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Death Panel for Plasmas?
September 02, 2009 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Will a California regulation really ban plasmas and large-screen LCDs? A look at both sides of the issue.
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Posted by frankentech  on  09/02  at  09:20 AM

A quick look at the plasmas listed on best buy’s web site shows that 39 of the 42 models are already energy star qualified.

Posted by Paul  on  09/02  at  10:50 AM

@Frankentech:  the models listed are not necessarily energy star 3.0 compliant.  For example the Panasonic TC-L42U12 plasma is listed as being energy star compliant, but doesn’t claim which version.  Panasonic’s web page also only lists it as “Energy Star compliant”, but the power on consumption rating is 217 watts which is over the 208 watt spec for the 3.0 specification, and basically twice the 2010 energy star spec.

Now I have read that manufacturers could lower the brightness levels of the displays as they ship them, which as far as the energy star people are concerned is where most people leave them.  This would reduce the wattage consumed while on substantially for the energy star people, and consumers can just crank the brightness back up negating any advantage gained.

Posted by Justin  on  09/02  at  12:17 PM

I personal think that all those people who have those energy using plasmas should have Arnold sign them so the state can then auction them on Ebay!!  But seriously, who wants to be told what TV they can buy.  That is why I don’t live in CA, they ar really going down the crapper.

Posted by revko1  on  09/02  at  12:41 PM

Don’t CA have bigger fish to fry, or should I say Flame broiled????


Posted by mastacow53  on  09/02  at  02:45 PM

I can already see giant Costcos and Walmarts springing up on the Arizona and Nevada borders filled with giant plasmas and LCDs, parking lot filled with pickups with California tags.

Posted by Brian  on  09/02  at  02:47 PM

Personally I find this incredibly stupid. If this is from the standpoint of saving the end user money, banning TV’s and forcing new models which will most likely be more expensive to the end user will not do anything but shift when the costs are paid (i.e. upfront or operational). If it is to save electricity as a whole, then banning certain TV’s which use over a certain WATT per hour is also incredibly stupid when you are looking at maybe saving 100-200W or less per banned TV vs allowed TV. This is especially stupid when you consider the power draw of another common home electronic item call the personal computer, and especially any “gaming” computer or home server which may draw 1000W or more! Banning one class of device while letting other classes of devices perfectly alone is plain stupid if the actual goal is to restrict energy usage.

No the real method of restricting energy usage is to increase the cost of energy, and then let the market forces of supply/demand/cost change the actual system. This has the added benefit of allowing home green energy solutions and solar energy panels become much more practical and a better value (since the cost of electricity is up, the benefits of producing your own green electricity at home become much more readily seen). People would pay more attention to things like leaving lights on, getting efficient and smart HVAC (things like automatic timers for only working while people are in the house, zoning the house so that only parts of the house that are occupied/in-use would get HVAC, etc). This is the REAL solution if curbing energy use it the real goal.

But this will never happen… instead we will see these asinine solutions which fix nothing and simply cause headache for entire industries and their customers.

Posted by Matt  on  09/02  at  04:03 PM

I thought this was America. I earned the money, paid taxes on it, I should be able to spend it on any TV, CAR, REFRIGERATOR ect. I see fit without being told by some official that it is OK.

Posted by DJ  on  09/02  at  04:10 PM

And we wonder why California is so messed up.  Yeah, let’s look at this legislation, while the state languishes in a sea of red ink.  This is such a pressing issue….geez!

Someone should flog, and then fire, with no severance, whomever runs the CEC.

Posted by DSM  on  09/02  at  05:16 PM

Well, California did go blue last November.  You reap what you sow.

Letting government control this issue is of course nonsense.  Everyone that currently owns a TV will also have to switch to have the slightest effect.  This is a gatekeeper solution that will enable further government regulation of other appliances, which is of course the goal.

Posted by Crude Dude  on  09/02  at  09:26 PM

That’s exactly what will happen if they ban inefficient TV’s, instead of a agricultural checkpoint there will be an electronics checkpoint. If the state wants to save electricity then they should fire state employees and close their buildings. As a Californian I am embarrassed at some of the assinine laws that come from here.

