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Power Technology

DAM Pops Energy Star's Bubble 147

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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 08, 2009 @10:44AM (#26772245)
    Can't there be a way to filter out comments that have "N**GER" in it say more than two times?
  • 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.

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

    by farnham ( 160656 ) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @11:05AM (#26772373)

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 08, 2009 @11:07AM (#26772389)

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

  • 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

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

  • 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 things were like 100 dollars. I thought they'd be more along the lines of the cost of multimeters, which are like 10 bucks for cheap ones.

    Hey, Obama, hear that? How about a rebate for those things for those of us trying to save energy? Or, I hear in a few places, you can apparently borrow them from the public library. How about federal grants for that?

  • by Mr. DOS ( 1276020 ) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @02:16PM (#26773987)

    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 [] 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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2009 @08:36AM (#26781881)

    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.

    Agreed, cutting power to a DVR is not a good thing.

    But I am afraid to put my TV on a wall switch, or anything else that can cut the power to it.

    I have a 52" DiLA television, which runs on a very hot mercury bulb. When I turn off my TV, a fan runs for 5 minutes or so to cool the bulb down and keep it from melting the innards of the TV set.
    If my power goes out suddenly, or a light switch accidentally gets gets turned off by the gandkids, the fan cannot cool the bulb down, and my $2500.00 TV goes dark for good, because the $200.00 mercury bulb just melted the innards.
    And if the innards do manage to survive, the bulb surely won't. How many times do I want to replace that $200.00 bulb ?

    So, my solution from the start was to put the TV on a Uninterruptable Power Supply. I am pretty dang sure that the UPS has saved this TV several times over the last 3 years during lightning storms and other power outages.
    I've also got the satellite receiver on the same UPS, for it's own protection.

    A great benefit of this is that it's handy when the power goes out, my TV / Sat box are still on.
    I can still see the weather radar on channel 13.
    And, if the power hasn't come back on in 5 or 10 minutes, I power down the Sat receiver and the TV the way they are supposed to be turned off, the fan in the TV keeps running until things cool off, and everything is good.

    As an aside, I haven't had to replace that bulb in the TV since I bought the set new, and I attribute that to the fact I have it on that UPS that keeps a steady supply of power to the set.
    I see in forums that others with this particular TV plugged into the wall outlets have had to replace their bulbs within 15 months, give or take a few months.

    Other than that, though, everything else in the house gets shut down and turned off.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"