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Power Technology

DAM Pops Energy Star's Bubble 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-dam-problem-after-another dept.
Martin Hellman writes "Last month we discussed a major problem with the EPA's Energy Star program. A Sony TV that was advertised to draw less than 0.1 watts in standby mode was actually drawing 15 watts — 150 times the stated value. A lack of information in the user manual and a poor response from Sony led me to suspect the problem was with the Electronic Program Guide feature, but a lack of information in the User Guide and a lack of response from Sony made it impossible to be sure — or to turn off the EPG. At current prices, that power consumption cost me about as much as a subscription to TV Guide magazine! The EPG was not as free as the on screen instructions would have you believe. Now, Device Guru reports on the resolution of that issue. As suspected, the problem was with the EPG, and there is a way to turn it off — now documented in that story. The problem is probably not unique to Sony or TVs that claim Energy Star compliance (devices are self-certified by the manufacturers!), so picking up a power meter is likely to have a good return on investment. As a result of this waste of power, the EPA is planning for future versions of the Energy Star requirements to limit the amount of time a TV can spend in Download Acquisition Mode (DAM) as the time for acquiring the EPG is known."
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DAM Pops Energy Star's Bubble

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Sunday February 08, 2009 @10:43AM (#26772235)

    It's a little like hiring the A-team to eradicate your rat infestation. You're paying a premium to save money in the long run, but the long run simply isn't long enough to justify the short-term expense.

    Do you work in the credit industry?

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's a little like hiring the A-team to eradicate your rat infestation. You're paying a premium to save money in the long run, but the long run simply isn't long enough to justify the short-term expense.

      No, this is simply misleading advertising/fraud. Sony claims the TV meets standard X, and it doesn't.

      Summon the lawyers, and file a class action lawsuit.

      Odds are pretty good many other TV manufacturers do the same thing.

      • by hansonc (127888)

        I'd love to start a class action lawsuit so an attorney can get rich while I get a $5 off coupon on my next $2000 HDTV. Where do I sign up?

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Summon the lawyers

        I'm out of mana! Does anyone have a potion?!

    • I disagree. The extra-amount paid ($10?) is more than made-up for over a TV's 20-year-lifespan.* Of course that assumes the programmers actually did a good job with the energy-saving features. My DTVpal (made by Dish) turns on every 6 hours to update its program guide, which is just ridiculous, and defeats the "5 watt maximum" requirement imposed by the FCC. The guide can wait to be updated until the next time I watch television.

      I prefer how my large-screen TV operates. When it's off, it's off. If you

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        I agree and disagree. I agree that having the TV actually turn on does indeed make it violate the requirement, and is basically a waste of power. Manufacturer's intent might not have been "Scam" but it is something that could use a fixing.

        Meanwhile, your large-screen TV does not operate with 0 power drain when it's off. A completely off TV draws some sort of wattage, and TV's have their own form of standby if they are new.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by DavidTC (10147)

          Mine does.

          I use a fucking power strip on it.

          • You jest, but that's what I do too. All my console systems, TV, ethernet switch (for those devices), speakers, everything but the alarm clock get turned off via the power switch at night. Why pay for something that I'm not going to be using for the next 7+ hours?

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by DavidTC (10147)

              Plus, you don't have to worry about lightning. (Assuming you don't care about a 7 dollar alarm clock.)

              I was actually going to get one of those kill-a-watt measuring devices to see if it would be worthwhile to install power strips on my microwave and see how much various chargers were drawing when not hooked up, or when hooked up but the device is fully charged. I have a theory they're sucking power, and I could just leave the strip on for an hour a day when everything's plugged in.

              But I discovered those t

              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by Mr. DOS (1276020)

                Wow, where are you trying to buy them from? I can get the lower-capacity one for $20, and a higher-capacity one for $40 (sorry, I can't remember the specs) - and I'm in Canada. (For those who don't know, electronic gadgets are generally at least 10% more expensive up here in my experience).

                Here you go, ThinkGeek [thinkgeek.com] has them for $25. Mind you, those only have one plug on them - you can plug a power strip into them, but you'd have to make sure you don't overload it.

                --- Mr. DOS

              • I have one of those Kill A Watt devices. I discovered leaving the TV turned on is no worse than a ~70 watt lightbulb. Not a big deal. (Figure 60 cents a month.) The big guzzlers are the refrigerator, stove, and heater. Around 1000 watts each and 10,000 for the heat pump.

