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DAM Pops Energy Star's Bubble

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the one-dam-problem-after-another dept.

Power 147

Martin Hellman writes "Last month we discussed a major problem with the EPA's Energy Star program. A Sony TV that was advertised to draw less than 0.1 watts in standby mode was actually drawing 15 watts — 150 times the stated value. A lack of information in the user manual and a poor response from Sony led me to suspect the problem was with the Electronic Program Guide feature, but a lack of information in the User Guide and a lack of response from Sony made it impossible to be sure — or to turn off the EPG. At current prices, that power consumption cost me about as much as a subscription to TV Guide magazine! The EPG was not as free as the on screen instructions would have you believe. Now, Device Guru reports on the resolution of that issue. As suspected, the problem was with the EPG, and there is a way to turn it off — now documented in that story. The problem is probably not unique to Sony or TVs that claim Energy Star compliance (devices are self-certified by the manufacturers!), so picking up a power meter is likely to have a good return on investment. As a result of this waste of power, the EPA is planning for future versions of the Energy Star requirements to limit the amount of time a TV can spend in Download Acquisition Mode (DAM) as the time for acquiring the EPG is known."

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Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772193)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772245)

Can't there be a way to filter out comments that have "N**GER" in it say more than two times?

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Offtopic)

sorak (246725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772539)

Mod parent up. He is asking a legitimate question about how to prevent troll-posts from appearing. Even if you feel that such a policy (a limitation on how many times one can use the N-word in a single post), is censorship, his question isn't "trolling"

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772995)

Also, it must be at least seven words away from the word "guy".

There has to be a way to flag this stuff! (1, Offtopic)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772667)

Seriously, guys. Even Craigslist has a flagging mechanism.

Couldn't have it as part of moderation? I know I've been market as troll for stuff that I honestly have not intended as troll of flamebait, but the parent post is different. It is racist, hateful, and offensive.

This isn't merely contrarian or unpopular speech, it is vulgar and hateful and has no social importance. It is profane and disgusting.

Re:There has to be a way to flag this stuff! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773021)

That entirely depends on your point of view. To you it seems profane and disgusting, to others who go along with either the humour or the satire of the post, it seems either humourous or astute.

Not everyone thinks being racist is bad. I think Slashdot allows people of all points of view to post.

Re:There has to be a way to flag this stuff! (1, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773331)

That entirely depends on your point of view.

Really? Can you find any defensible argument for top post?

To you it seems profane and disgusting, to others who go along with either the humour or the satire of the post, it seems either humourous or astute.

How can a degrading racist rant like that be, in any way, "humorous" or "astute?"

Not everyone thinks being racist is bad.
Yea, and not everyone thinks murder is bad.

I think Slashdot allows people of all points of view to post.

This is not a debate between Linux and Windows, this is an issue of hatred against a race of people for nothing more than the color of their skin.

Re:There has to be a way to flag this stuff! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26774851)

> This is not a debate between Linux and Windows, this is an issue of hatred against a race of people for nothing more than the color of their skin.

I think this is where you are missing the actual point of the posting.

What I mean is that racism is nothing to do with the post.

They are just trying to be a dick and get a rise from you, which they have.

Congratulations you just encouraged them.

Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772235)

It's a little like hiring the A-team to eradicate your rat infestation. You're paying a premium to save money in the long run, but the long run simply isn't long enough to justify the short-term expense.

Do you work in the credit industry?

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772391)

It's a little like hiring the A-team to eradicate your rat infestation. You're paying a premium to save money in the long run, but the long run simply isn't long enough to justify the short-term expense.

No, this is simply misleading advertising/fraud. Sony claims the TV meets standard X, and it doesn't.

Summon the lawyers, and file a class action lawsuit.

Odds are pretty good many other TV manufacturers do the same thing.

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772421)

I disagree. The extra-amount paid ($10?) is more than made-up for over a TV's 20-year-lifespan.* Of course that assumes the programmers actually did a good job with the energy-saving features. My DTVpal (made by Dish) turns on every 6 hours to update its program guide, which is just ridiculous, and defeats the "5 watt maximum" requirement imposed by the FCC. The guide can wait to be updated until the next time I watch television.

I prefer how my large-screen TV operates. When it's off, it's off. If you want to turn it back on, you have to physically press the big button; it doesn't even respond to a remote. Absolutely zero parasitic power drain.

*
*(20 or more years for my sets anyway. I still have my original Atari TV from the 1970s.)

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (0)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772473)

I agree and disagree. I agree that having the TV actually turn on does indeed make it violate the requirement, and is basically a waste of power. Manufacturer's intent might not have been "Scam" but it is something that could use a fixing.

Meanwhile, your large-screen TV does not operate with 0 power drain when it's off. A completely off TV draws some sort of wattage, and TV's have their own form of standby if they are new.

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (2, Funny)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773059)

Mine does.

I use a fucking power strip on it.

