Friday, December 21, 2007

Energy Consumption: LCD vs. Plasma Flat Screen TVs

New gadgets this holiday season come a bump in your power bill. Seemingly minor differences in technology can cause large swings in power consumption. Power bills can range from an average of $33 to $233 a year (source)

First on the list are new high-definition televisions. It seems logical that a larger television consumes more power than a same-technology, yet smaller, set. What you may not know, however, is that the type of display makes a significant difference. Standard tube televisions and newer LCD panels consume only two-thirds the power of a new plasma screen.

Current generation video game consoles vary widely in the amount of electricity required as well. For instance, according to a CNET’s TV power consumption guide, a PlayStation 3 consumes 197 watts while the Xbox 360 is just under at 187 watts. Nintendo’s latest console, the popular Wii, wins the efficiency award, roughly one-tenth of it’s rivals, consume approximately 19 watts.

And for those who think you’re saving power when the unit is “off” and in power saver mode? Think again! Some units tested in CNET’s report consume as much as 10 watts when sitting idle.

There are steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption. Buy an energy-efficient set – look for ratings or ask your retailer. Various brands in the same size can have different power requirements. Consider completely shutting down your set when not watching programming.

Does this mean you shouldn’t upgrade? No.

Being an educated consumer when shopping for a replacement set will reduce your energy consumption and save you money on your power bill.

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