Short Pointers in Evaluating and Maintaining TV Energy Efficiency
The television, in my opinion, is considered to be one of the most classic home electronic appliances of the modern era. Regular, “channel-based” TV usage today however has significantly dwindled down over the past few years due the emergence of new entertainment devices. However people do still use the TV on many different occasions, as there are other entertainment applications that can only be properly done by a TV.
And so, as part of the primary line of appliances used in a home, the TV should also be economized according to your “energy budget”, and here are three basic pointers that we can use as a guide:
What screen technology does your TV use?
As it is mainly a display device/appliance, the primary element that affects the energy consumption of your TV would be its screen technology. The now obsolete CRT technology for example, may be able to produce images with bright colors and good contrast, but its energy consumption is quite high, and is thus considered inefficient.
Modern LCD displays have significantly lower consumption rates, although depending on the type of display modification, it may have varying energy costs. For example, the most energy efficient type of LCD today is the LED-backlit LCD. A simple understanding of the comparative energy efficiencies of LED and fluorescent lighting (the standard LCD backlight) should give a clear idea why. Plasma TV should be avoided by an energy-thrifty person at all costs. Not only is it more expensive than an average LCD TV, but it also consumes at least 4-5 times more energy than an LED TV. It’s definitely not something that you could economize for your electric bill.
What is the current function of your TV?
Televisions have gradually expanded their function as its technology improved and as new devices became interfaced with it. In the last two decades of the 20th century for example, televisions became popularly used for video tape players and video game consoles. Today, there are even more uses for a television. What do usually use it for nowadays? For classic TV viewing? As a visual interface for your devices? As an internet browser? The more uses you have for your TV, the higher your average energy consumption would naturally go. Try calculating the total time that you use for all of these functions and conveniences, and try to compare it with the energy consumption of your TV model. Even without calculations, the comparison should give us a general idea about the efficiency of your own usage of the television.
Does it consume standby power or have standby systems?
You may have already learned this before, but some appliances still consume power even when you think they are turned off. TV’s often have their standby modes, allowing the user to quickly turn the appliance on at the press of a remote control button. Standby modes always require a small amount of power because it allows the unit to run at a ready state, and keeps the receiver on, so that the remote instant on function would always work. The total energy spent in standby mode is of course very low compared to when it is on, but it is still important that you take account for this slight energy use for an accurate efficiency evaluation.
If you think that you would be keeping the unit standby for extended periods of time, or if the unit you intend to buy has a tendency to have a slower raw power on rate (thus requiring the unit to stay in standby mode for convenience) then perhaps it would be wise reconsider your options.
Finally, the unit’s screen size would also affect its power consumption. However, since we don’t necessarily choose a TV’s screen size according to power consumption, it would simply be best to find a balanced position, where a relatively good screen size could meet your economized energy requirements.
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