Great Video Can Be Green
THX research shows significant energy savings with proper video calibration.
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November 17, 2009 by Steven Castle

Have your TV professionally calibrated, and it will not only look better, it can save you some money in energy costs.

Recent THX research demonstrated in all cases that a calibrated viewing mode consumed less energy than “vivid” and “dynamic” modes. The approximate savings for consumers ranged from 15 percent 50 percent, resulting in savings of up to $40 to $50 per year. The annual consumption and cost calculations are based on four hours of use per day and $0.1136 per kilowatt hours (kWH), which is the average residential rate as defined by the United States Energy Information Administration.

THX says that plasma-based HDTVs manufactured prior to 2008 achieved the highest levels of energy savings after professional calibration, followed by LCDs. Naturally, larger screens consume more power.

THX engineers evaluated more than 15 plasma and LCD models, comparing Vivid or Dynamic Modes versus professionally calibrated settings. Vivid and Dynamic modes are typically used to demonstrate the capabilities of an HDTV on the retail floor. Most of these modes boost contrast (light output) and color controls to compensate for the bright fluorescent lighting in the retail environment. However, these modes are often the default setting for users and can significantly increase energy consumption.

“Newer HDTV models are using less energy than ever before as a result of advances in panel manufacturing,” said John Dahl, director of education at THX. “While the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star standard is driving manufacturers to reduce on-mode energy consumption, both new and older plasma and LCD HDTVs can experience additional energy savings as a result of professional video calibration.”

You can have a custom electronics installer professionally calibrate your set, buy a THX-certified TV, or use one of several video calibration discs available today, like Joe Kane’s Digital Video Essentials.

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.

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