January 24, 2008 by Steven Castle
Yes, you can be “green” and still have great home entertainment. Here are just a few ways you can conserve energy or be eco-friendly with video products.
Look for Energy Star-rated TVs and other electronics. Energy Star is a U.S. government-backed program that rates energy-efficient products, including audio/video systems. Energy Star products are often bear the Energy Star logo or are similarly marked. To be rated Energy Star at present, video products like TVs and DVD players must use less than 1 watt of power in standby (or off) mode. Many electronics continue to draw power when plugged in and turned off. See “Why Your Electronics Suck (Energy).” Later this year, we’ll see a new Energy Star requirements for TVs in their on modes. More on this soon.
Choose LCD over plasma. On average, LCDs consume less power than plasma screens. CRTs and rear-projection TVs can be even more energy efficient. A good comparison chart showing HDTV power usage is available at CNET.
If you must have a plasma TV, you can have a green one. Panasonic’s newer plasma TVs, for example, contain no lead, which is a hazardous substance.
Look for LED (light-emitting diode) backlighting. Some rear-projection DLP (digital light processing) and flat-panel LCDs use eco-friendly LED lights rather than high-powered, energy-sucking lamps and fluorescent backlighting that contains mercury. LEDs are energy efficient, longer lasting and do not contain mercury. Philips’ says its new 42-inch Eco FlatTV LCD can dim the LED backlight to lower energy consumption. Expect to see more TVs like this.
If you’re high on a front-projection system, you can still have a green screen. Draper has a line of screens that emit low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can affect breathing and health. The screens are available in four fabrics: Matte White, M1300, HiDef Gray and High Contrast Gray.
If you have other ways to be energy efficient in enjoying video, blog away!
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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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