                One surprise was the microwave which is sucking 5 watts all day long. I now unplug it.

                • Fridges can guzzle quite a lot while they are cooling but they shouldn't be spending much time doing that and afaict should be averaging less than 100W. If they are averaging much more than that then there is probablly something wrong with them (or they keep getting left open)

                • I have one of those Kill A Watt devices. I discovered leaving the TV turned on is no worse than a ~70 watt lightbulb. Not a big deal. (Figure 60 cents a month.)

                  Lessee here...

                  70 W * 24Hr/Day * 30 days/month* .001 kW/W = 50.4 kWh / month

                  Damn, you're only paying 1.2 cents per kwh?

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            For ease of use, I have a remote-control powerstrip that I can turn off from a distance.

            Well, put on standby.

      • by Eevee (535658)

        The guide can wait to be updated until the next time I watch television.

        It can wait if you aren't recording a show with an external device or the providers never change program schedules without warning. The market for the DVDPal, however, does includes people who record shows and have to live with providers who change programs without warning. Is six hours too often? Yes. But there needs to be some sort of scheduled updates for unattended recording.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by DavidTC (10147)

          The real problem here is the single-wattage power converters.

          So that every slight power trickle turns the thing on full. Which is a real hassle when the device has a remote control (Although that has mostly been fixed.) or a clock like a microware (The entire concept there just pisses me off. Microwaves do not need to know the time.)

          Or, now, downloading information from the internet, or an internal timer to record TV shows.

          If every device that wanted to do that simply came with the equivalent of a 100mA

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by hjf (703092)

            what? first: a 100mA 4.5V wall-wart uses 0.45W at full-load and inefficiency load makes it use 0.9W. even on 1% load it still draws about 50% of its rating.

            second: where do you get the single-wattage power converter idea???? at least Philips TVs, even the cheapest one sold for about USD 150 here in Argentina has dual power supplies. A so-called "burst" psu which makes it use less than 0.5W on standby. That's the "standby" psu. It also has a full-power psu. the microprocessor is constantly going into "sleep"

        • >>>The market for the DVDPal includes people who record shows and have to live with providers who change programs without warning.

          The DTVpal will update itself if Heroes moves to 10pm instead of its usual 9pm, but the external VCR or DVR will still be recording 9pm. The DTVpal might as well stay off until the user turns it back on, and then update.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @10:47AM (#26772253) Homepage

    They could require devices to generate energy while on standby (by vapourizing invisible pink unicorns), and manufacturers could keep self-certifying their devices as compliant.

    • They could require devices to generate energy while on standby (by vapourizing invisible pink unicorns), and manufacturers could keep self-certifying their devices as compliant.

      That, or use magic pixie dust.

    • by roaddemon (666475) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @11:44AM (#26772615)

      Invisible unicorns? Sure. Pink unicorns? No problem. But invisible pink unicorns? Now you're just making stuff up -- everyone knows that invisible doesn't have a colour.

      As an aside, what colour is a mirror?

      F

      • You don't have the faith [wikipedia.org], do you ?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by roaddemon (666475)

          Awesome: "the faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorn is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them."

      • by rubycodez (864176)

        it is axiomatic that an invisible pink unicorn viewed in a mirror is mirror-colored.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Matt Perry (793115)

        As an aside, what colour is a mirror?

        Silver.

      • Many years ago, Usenet had a competition for the world's worst joke. My favourite :

        Q : What's red and invisible?

        A : No tomatoes

        (Which is a nice illustration of Kant's objection to the Ontological argument - existence is not an attribute.)

    • I have a bad habit if measuring claims made by manufactures and it appears that lots of them must have access to those invisible pink unicorns since their claims are way off. I find that CFLs are the worst offenders and often to take up to about 55% more power than they claim and while I can't measure a lumen from a non-consistent point source (I'm not even sure how it should be done), I can measure average light output in LUX after a bulb is 1000 hours old and I have yet to be impressed with the honesty

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My Freezer has an energy star rating also, but I see that it too, downloads TV listings and so is exempt. Same with my toaster. It is supposed to draw 0 Watts when not toasting, but because it's downloading TV listings, it draws 1500 watts continuously and glows like a red pepper. I also have a blender, Energy star rated, but because it downloads TV listings it too draws 1500 watts and glows red hot also... make is kinda hard to chop up ice cubes!

  • What do whe have:

    1) Rootkits by Sony BMG.
    2) Non existent customer service and end of live / support in less the 6 month by Sony Ericsson.
    4) Insistence on prohibitory memory stick by all Sony departments.
    5) Lying on Energy Star Rating by Sony Electronics.

