ultra. Waiting for your update please.

Guest Author: Pavan05 Dec 2015

I am planning to take Samsung 40inch TV to India. Could you please let me know which airline will allow to take it expect British airways? Thanks.

Guest Author: Satisha J D26 Dec 2015

Hello,
I am a resident of Bangalore, India. I am planning to buy 'Sony KDL-55W800C 55"-Class Full HD Smart LED TV' from NYC Superstore (online from New York, USA) that costs ~1148$ (798$ TV cost + 350$ Shipping cost). In Indian currency, this will cost ~Rs. 77000/- and the same TV in India costs Rs. 152,000/- and Snapdeal is offering the lowest online price of Rs. 121,999/-. So, even if I consider lowest price in India, I will still be benefited by ~Rs.45,000/-. Will there be any custom duty for this new TV or does shipping cost includes this custom duty? And when it gets shipped from New York to Bangalore, can I expect a safe delivery (without any damages)?

Are there any other bottle necks or additional costs that I should consider?

Kindly help me do my math and take a decision quickly.

Guest Author: Rajbir Singh13 Jan 2016

What about the TVs from other brands such as Element, Westinghouse, TCL that do not exist in India? How they will charge the customs as they cannot compare the price from there?

Guest Author: lakshman13 Jan 2016

I am planning to buy a 4K Sony 55 inch TV. Even though there are so many forums online, I am getting confused in the compatibility and I am worried about the PAL / NTSC Systems. Now a days we use Set top box with HDMI. Will it be still an issue in video format? Anyone who moved recently and using it please suggest, so then based on your feedback I can decide whether to buy or not. Thank you.

Guest Author: Palanisamy14 Jan 2016

If you use set of box, then no question of PAL of NTSC. Take HDMI output on set of box and connect on HDMI on TV.

Guest Author: Chithu14 Jan 2016

To my knowledge, a TV up to 47 inches is allowed and not more than that. Kindly confirm, whether in baggage allowance it is allowed to take 55 inch or more ?

Guest Author: Dheeraj gaba25 Jan 2016

You can ship a TV from Amazon.com using their global shipping services. There are a few products which are available to be shipped to India.

Guest Author: Subbu08 Jun 2016

I have 55 inch 4K LED TV and planning to carry to India. My TV supports Indian electricity and I don't worry about PAL as all setup boxes now can output in NTSC and PAL (I got 32 inch tv from US and I tested with local cable setup box in my last visit and it worked perfectly fine).

I would like to know which airlines allow carrying 55inch TV and how much it costs. I live in NYC.

Also I am returning after 6 years, will there be any concession for people who are moving back to India?

Guest Author: Pradeepkumar15 Jun 2016

Really it was a nice article Tony. Worth reading it, now am dropping my plan to take TV from USA to INDIA.
@Satisha JD: Yes shipping cost doesn't include Custom's duty tax. I also verified in SFLWorldwide and there the shipping cost for TV more than 55 inch is $295 and 60 inches is $325. This doesn't include custom clearance. So please re calculate the price difference.



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