Power Saving TV Features Whitehorse YT
Power Saving TV Features
November 11, 2009 By Adrienne Maxwell
Have you embraced your TV’s power-saving features?
It seems like every TV manufacturer is trying to sell us on its products’ energy efficiency, mostly by touting the TVs’ power-saving features.
Be warned, though: Not all power-saving modes are created equal, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different options to know exactly what you’re getting.
The most basic power-saving function is an automatic shutoff function that will turn off the TV under designated circumstances—usually when no signal is present or when no action has occurred for a certain length of time. This function may be helpful if your housemates can’t seem to locate the TV’s off button when they leave a room, but it doesn’t do anything to improve the TV’s energy efficiency.
Some power-saving modes deal specifically with standby power, limiting the amount of power the set consumes only when it’s turned off. (Any device that can be cued up with a remote is never truly off; it’s in a standby state and continues to draw power.) The tangible effect of this function is that it increases the amount of time it takes for the TV to power up when you hit the on button.
An increasing number of new HDTVs sport power-saving modes that actually reduce consumption during use, primarily by cutting the display’s brightness.
LCDs, in particular, usually put out more light than you need, and a majority of new models have an adjustable backlight that allows you to manually tailor the light output to suit your viewing environment. If the TV also has a power-saving mode, this function takes some of the backlight control out of your hands.
You may still have the ability to adjust the backlight, but the maximum brightness is limited. Some TVs only provide an on/off option, while others provide different levels of adjustment, with low to high amounts of brightness reduction.
Still other TVs include an auto backlight function, in which the TV uses a light sensor to analyze the room’s ambient light and automatically adjust the brightness accordingly.
The eco-conscious shopper may want to look for a model that combines many of the above options, and there are plenty to be found. Sony recently introduced the VE5 Eco Series that includes some new power-saving functions that are likely to gain traction. In addition to an auto light-sensing mode, the VE5 models add a zero-watt standby mode that consumes “nearly zero” power when the TV is off, as well as a presence sensor that automatically turns off the TV when the room is unoccupied for a designated time period.
Of course, a power-saving mode is only effective if you take the time to enable it. If you’ve recently purchased a new TV with EnergyStar 3.0 certification, chances are the power-saving functions are on by default. Still, it never hurts to explore those onscreen menus and make sure. A few seconds of effort could reap tangible rewards.