    Well Sony is on my the list of evil corporation for quite a while now and it does not look they are getting of the list any soon.

    Martin

    • I really do not know that much about consumer electronics(tv, stereo) anymore. When we went to several different stores, I was surprised that all of them said that Sony no longer has the customer service and their equipment tends to fail quickly. Picked up a Samsung instead.
    • by kramer (19951) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @11:06AM (#26772383) Homepage

      Not only that, but they are probably responsible for stealing your third argument!

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't here wankers like you moaning about Pioneer doing the same thing across their entire range.

      • I don't here wankers like you moaning about Pioneer doing the same thing across their entire range.

        We will be if it's true, now that you've mentioned it. But as the GP points out, Sony has some additional evil elements that tend to really piss us off, all the more so because Sony used to be our hero. After all, they were the outfit that won the court decision that affirmed the legality of the VCR, home taping, and time shifting.

        Sad thing is, there's probably a good chunk of Sony's current management that regrets having done that.

        Sony, frankly, sucks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pyrrhonist (701154)
      You know what's really going to make the your head asplode?

      Sony TVs come with a printed version of the GPL and LGPL!
      (also the license statements for OpenSSL, FreeType2, Expat, Curl, Popt, and libjpeg)

      ...and, yes, they provide the link to the source code [sony.com].

      They're evil, but they're in compliance with the GPL.
      They're evil, but they're in compliance with the GPL.
      They're evil, but they're in compilance with the GPL.

      *BOOM*
      • Or: is the TV there system "tivoization"? If so then your head does not need to exoplode. Tivoization is an evil explotation of an loophole in GPL2 licence.

        Remember: Exploting loopholes in good things is normal behavior for evil corporations.

    • 3) They shut down Lik-Sang * [lik-sang.com] through multiple lawsuits in different languages in different European countries for selling *Sony's* PSP (japanese model) in Europe.

      The lawsuit claimed that these devices (made by Sony) were untested and therefore unsafe for the European market. Just this last week I prevented someone from buying two very large screen Sony flatpanels (combined cost of ~$6,000 or more) and instead educated them on the different brand choices from which they bough instead (doing my part!).

      * Li

  • by rxmd (205533) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @10:53AM (#26772297) Homepage

    Picking up a power meter is likely to have a good return on investment.

    Remember to pick only Energy Star-compliant power meters, though!

  • by EastCoastSurfer (310758) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @10:59AM (#26772331)

    This is why I have all of my electronics go through a wall switch. TVs, amps, cable boxes, game systems, etc... all continue to draw power even when off. Flip the wall switch on your way out and you have a low-tech way to fight this problem.

    The only downside is that the digital cable box takes a few minutes to start. Actually, come to think of it, it's more of an upside since I get tired of waiting and go do something more productive instead of watching TV.

    • What is the wear and tear on the devices to keep powering down like that? These devices are designed to be always-on, so you may be risking reduced life-span and more frequent hardware replacement by saving a few pennies by using a kill switch.

      I have a Toshiba DVR which has failed twice due to power failures. The extended warranty has paid itself off, but this doesn't seem like something that should fail. Unfortunately it does, so I question the wisdom of your plan in the long run.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I obviously turn off the devices first. At that point they are supposed to be drawing very little power. If they are drawing enough power, even when off, that powering up and down is going to harm then why have an off button on the device at all?

        • I recognize the likelihood that the DVR's problems stem from being powered down while on, but when it takes more than a minute to start up, I am not so quick to judge anyone who leaves the machine on all the time.

          It wouldn't be too hard to put a rechargeable LiON battery in the set to provide backup power in the case that main power suddenly went out. If the device can detect when main power goes out, it can switch over to battery power to perform a safe shutdown instead of doing whatever bad things it does

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by DavidTC (10147)

            You shouldn't be flipping a DVR on and off. Not only is that harmful, as DVRs are computers with filesystems and whatnot that can lose integrity, but it defeats the purpose of having a DVR. (And many of them can't be shut down correctly in any easy manner.)

            It's your TV that really needs to be on a power switch, along with possibly your amp. (My damn stereo has a light to indicate it's off. Yeah, thanks for that.) And DVD players, many of which don't even have the concept of 'off'. And VCRs that aren't used

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        These devices are designed to be always-on,

        A cunningly good idea!

        yours,
        CEO of your local Electricity Supply Corporation

    • The internal batteries (for the clock and such) in those devices are not going to like it, especially not if they are turned off like that for prolonged periods of time.

