Real power consumption of HT audio when receiver/amp is on, and when off? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-16-2013, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi folks,

I'm kinda new here, and looking into getting speakers for an HDTV. Probably HTiB, but I figure you folks in this particular Audio room might know this subject best...

I really admire power efficiency in general, and loved the fact that, e.g., LED HDTVs are only, say, 75 Watts for a 55" 1080P, when plasma and especially projection use so much more power...

Anyway, I happened to look at specs for a HTiB which said something like:

Power consumption on Standby: 0.3 W
Power consumption when On: 170 W

Omg, right? Hehe. But if you've looked at many power specs in manuals, you know that the engineers often just cite theoretical max usage in the specs (so you don't underestimate wire gauge). Especially in the case of speakers and audio, it may not have much bearing on what the true average consumption is liable to be. There's also the chance of being mixed up by the fact that speaker measures (as opposed to rec/amp) are always made in (peak) watts; indeed, that's the speakers' main statistic, and you might have 6 to 8 speakers in a HT.

So what's really needed is real-life measurement of receiver/amp consumption by something like a Kill-A-Watt.

FYI, we intend to have a very modest system. It's just the wife and I at the exact same place on the couch 99.99% of the time, so we just need a very modest system (hopefully $300 range). We will not be shaking the shelves much.

I am really asking two questions:

1) What's the true average power consumption liable to be over time for a modest rec/amp/HTiB, usually at moderate volume?

2) What power-saving features are there these days? For example, I saw one that said it would go to standby if there was no sound for 30 minutes, although I have to wonder how does it really know if there's no sound. (Can't it just detect when input devices are Off, nowadays, and immediately go Standby if everything is Off?)

We took forever to move up from an old-school 27" GE CRT TV to a 55" HDTV and were pleasantly surprised that it only needed 75 W... now I am shocked to find that the audio side of the HT equation is very deep, and might even cost more than the TV ($800) in both dollars and watts!!

Thanks if you can help,

Mike
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post #2 of 18 Old 03-16-2013, 07:45 PM
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1. Roughly 80-100W on average.
2. Auto Standby

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post #3 of 18 Old 03-16-2013, 08:05 PM
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I have a related power consumption question that maybe someone here can also answer...

 

How many watts does a typical 5.1 or 7.1 HDMI receiver use if you're only listening to audio on the headphone jack, and not using the speakers?


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post #4 of 18 Old 03-16-2013, 08:25 PM
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Likely only 80-85W ... 80W with AVR ON but no audio to speakers and maybe 90-100W at full reference volume from 5.1/7.1 speaker setup.

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post #5 of 18 Old 03-16-2013, 08:41 PM
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I have a denon 1612 75 watts. I notice that the master volume has no ending from -db to +db? And how i can make it to use the maximum 75 watts of my receiver? If i am watching movies and i put the master volume at 0.00 how many watts is that?

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post #6 of 18 Old 03-16-2013, 08:54 PM
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No ending? Denon AVRs have two volume scales as noted on p. 63 in your Owner's manual ....



Otherwise, power with no speakers playing would be about 70W and at full reference volume (ie. 0db) maybe 80W.

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post #7 of 18 Old 03-16-2013, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Likely only 80-85W ... 80W with AVR ON but no audio to speakers and maybe 90-100W at full reference volume from 5.1/7.1 speaker setup.

 

Interesting. I figured most of the power consumption came from the speakers, and headphones would use alot less, but I guess not.


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post #8 of 18 Old 03-16-2013, 09:09 PM
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Correct. Roughly 90% of the power output comes from the amps simply being powered ON (not in use).

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post #9 of 18 Old 03-16-2013, 09:20 PM
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^ Good to know. Thanks for the quick (and informed) replies jds.


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post #10 of 18 Old 03-16-2013, 09:24 PM
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I see. I have 100watts speakers. Let say if i watch a movie with +10db shoul my speakers blow up?

