Friday, January 11, 2008

Philips' Eco TV

The 42-inch, 1080p resolution, flat-panel LCD, model 42PFL5603D (due in March, $1,399 MSRP), is packed with power-saving features.

Chief among them is the ability to dim the backlight--by up to five times peak brightness--in response to program material, much like the "local dimming" found on Samsung's LED-based LN-T4681F. Dimming the backlight in darker scenes has the dual benefit of saving power and improving black-level performance, according to the company. The backlight can also be dimmed via a room lighting sensor, so in dark rooms it will use less power.

With this trifecta engaged, we saw the panel's power consumption dip to an impressive 75 watts during the in-booth demo--Philips had hooked up a Watt's Up to track consumption. That's a bit more than a standard incandescent light bulb and 30 watts less than the most miserly 42-inch LCD we've tested ourselves so far, Philips' own 42FL7432D measured after calibration (more info). The Eco TV's standby power is also less than 0.15 watt according to the company, also among the best we've seen.

Philips also built in a few other non-power-related greenie features, including lead-free materials and only "trace" amounts of mercury, which enables it to comply with strict ROHS and State of Vermont standards, respectively.
This actually won CNET's best in show at CES. It is certainly a good looking TV.

I like this idea of specially branded "Eco" models, but I would like to understand more how this TV is different from their standard models from an environmental standpoint, and how much additional you would pay.

While they say it uses just 75 watts, when you view the video you can see the number of watts drawn jumping all the way up to 150. This is strange because the LCDs that I have put on my Kill-A-Watt are all pretty constant in their draw, regardless if the screen is all white or all black. I don't know how much this TV would average, but I would guess somewhere around 110 watts.

For comparison my 37" Plasma draws an average of 170 watts when on (up to 270 watts for an all white screen and down to 105 for all black) and 16 watts when "off". My parents' 32" LCD TV draws 135 watts. My 22" LCD monitor draws 32 when running and 2 when on standby.

The standby power of this Eco TV is impressive, especially next to my plasma. In fact, if I watch TV for "just" 2 hours a day, I will actually use more on standby (22*16=352) than when the TV is on (2*170=340). The lower standby power of the Eco TV would save me 10 kWh a month over my plasma.

And if you are into green gadgets, you might want to check out Green Electronics. It will give you the low-down on which gadgets are best for the environment.

via CNET

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