      As for the digital cable box, I'm wondering how much energy is wasted that way.

    • This is why I have all of my electronics go through a wall switch. TVs, amps, cable boxes, game systems, etc... all continue to draw power even when off. Flip the wall switch on your way out and you have a low-tech way to fight this problem.

      The only downside is that the digital cable box takes a few minutes to start. Actually, come to think of it, it's more of an upside since I get tired of waiting and go do something more productive instead of watching TV.

      That's great so long as those devices are capable of preserving their configuration when disconnected from the line. If your cable box, say, only has a supercap for memory backup, it may lose its setup after a few hours.

      • by socsoc (1116769)

        Mine does lose its setup, but I generally have to power cycle it once a week to regain a signal that has suddenly cut out, so I don't really see it as an additional burden.

        It's Comcastic!

    • by Angostura (703910)

      I do the same. In the UK at least it is possible to get cheap remote-control power switches that plug into your mains socket, which avoids all the scrabbling behind sets. The ones I have use a multi-channel set up, so you can have one set of sockets go off at one push of a button, and another set of sockets set to go off with another button.

    • if all one's computer stuff is on a power strip, why not put your other gadgets on a power strip too? :)

      Or, go the low-tech way and simply unplug the thing.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Better than flipping off. Just unplug it!

    • Sadly I don't know the name of it (I'm at work, it's at home) but I have a 6 way extension with a master socket. The TV plugs into the master socket and when the TV is turned off (I spliced a switch into the cable so I could switch the damn thing off) the extension senses the master socket is not drawing power and cuts off power to the other sockets.

      As a bonus it does surge protection too so all in all is a nice simple solution and about £ 10 well spent.

      Then again I only watch TV for about 3 hours a

  • price of TV GUIDE (Score:2, Interesting)

    by farnham (160656)

    You can get a subscription to TV Guide for eleven dollars ans a quarter?
    are you sure that' snot an introductory rate?
    that's at my local average of 8.55 cents per kilowatt hour.

  • DVD-player, TV, cable-box and Wii are on the same energy block, one master-plug in the wall-socket enables/disables all of it. It's unplugged 8 hours per day, and several hours per day: I guess it's the best/cheapest solution .
  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @11:08AM (#26772407)

    Picking up a power meter is likely to have a good return on investment.

    Well, only if you can use it to test new appliance BEFORE you buy them. Otherwise, you're going to be spending a lot of time buying things and returning them.

    Frankly, my time is worth enough that spending more than three or four hours shopping for a new TV (or any other appliance) is a bad idea. Which means that buying something, then wasting time analyzing the power usage, returning it, buying another one, repeat endlessly is a complete waste of time and money.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) *

      Well, only if you can use it to test new appliance BEFORE you buy them.

      Which may very well prove nothing. If the device only wakes up every few hours to download new information, you might not even detect the extra power drain when running your test in the store.

      • by DavidTC (10147)

        Or not detect it at all anyway, if the device has decided not to download it not hooked up to cable.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jshackney (99735)

      Frankly, my time is worth enough that spending more than three or four hours shopping for a new TV (or any other appliance) is a bad idea.

      Just a little ribbing, but I'd think you have a little more free time [slashdot.org] than you let on.

    • by nabsltd (1313397)

      Frankly, my time is worth enough that spending more than three or four hours shopping for a new TV (or any other appliance) is a bad idea.

      I could see that spending extra time sweating relatively small stuff would be counterproductive, but unless you have a very good relationship with a store that lets you return things because "I didn't like it", you probably need to spend more than 3 hours deciding when you are buying something that will last 10 or more years.

      I have quite literally spent 3 hours helping a friend pick out a new home-theater receiver because he needs to answer the question "will it work with my existing stuff?" One of the onl

    • Why don't you join Consumer Reports, then ask them to start including power consumption (both on and off) in their television specs and ratings? They are a non-profit third-party organization that does this kind of testing for us.

      I'm a consumer reports member. I just sent the following note to them:

      Energy consumption is a major factor when considering electronics purchases. As a recent story illustrates (http://www.deviceguru.com/hdtvs-dam-pops-energy-stars-bubble/), a device could consume significantly more energy than advertised, even when it has "earned" an energy star rating. Could you please start to test electronics (especially televisions) with a power monitor device? It would be trivially easy to do so then report the power consumed when on AND off. While other ratings like home appliances are tested for power consumption, I see no data for televisions.

