5 things to know about watching TV an...

5 things to know about watching TV and saving energy

There are 6 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jan 17, 2009, titled 5 things to know about watching TV and saving energy. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

With the conversion to high-definition digital TV broadcasting looming Feb. 17, you may be shopping for a set-top converter box so you can keeping using your old TV with an antenna.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

MikeW

United States

#1 Jan 17, 2009
An amazingly inaccurate article. Correcting the major errors:

1. Electricity doesn't "ultimately come from burning coal". In the U.S. overall, 50% of electricity is generated from coal, and in the Chicago area it's only 28%(most of ComEd's electricity comes from nuclear plants).

2. "LCD is better, LED is best" makes no sense, it's not either/or. There are almost no LED TV's in the world today; the choice is CRT, plasma, or LCD. LCD TV's have either fluorescent or LED backlighting, and if you're buying an LCD TV, LED is the more efficient backlight.

3. A 27" LCD TV uses 8-15 watts when it's on? No way. More like 80 to 150.

4. Tip 5 should be rewritten as "don't bother buying an energy star TV". The energy star rating means it uses 30% less energy than the average TV. That sounds like a lot, but it means if you watch 4 hours of TV a day, you'll save maybe 5 dollars a year in electricity. It's just not worth paying extra for the energy star rating.

Overall, the first 4 tips aren't bad. But people concerned about their energy usage are better off looking at their air conditioners, not their televisions. The average central air unit uses more energy over 2 hot summer days than a TV uses all year! Turn off the A/C and open the windows.
Bails

Mount Prospect, IL

#2 Jan 18, 2009
Interesting comments.
bill p

Portland, OR

#3 Jan 18, 2009
I swear, bigger is not better! Also look at the expense consumers are going to be put through needlessly, just so you can count the nose hairs on the subject!
J in KC

Jefferson City, MO

#4 Jan 18, 2009
I save energy by reclining when I watch TV. I also save it by not having my sphincter seize every time I flip a power switch.
John

Michigan City, IN

#5 Jan 18, 2009
MikeW wrote:
An amazingly inaccurate article. Correcting the major errors:
1. Electricity doesn't "ultimately come from burning coal". In the U.S. overall, 50% of electricity is generated from coal, and in the Chicago area it's only 28%(most of ComEd's electricity comes from nuclear plants).
2. "LCD is better, LED is best" makes no sense, it's not either/or. There are almost no LED TV's in the world today; the choice is CRT, plasma, or LCD. LCD TV's have either fluorescent or LED backlighting, and if you're buying an LCD TV, LED is the more efficient backlight.
3. A 27" LCD TV uses 8-15 watts when it's on? No way. More like 80 to 150.
4. Tip 5 should be rewritten as "don't bother buying an energy star TV". The energy star rating means it uses 30% less energy than the average TV. That sounds like a lot, but it means if you watch 4 hours of TV a day, you'll save maybe 5 dollars a year in electricity. It's just not worth paying extra for the energy star rating.
Overall, the first 4 tips aren't bad. But people concerned about their energy usage are better off looking at their air conditioners, not their televisions. The average central air unit uses more energy over 2 hot summer days than a TV uses all year! Turn off the A/C and open the windows.
Yep, they were in the ballpark but didn't clarify things right.

I think the LED part was talking about backlighting. If you read through the full paragraph it does discuss that. Still, not a very well done heading.

The part about 8-15 watts for an LCD TV is way off, for sure. I think they mean that the part of the TV which handles the remote control processing uses 8-15 watts while the TV is on, and uses a few watts even while the TV is off. They said that all devices with a remote control use power even when turned off, which is true. Again, not very well written although the point they were making is correct.

There is a big difference in power consumption between plasma and LCD. If you're the kind of person who has the TV running 8 hours a day, and a lot of people do, a plasma is going to be expensive to operate. A/C is only for three or four months of the year and it only operates part-time...this is year-round, full-time. It's a consideration.
themadtrader

Cumming, GA

#6 Jan 19, 2009
We have a DLP TV. I didn't see them mentioned in the article or the comments.

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