Study Finds Proper HDTV Setup May Reduce Electricity Need by 25%
This may seem a little bit self-serving, but I think it does "shed some additional light" on recent discussions here about the benefits of reducing contrast settings or operating displays in "low power" modes.
The following excerpts are from the March 2007 issue of Widescreen Review ("One Installer's Opinion" column, pp 58-59). The article details initial findings of an Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) study, conducted in concert with the environment focused firm, Eco Consulting.
* The TV manufacturers and the EPA are working together to develop a standard video test clip to use when measuring TV energy use. Our preliminary measurements with that test clip are showing BIG energy use variations within TVs of the same type and size, probably due to differences in power supply design, backlight settings, and picture control factory defaults. Some of the biggest energy users consume more electricity in a year than your fridge!
* Just before CES, we were able to take some cursory measurements on a popular manufacturer's 50-inch Plasma Display Panel to check the effect that display settings have on power use. Through special instrumentation provided by Ecos, we were able to measure the difference between "out-of-the-box" consumption and "post calibration" consumption power drain to the fourth decimal place. We were hoping for as much as a 5 percent improvement, but what we found was on the order of 25 to 30 percent.
* While there are certain to be different results for different manufacturers and technologies (Plasma versus DLP versus LCD, etc.), and a much larger sample size for each will be required -- and results by technology need to be weighted and averaged for existing and future set populations -- this is very big news...
* What if government bodies were to encourage all manufacturers to ship their sets with energy-saving screen settings (think MOVIE instead of VIVID) that were the factory default? The consequences for the 98 percent of the population who don't know/care about calibration will be: 1) Better Picture Quality; 2) Less Eye Strain; and, 3) Lower Electric Bills.
The balance of the article discusses some of the basics of video calibration and the benefits of LCD displays with backlight controls and displays that allow the user to create specific settings for daytime and night viewing.
The full article can be found at the Widescreen Review web site (www.widescreenreview.com
), although a subscription to the magazine is required for online access.