      This way, for a small fee, you can make an informed decision before making the first purchase. And by using a third-party non-profit testing organization to hone your buying decisions, you are helping the mark

  • was actually drawing 15 watts... At current prices, that power consumption cost me about as much as a subscription to TV Guide magazine!

    A constant draw of 15 watts is (15/1000)*24*30 = 10.8 Kwh/month. Even at the most expensive prices in the US (20 cents per Kwh), this is roughly two dollars a month.

    • by hwstar (35834)

      20 cents a kWh? On my last bill, San Diego Graft and Extortion had a top rate of 31cents a kWh!

    • by rbochan (827946)

      ...Even at the most expensive prices in the US (20 cents per Kwh), this is roughly two dollars a month.

      So yes, roughly $25 per year. Per device.

      • by Smurf (7981)

        ...Even at the most expensive prices in the US (20 cents per Kwh), this is roughly two dollars a month.

        So yes, roughly $25 per year. Per device.

        So if your household income after taxes is $35,000 (quite low, specially in those places where electricity costs 20 cents/Kwh), this is 0.07% of your income. Ouch! Also, if your monthly electric bill averages $180 (very conservative if they charge 20 c/kWh), that's 1.15% of the total bill.

        Per device.

        If you have more than two devices on which you can't turn EPG off, you most certainly earn way more than $35,000, even after taxes.

        Now, most places in the US charge FAR less per kWh, frequently under 10 cents. In those ca

  • Cable / sat DVR and boxes should go in to a low power mode. When not needed You can spin down the HDD when it is not needed and how about put the cpu in a sleep mode / CPU throttling.

  • We had an article recently on "Green Plug", the USB power scheme. that's something else that went wrong. They made it way too complicated, requiring software handshaking between the power source and device.

    Instead of GreenPlug, all that's needed is a low-power mode for USB power:

    • USB power sources should turn off their power supply when the resistance at the output is > 1 megohm. In "power supply off" mode they should draw < 10uA from the power line.
    • Devices charging from USB ports should pres
  • Same with Panasonic (Score:5, Informative)

    by Exp315 (851386) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @11:54AM (#26772699)
    I had exactly the same experience with my Panasonic TV. I put a power meter on it shortly after I bought it and discovered that it was drawing 20 watts when off instead of the promised 0.1 watts. I figured that the problem might be the EPG, and discovered with experimentation that the undocumented method of putting in a Zip code of 000000 disabled it and solved the problem.
  • Measure everything!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mlwmohawk (801821) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @11:59AM (#26772767)

    Even at the most expensive prices in the US (20 cents per Kwh), this is roughly two dollars a month.

    It may be $0.18 ~ $0.20 for the electrical charge, but on my bill there is delivery and fuel charge. My electricity, in total, comes to a bit over $0.25 a kWh.
    "
    I recently used a "Watts Up" and went through my whole house. Wall warts (transformers) are nasty. Some just sit and use 10~15 watts doing nothing. So if you leave it plugged in and turn the device off, it still sucks up power.

    All "switchers" are not created equal either. Some laptop and monitor sitching power supplies may draw 60w when on, but draw 10w when
    "off"

    I went through my house and brought my electric bill down from $220 to about $180 a month.

    • by thogard (43403)

      All measuring devices have limits and I've found most power meters tend to get very sloppy on their lower ends and that can often be in the range of 10 w. If the power factor is nasty (as it often is with low power loads), the meter will give huge errors. What seems to work best is find 10 of your worst wall warts and plug them all in one power strip and measure them that way. Pull one and and see how the rating drops. You can also use a 60w incandescent bulb as a base load since they are very consisten

    • by socsoc (1116769)
      Your electricity has a delivery and fuel charge? Are you running generators off diesel or something?
    • If you're interested in doing this kind of thing -- and it sounds like you are -- a good resource are books written for RVers who spend a lot of time boondocking, i.e., out in the boonies on solar power and batteries. One thing you discover very quickly when you are cut off from unlimited electricity is that electrical appliances tend to be designed with the assumption that electricity will be cheap and plentiful where they're used, so they waste it profligately, often even when turned "off".

      Cutting your mo

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by adolf (21054)

        I'll improve your argument for you, and then proceed to sneeze at it.

        You say $500. I say: Let's increase that a little to $2 per day.