Posted by StrayCat  on  09/03  at  12:44 AM

The author of the article was somewhat timid and didn’t go out on a limb to better explain the State’s perspective (BTW, I’m NOT affiliated with the State other than living in it).
TVs are targeted for the same reason refrigerators, washing machines and dryers were ‘targeted’ in the past: their used is deemed most widespread (vs. the ‘gaming computer’ that someone used as an example), and they are also deemed to get to most use throughout the day besides the previously mentioned appliances.
Consider also, that plasma TVs and large LCD displays emit a significant amount of heat. I bet that many of us in CA (perhaps unknowingly) have been running our air conditioners longer since we’ve had our beloved plasma TVs.
While I’m not necessarily favoring an outright ban, consider that when oil prices rose sharply people might have driven less, but they didn’t necessarily get rid of their gas guzzlers. What I’m trying to say, is that jacking up the energy prices will hurt the consumer, but will not necessarily force the manufacturer to come up with more efficient units. Consumers will likely to ‘bite the bullet’  and cough up more money when energy prices rise, instead of selling their plasmas. That’s just the way we are.
While I’m sure that most plasma owners will disagree, but I’m hearing that those LED backlit LCD TV are pretty darn good quality wise, and also seem to be more energy efficient. If only prices came down to where the rest of the TVs are today…

Posted by Scott  on  09/03  at  09:27 PM

No California, this is a bunch of bullcrap.  The government tells us how important it is that we all buy HDTVs to free signals from analog tv, so that emergency units such as fire & police can use that bandwidth.  Then the government has an auction for that bandwidth - the company that purchases the bandwidth like Nortel, Google, Verizon and others sells those services through phones, walkie talkies to the emergency units.  Go to, it’s all out there.

So the government throws a couple billion dollars around so that I can receive these digital signals on my analog tv through a convertor box, if I cannot afford cable or satellite.  OK. 

Now they want to ban my Plasma TV because it uses too much electricity.  Makes sense thought doesn’t it.  I guess I’ll have to buy a solar panel and a set of batteries that will take up my entire garage so I can watch my TV - to the tune of $20,000, but what the heck, I can sell that extra energy I create back to the electric company.  Now I’ve employed someone to sell and install those panels - named “Bobo” according to the green jobs czar Van Jones. 

Probablly put a hard working coal miner out of a job in the process.  God I love this country.

Posted by Lee Stevens  on  09/05  at  10:17 AM

California can not or wont even try to control its fire problem and they want to control what kind of TV set you have?
Millions of illegals are bleeding the state social services dry and they want to control TV sets?
California is driving farmers off their lands while food prices soar and they want to control what kind of TV set you have?
You can not get anywhere in LA now in under two hours because mass tran is a joke and they want to control TV sets?
Schawrtzaneger, Viragosa and Yeraslovsky have driven LA into the ground you might as well call it Tijuana North.
No they dont have a right to dictate anything to the market place because they wont do their job on basic functions. Who gave them the right to ban anything thats not an outright common health or security risk?

Posted by RMBrand  on  09/05  at  03:13 PM

Once again, the monarchs of the environmental ivory towers point their fingers to control our lives.

Who the hell gave these people power and why aren’t we the citizens revolting? Someone explain this to me?

Posted by Geoffrey Gunnell  on  09/07  at  08:30 AM

It’s about time someone stepped in to regulate the energy efficiency of consumer electronics.  I don’t LIKE the fact that population growth and increasing energy costs have put us in a position where we need to be concerned about energy efficiency, but our only other realistic choice is a significant increase in non-fossil fuel generating capacity.
When I turn on my AV equipment it warms the room noticably—enough that I have to run my air conditioning more to compensate.  There’s more to this than just the energy savings from the equipment itself.

Posted by Dave pace  on  09/10  at  06:32 AM

My what a buch of angry confused people!
The technology is here to make audio and video equipment use less energy.
It is ironic that as plasma efficiency improves the picure quality also improves. Current darlings, like the Pioneer Kuro clip the white severly, simply because they get so hot that they would self-destruct if thay did not.
I can’t wait for Panasonic and Samsung to meet the challenge and allow plasma technology to reach its full potential.
Kick me if I’m stupid :)

Posted by chooch502  on  09/25  at  03:44 PM

Enough already if I want to pay for another couple bucks to watch a plasma so be it . Build fifty nuclear reactors in the US to supply energy with the stimulus money and stop tellin’ me how to live.If your AVR heats your room turn it off ,if you TV is hot turn on the a/c, but please dont write another law telling Samsung or me what to do.  The GOVERNMENT is not the solution its the PROBLEM!!!

Posted by John  on  09/25  at  05:41 PM

As much as I hate regulation, I also can’t stand people who say things like “If it runs hot turn on the AC, I’ll pay for it” The money is not the issue, the environment is. I don’t pay for water where I live but does that mean I am going to leave the faucet on all day? Of course not. The problem is not the government, it is your wasteful mentality. Just because you CAN do something, does not mean you should.

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