Category Archives: tv

Buying a Flat-screen TV for Christmas? Some Options

If everybody replaces their old TVs with plasma screens, will we have to import more energy from hostile dictatorships, build more hydro-electric dams and new nuclear power stations? The short answer is: Yes.

According to a report done by the UK’s Energy Savings Trust (a non-profit organization, funded both by government and the private sector), household appliances currently account for about one third of a household’s energy . In the organization’s report The Ampere Strikes Back, the trend toward flat-screen TVs means at least a tripling of energy used to power TVs.

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Here are three pieces from the British press on the topic of flat-screen TVs (both plasma and LCD) and energy use:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6266082.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6188940.stm

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1843587,00.html

Australia is also having concerns about this new TV technology in its current wasteful form.

Some flat-screenTVs are less bad than others…

CNET has compared a range of models with all the data here.
Remember
: An old-fashioned (CRT) TV uses on average about 100 Watts.

The winners are:

Fewest Watts consumed (eg: least energy consuming)
Sharp LC-32D43U (Type: 32″LCD)
144.11 (Total Watts)
$44.41 (Yearly Cost)

Sharp is apparently a leader in greener TVs.

Most efficient (LCD)

Sony KDL-46S3000
46-inch LCD
202.58 (Total Watts)
$61.83 (Yearly Cost)

Most efficient (Rear Projection)
Samsung HL-T5687S
56-inch rear-projection
154.78 (Total Watts)
$47.45 (Yearly Cost)

Most efficient (Plasma)
Vizio P42HDTV- (Type: 42″ plasma)
42-inch plasma
188.26 (Total Watts)
$58.70 (Yearly Cost)

Note: Yearly cost assumes that the TV is on for 8 hours/day and that the average price of energy in the U.S. during 2006, is 10.4 cents per kilowatt hour, according to information from the Energy Information Administration

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Other measures you can take to minimize your energy draw

1. Avoid using the TV as background noise. Use your radio or your laptop instead. (Note: A surprising trend from the British report revealed that over 40% of people are listening to radio through their TVs. Bad idea).

2. Turn down the LCD’s backlight

3. Turn on the power-saver mode

4. Change the settings on the TV

5. Control room lighting

6. Own fewer TVs

7. Do something else!

Source: CNET

8. Make your own energy by hooking it up to a bike-generator.

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9. Compensate for your CO2 emissions by doing a little carbon offsetting. You can calculate the emissions of your chosen TV and purchase ‘offsets’ that fund alternative energy generation like wind farm projects in your country. Here’s a little intro on the topic from the beloved Canadian environmentalist and biologist David Suzuki.

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