EPA Issues `Final Draft’ Of Energy Star V.8 For TVs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week issued the Final Draft Version 8.0 of its Energy Star TV specifications, which are to take effect April 16, 2018.
In the process of completing the draft, the EPA offered industry stake holders an opportunity to comment on any concerns in criteria outlined in the second draft of the specifications that were being updated and revised.
The EPA said many of the submitted comments concerned proposals to require Automatic Brightness Controls (ABCs) on all or most of the pre-established picture modes in a television as well as requests that software updates delivered after the initial setup of a television not be allowed to boost power consumption levels above that which was tested and certified for Energy Star approvals.
The EPA said most of the fielded comments were “generally supportive.”
Read more on the EPA’s Engery Star for Televisions v.8 final draft after the jump:
Areas of most concern included:
Software Updates – Multiple stakeholders raised concerns that software updates at initial set up might impact a TV’s energy consumption, “such that it would no longer meet the power consumption requirements. In response, EPA has added language that makes explicit the expectation that TVs meet requirements following these software updates,” the agency’s letter on the Final Draft release said.
Automatic Brightness Control (ABC) – Concerning the implementation of ABC, which is optional for product certification, “some stakeholders asked that EPA require that TVs choosing to certify with ABC enabled maintain it in all picture settings. One stakeholder asserted that manufacturers would lose the ability to provide differentiation in picture settings if ABC were enabled in each.”
The EPA said it considered the competing comments and “has retained the Draft 2 requirement that TVs certifying with ABC enabled maintain it in all but one setting if they have up to four settings and in all but two settings if they have more than four settings.”
The EPA Energy Star V.8 cover letter points out that certification with ABC is optional, and “the Agency has not prescribed how to implement ABC in each setting, only that it be maintained in the setting.”
In a special note, the EPA pointed out that it in reviewing TV models currently on the market, it found that “1) there is typically at least one preset picture setting where ABC is not enabled by default and 2) HDR upscaling is in some cases a separate picture. As such, EPA proposes to retain its proposal from Draft 2.”
“EPA believes that this proposal allows manufacturers flexibility regarding modes in which ABC is enabled.
Meanwhile, the Final Draft cover letter said numerous stakeholders supported EPA’s Draft 2 proposal that TVs meet 125 nit brightness at 3 lux. Others, however, asked that EPA reduce this brightness or prescribe a ratio based on the brightest selectable preset picture setting.
“EPA has evaluated these comments and accompanying data and found that the data provided was not comparable to the industry accepted Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) field research reflecting consumer preferences or to additional data sources consulted, and thus did not justify lowering the screen brightness requirement.”
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Comments were also submitted asking to prohibit products from being certified with features enabled unless they deliver energy savings comparable to those reflected during testing.
“EPA understands that some manufacturers may have an interest in continuing to certify products with features such as motion detection dimming. Since the release of Draft 2, EPA has some indication that the implementation of motion detection dimming has improved in 2017 models,” the agencies letter reads.
The EPA said it is encouraging manufacturers “to share additional data to help improve understanding of such energy savings features across different content. As with ABC, where its energy savings potential has been demonstrated and widely accepted by stakeholders, once energy savings of this feature is well understood, EPA will be in a better position to encourage its use.”
Any comments on the Final Draft specification should be submitted by Aug. 2, 2017 through [email protected]. All comments received will be posted to the Energy Star Product Development website, unless the submitter specifically requests otherwise.
The EPA’s progress in revising the Energy Star guidelines can be tracked on the agency’s Product Development Web site at www.energystar.gov/RevisedSpecs (click on “Version 7.0” under “In development” under “Televisions.”)
For the version No. 9 of the Energy Star TV specs, the EPA said it intends to monitor and evaluate how televisions are progressing in lowering power consumption for 4K Ultra HDT resolution, native high dynamic range display as well as upscaled HDR, before issuing performance guidelines.
By Greg Tarr
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