Gov’t Now Requires HDTV Energy Guide Labels -Explained
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.
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.
The 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.
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