Gov’t Now Requires HDTV Energy Guide Labels -Explained

June 30th, 2011 · 3 Comments · 21:9 3D LED LCD Flat Panels, 3D HDTV, Connected TVs, DLP, Laser HDTV, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, Microdisplay Rear Projection, News, OLED, Plasma

New Energy Guide Label for TV

All TVs manufactured after May 10th (that’s now!) are required to prominently display one of the Federal Trade Commissions’ stylish new Energy Guide labels.

Starting July 11, websites that sell televisions will be required to display an image of the full label as well, given that you can’t, you know, see the TV.

More info and Guru-tized analysis after the jump.

The Energy Guide labels are similar to those found on appliances, and must be displayed conspicuously on each TV. Each label will show the estimated yearly cost of that particular TV, based on a certain number of hours and cost per hour of electricity. In current (pun!) examples, this is $0.11 per kilowatt hour, with 5 hours a day of use.

More useful on the label is the comparison to other TVs of similar size, and where the TV discussed fits in the range of best and worst in that size category.

The power consumption is found using ENERGYSTAR testing procedures. We first wrote about ENERGYSTAR here.

Amazon’s Holiday Sale Continues

LED HDTVs for Under $500

Save On The Best Selling HDTVs

Blu-ray Deals

Best Selling Blu-ray Players

Analysis

We at HD Guru think it’s a great idea to give consumers power consumption data, but there are a few details our readers should know when comparing different TVs.

New Energy Guide Label for TV - verticalThe first is the real difference between “energy efficient” LED models, and “power hungry” plasmas. In a recent discussion with LG, for example, they said their 47-inch 47LW6500 LED LCD will have a Energy Guide yearly estimated cost of $13. Their 42-inch 42PT350 plasma, on the other hand, will have an estimated cost of $21. Given the vast price discrepancy between the average plasma and the average LED LCD (in our example, over $500), it is highly unlikely you would ever see a return on your investment, power consumption-wise (62.5 years, between these two).

The second is that if you change your TV’s initial settings, the power consumption will change. With LCDs (both LED and regular), increasing the backlight will increase power consumption. With plasmas increasing the contrast setting in the picture menu will increase power consumption. Increasing the contrast control with LCDs will have a negligible effect on power consumption.

As we’ve said before, the best setting for any LCD is the lowest backlight setting you can stand. This will supply the best black levels and conveniently the lowest power consumption possible while still creating an image you can actually see.

John Taylor, VP of Government Affairs for LG Electronics USA, told HD Guru: “LG embraces the new FTC labeling, as we believe it’s always helpful to give consumers more and valuable information.”

We expect other manufacturers would voice similar sentiments.

You can read more about the new labels here.

New Energy Guide Label for TV - corner

Geoff Morrison @TechWriterGeoff
Check out Geoff’s book.

 

Have a question for the HD Guru?
HD GURU|Email

Copyright 2011 HD Guru Inc. All rights reserved. HDGURU is a registered trademark.

Tags:

3 Comments so far ↓

  • Josh

    It’s the LCD manufacturers that started the ridiculous contrast ratio wars when they started reporting the “dynamic contrast ratio” for their TVs to hide the fact that their contrast ratios were far inferior to plasma. It was in response that plasma manufacturers started using the same dynamic ratio measure to get their ridiculous numbers.

    All of which leaves consumers with no good way to judge relative contrast ratios except by reading professional reviews, such as those by the esteemed Mr. Merson.

  • HiFiFun

    Lets not forget the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) fought this consumer friendly law – and the separate one in California. They lost both!
    As HDGuru reported a few weeks ago the CEA also wants us to start paying for public OTA (Over The Air) broadcasts, so Google can charge us for advertising.
    Hopefully the anti-trust actions being taken will stop this greed dead in its tracks.

  • Mark

    I hope they require plasma manufacturers to use the same settings for figuring energy cost that they use for figuring their wildly misleading contrast ratios. They should!

Leave a Comment