September 04, 2008 by Steven Castle
Can audio/video products really be “green?” Well, just three press conferences into the CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Expo in Denver, CO, and some of the big boys of consumer electronics are at least touting products they term eco-friendly.
Sharp has stepped up with its D85U and D65U Aquos LCD TVs (in 52-, 46- and 42-inch sizes and ranging in price from $1,599 to $2,599). The TVs have Sharp’s Optical Picture Control with ambient light sensors that dim and brighten the backlights according to light conditions in the room. Sharp says the TVs are RoHS-compliant to meet standards for the reduction of lead, cadmium and other hazardous substances and meet the new Energy Star 3.0 spec to be implemented in November and that requires the TVs to be energy efficient in their “on” or active states.
Sharp also introduced two Limited Edition LCD TVs using LED backlighting with red green and blue LEDs for better color reproduction and local dimming, meaning the LEDs go on and off as needed to reproduce light and dark images accordingly, which should produce better and deeper blacks in LCDs. The 1080p and 120Hz Limited Edition LC-522XS1U 52-inch set and LC-65XS1U 65-incher also have the ambient light sensors and are Energy Star 3.0-compliant, Sharp says. The sets appear to be an effort to combine high performance and energy efficiency in one package, though they come with separate A/V set-top boxes and speakers. More on their power consumption is to come.
Toshiba is touting energy efficiency in its smaller AV500 lines of LCDs, meeting the Energy Star 3.0 spec and containing a Dynalight backlight that adjusts brightness according to the content. Toshiba also said its higher-performance Regza LCD line will be energy-efficient with an ambient light AutoView that adjusts brightness, contrast, color and more according to ambient light levels in rooms, so it uses less power in darker rooms. Toshiba also says the sets will meet the new Energy Star requirements. That’s combined with performance features such as 1080p resolution, and 120Hz refresh rate and 5:5 pulldown with 24p reproduction in its XV545 Cinema Series. Like the Sharp Limited Editions, the power consumption details will be interesting.
Sony touted greener days as well, but limited its eco hype to producing sleeker products that use less energy and less packaging. Sony also touted its Triluminous LED Backlighting Technology, also using red, green and blue LEDs. More on this to come.
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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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