Today's TVs are Much More Energy Efficient Than Analog Models

A new study commissioned by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) shows manufacturers have made huge strides in creating more energy efficient televisions. In furtherance of the technology industry’s leadership on energy efficient products, the CEA study, released recently, provides a review and analysis of power consumption trends in digital television technology. 

The CEA study, “Power Consumption Trends in Digital TVs Produced Since 2003,” reviewed power consumption data on best-​selling digital TV models from 2003 to 2010 – in both active and standby modes – on high-​definition liquid crystal (LCD) and plasma display models with screen sizes ranging from 13- to 65-​inches. Some highlights:

  • LCD active power use fell 63% from 2003 to 2010.
  • LCD standby power use dropped 87 % from 2004 to 2010.
  • Plasma TV active power use dropped 41% from 2008 to 2010.
  • Plasma TV standby use fell 85% from 2008 to 2010.

This study proves that it does not take government mandates to produce incredibly efficient TV sets. Intense competition, the voluntary Energy Star labeling program, and physics favoring less heat and thus less power drove these efficiency gains,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “In just a few years, digital TVs have achieved energy savings which took their power-​hungry analog predecessors several decades to achieve. In both design and usage, consumer electronics are increasingly contributing to national energy savings.”

To put the gains in context, the power consumption of the average TV sold in 2010 consumes less energy than a 100 watt incandescent light bulb and less power than what is needed to light a typical living room.

Many consumers don’t realize they can replace an old analog TV with a new flat-​panel digital TV that uses less energy,” said Douglas Johnson, vice president of technology policy, CEA. “Power consumption in TVs has fallen dramatically in the relatively short history of digital television thanks to the success of the Energy Star program combined with technological innovation, industry competition and consumer demand.”

As the study explains, standard fluorescent backlighting for LCD TVs is rapidly being replaced with light emitting diodes, or LEDs, which will make TVs even more efficient along with enhancing the brightness and contrast of the display.

In terms of market share, CEA expects LCD TVs to account for 82% of TV display sales in 2011 with 27.1 million units shipped. CEA expects 4.6 million plasma TVs to ship this year. As noted in the study, significant improvements in energy efficiency of plasma displays have been made in the optimization of the xenon/​neon gas mixture, which produces UV light. Along with these technology improvements, the study also attributed energy efficiency gains to manufacturers seeking to meet the latest Energy Star specifications.

[Source:  "Power Consumption Trends in Digital TVs Produced Since 2003."  Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).  3 Feb. 2011.  Web.  4 Feb. 2011.]