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post #11 of 18 Old 03-17-2013, 05:16 AM
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Yup! Toast! Kablooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! eek.gif

Just kidding. tongue.gif The general rule of thumb to avoid any distortion from your speakers is to not raise the master volume above 0db (relative) or 80 (absolute). In fact you would be wise to set the "Volume Limit" setting to 0db to ensure no one can accidently raise the volume above that level (you can also set it to -10db or -20db for lower "maximum" volume levels especially as the average owner likely rarely raises the volume much above -20db).

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post #12 of 18 Old 03-17-2013, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADU View Post

I have a related power consumption question that maybe someone here can also answer...

How many watts does a typical 5.1 or 7.1 HDMI receiver use if you're only listening to audio on the headphone jack, and not using the speakers?

Get one of these and find out for yourself:



http://www.amazon.com/P3-International-P4400-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU

I think that I saw some hanging on a hook at my local Home Depot for a little bit more money.
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-17-2013, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloyzki View Post

I have a denon 1612 75 watts. I notice that the master volume has no ending from -db to +db? And how i can make it to use the maximum 75 watts of my receiver? If i am watching movies and i put the master volume at 0.00 how many watts is that?

This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer.

A lot depends on your speakers and the recording that you are playing.

The actual power output of any piece of audio gear is constantly changing over a range of up to 10,000:1 while the music is playing. Short term, for a few milliseconds your AVR might be putting out more than its ratings say because its ratings are based on pure test tones on a test bench and a resistive load, and for short periods of time any amp can exceed that when playing music.
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post #14 of 18 Old 03-17-2013, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Yup! Toast! Kablooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! eek.gif

Just kidding. tongue.gif The general rule of thumb to avoid any distortion from your speakers is to not raise the master volume above 0db (relative) or 80 (absolute). In fact you would be wise to set the "Volume Limit" setting to 0db to ensure no one can accidently raise the volume above that level (you can also set it to -10db or -20db for lower "maximum" volume levels especially as the average owner likely rarely raises the volume much above -20db).
i see. here is another question, my fronts speakers it says on the specs that maximum watts is 250w, and center is 200w, and surrounds 100w. last time i wasnt aware that my wife put the volume at +12db while watching movies.. how am i gonna know if she blew up my speakers that time?

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post #15 of 18 Old 03-17-2013, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies, it looks like there have been a number of related questions festering.

You folks have done a great job of answering how much power is liable to be used normally. But not much has been said about energy-saving features of modern rec/amp/HTiBs.

1) Is a 30-minute Auto Standby about all there is?
2) Are there any problems with Auto Standby working correctly?

Etc.

Here in my suburb of Altanta, if a 100 watt bulb was left on 24/7/365, it would cost $55 for the year. (That's a pure watt charge at 6.3 cents/kwh, past fixed monthly electric fees.) We watch TV roughly a fifth of the time, so wasting 80 W for 80% of a year (if the rec/amp stayed on all the time) would waste about $35/year. That's not a lot but still, I really admire appliances that are smart enough to save every watt that they can. It's not only wasted heat, wear and tear, and money for every one of the dozens of things that are not energy conscious, but also adds pollution to this one world would we've got left. :P

Thanks if you can comment on power saving features!

Mike
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-17-2013, 11:24 AM
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When I watch a movie on my setup, it never uses more than 350w as per my PS Audio power conditioner that detects the power consumption of all my gear attached.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-20-2013, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTheRed View Post

...Thanks if you can comment on power saving features!

 

I don't think saving energy is very high on most people's list of features here. But I'm certainly with you on saving the planet and some pocket change. smile.gif  (Not a big fan of fluorescent lights though.)


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post #18 of 18 Old 03-20-2013, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post


Get one of these and find out for yourself:



http://www.amazon.com/P3-International-P4400-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU

I think that I saw some hanging on a hook at my local Home Depot for a little bit more money.

 

Not a bad thought arnyk. Since I don't have a spare $20 though (or an AVR at the moment), maybe some other kind Killawatt users can post results for their own setups here?


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