        I can look at this number, this $2 figure, and know that it's not worth it. Maybe if I lived by myself. But if I have to fight about it with the kids when they don't turn things off, if my wife hates it that the clock on the microwave doesn't work anymore, or that she's got to go and turn the thing on every time she uses it, then what you're suggesting will cost me quite a

    • by ivan256 (17499)

      I used to pay $0.25/kWh for my electricity (including delivery charges, etc).

      Yeah, I switched to energy efficient everything, and got my bill down to about $110/month... But that's still ridiculous.

      I moved one town over. Instead of N*Star, the town I now live in has a municipal power company. The electricity comes from the same place, but I only pay $0.11/kWh now, and the profit goes to my town to (presumably) be used for local infrastructure (what they actually waste it on is another story entirely).

      • by mlwmohawk (801821)

        I moved one town over. Instead of N*Star, the town I now live in has a municipal power company.

        What town do you live in, and which did you move from? I'm running for treasurer for my town and that may be a good thing to research.

        • by ivan256 (17499)

          From Acton, MA to Littleton, MA.

          Given the current price of copper, I'd expect that it would be a difficult thing to change in an established community right now without actually increasing prices though...

          I tried finding some reference for you, but NStar's impeccable customer service provides obfuscated schedules of rates [nstaronline.com]. Delivery and service charges average out to about $0.10/kWh (don't forget to count that flat monthly service fee). If you add the variable basic rate charge [nstaronline.com] in, that gets you up to $0.24/

  • Instead of just making more rules which companies usually break anyway it would be wiser to establish a carrot and stick approach. Reward companies for turning in cheaters by giving them large sums of cash. Reward companies that produce energy saving products by giving them large sums. Fine the hell out of violating companies to get the money to give to the good companies. And please be heavy handed!

  • I've always known my 2 year old 42" LG TV uses a lot of energy for the TV Guide On Screen feature since the processor is never off. Reading this story made me find the box to see if it claimed an Energy Star rating, and to my surprise, LG was honest and there is none.

    This model comes with a built-in DVR and its disk drive never spins down, you can always hear the hum when it is quiet. But, I figure it is no more wasteful than the DVR in my previous set top boxes.

    Nice thing about it being always on is th

  • An OFF switch

    I mean a real, cuts off the AC current off switch. TV's used to have them 20 -30 years ago.
    Power used while switched off = 0 watts.

    • by nabsltd (1313397)

      Although some TVs 30 years ago turned off completely, you have to go back considerably farther to get to the point where every TV was completely off when the switch was off.

      It was 1971 when RCA patented "instant on" for TVs [freepatentsonline.com].

      • I remember when we got our first TV that had "instant on". My dad, en electrical engineer, always hammered on us kids to turn the power off at the wall when we weren't watching. This was in Australia where we had a real honest-to-goodness power switch on every wall plug. I was boggled to discover a few years later that US power points were live all the time.

  • I just purchased a Westinghouse television and it is documented, rather well, how to set the television to use less than 1 watt of power in standby. It includes a warning that this is not set as factory default because it takes up to 10 seconds for the television to turn on when in the low-watt standby mode - far too long for most people to wait.

  • Locally, RoadRunner stopped supplying the data back around Thanksgiving 2008.

    Turning off a service the device cannot use seems like a good idea.

    There's no OFF on my Toshiba DVR, however.

  • I bought a power meter recently and the results astouned me.

    My desktop PC uses almost 20 watts of power when turned OFF.

    Asus EPU does absolutely nothing (My system runs at around 160watts at idle regardless of whether the EPU is set to performance or efficiency).

    A gtx260 consumes 30 watts more at idle than an 8600gts, despite the gtx260 having a much lower idle power rating.

    I plan on testing everything in my house to find out where power is being wasted.

  • http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travelpower/7657/ [thinkgeek.com]

    I have one of these. Note that you can get them cheaper than what ThinkGeek sells them for, but they have a nice web page.

    As an example, I metered some new 1U servers that I which indicates a range of 0.8 - 1.5A depending on system load. This is important, since we are at 14A of a 20A circuit in our data center. We are going to have to upgrade here soon.

  • I assume the exclamation point indicates that the author thinks that this is not only a problem, but that it's exceedingly obvious that it's a problem?

    Why?

    Is there evidence that manufacturers are cheating? (no) They problem is that the loophole in the requirements. So if the manufacturers aren't cheating, why not continue to stick them with the bill for compliance testing?

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. -- Jerome Klapka Jerome

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