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773291)

You jest, but that's what I do too. All my console systems, TV, ethernet switch (for those devices), speakers, everything but the alarm clock get turned off via the power switch at night. Why pay for something that I'm not going to be using for the next 7+ hours?

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (2, Interesting)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773469)

Plus, you don't have to worry about lightning. (Assuming you don't care about a 7 dollar alarm clock.)

I was actually going to get one of those kill-a-watt measuring devices to see if it would be worthwhile to install power strips on my microwave and see how much various chargers were drawing when not hooked up, or when hooked up but the device is fully charged. I have a theory they're sucking power, and I could just leave the strip on for an hour a day when everything's plugged in.

But I discovered those things were like 100 dollars. I thought they'd be more along the lines of the cost of multimeters, which are like 10 bucks for cheap ones.

Hey, Obama, hear that? How about a rebate for those things for those of us trying to save energy? Or, I hear in a few places, you can apparently borrow them from the public library. How about federal grants for that?

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (2, Interesting)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773987)

Wow, where are you trying to buy them from? I can get the lower-capacity one for $20, and a higher-capacity one for $40 (sorry, I can't remember the specs) - and I'm in Canada. (For those who don't know, electronic gadgets are generally at least 10% more expensive up here in my experience).

Here you go, ThinkGeek [thinkgeek.com] has them for $25. Mind you, those only have one plug on them - you can plug a power strip into them, but you'd have to make sure you don't overload it.

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26774287)

I was trying to buy them at Home Depot, which was the only place I could find them. This was about a year ago. I think they were $89.99.

I didn't realize they had insane markup there, thanks.

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26775539)

I have one of those Kill A Watt devices. I discovered leaving the TV turned on is no worse than a ~70 watt lightbulb. Not a big deal. (Figure 60 cents a month.) The big guzzlers are the refrigerator, stove, and heater. Around 1000 watts each and 10,000 for the heat pump.

One surprise was the microwave which is sucking 5 watts all day long. I now unplug it.

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26774359)

For ease of use, I have a remote-control powerstrip that I can turn off from a distance.

Well, put on standby.

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (1)

Eevee (535658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772599)

The guide can wait to be updated until the next time I watch television.

It can wait if you aren't recording a show with an external device or the providers never change program schedules without warning. The market for the DVDPal, however, does includes people who record shows and have to live with providers who change programs without warning. Is six hours too often? Yes. But there needs to be some sort of scheduled updates for unattended recording.

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (1, Insightful)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773131)

The real problem here is the single-wattage power converters.

So that every slight power trickle turns the thing on full. Which is a real hassle when the device has a remote control (Although that has mostly been fixed.) or a clock like a microware (The entire concept there just pisses me off. Microwaves do not need to know the time.)

Or, now, downloading information from the internet, or an internal timer to record TV shows.

If every device that wanted to do that simply came with the equivalent of a 100mA 4.5v wall wart in addition to the real power supply, (But built in, obviously, off the same power connection.) we'd save a lot of power. But it would cost a good three or four dollars more, so that's never going to happen.

Computers have actually done this for years, although they do it a little too much. (Powering random USB devices while off is a bit silly.) But their power supplies all have a mode where instead of supplying 450 watts at five or six voltages, they only supply a few watts at 5v, and it seems to be a microscopic power drain.

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (2, Informative)

hjf (703092) | more than 5 years ago | (#26774471)

what? first: a 100mA 4.5V wall-wart uses 0.45W at full-load and inefficiency load makes it use 0.9W. even on 1% load it still draws about 50% of its rating.

second: where do you get the single-wattage power converter idea???? at least Philips TVs, even the cheapest one sold for about USD 150 here in Argentina has dual power supplies. A so-called "burst" psu which makes it use less than 0.5W on standby. That's the "standby" psu. It also has a full-power psu. the microprocessor is constantly going into "sleep" mode to save even more power, it uses so little energy that you can unplug it and the standby led will stay on for a couple of minutes (!). Newer models don't even have a standby led to save even more power (it turns itself off after a few seconds).

Philips audio sets also have "eco-power": they even turn off the VFD and don't show the time while on standby.

(Disclaimer: I work as an authorized philips repair technician. I learned all that in training)

Re:Buying a low-power TV to save on costs (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26775691)

>>>The market for the DVDPal includes people who record shows and have to live with providers who change programs without warning.

The DTVpal will update itself if Heroes moves to 10pm instead of its usual 9pm, but the external VCR or DVR will still be recording 9pm. The DTVpal might as well stay off until the user turns it back on, and then update.

fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773383)

It's a little like hiring the A-team to eradicate your rat infestation. You're paying a premium to save money in the long run, but the long run simply isn't long enough to justify the short-term expense.

You're shelling out cash for a product which claims a certain set of features. If the feature set is not as advertised, and the manufacturer knows it, it is fraud. It's no different than if Sony claimed to do 1080p, but only did 720i. If I'm giving you cash, I want to know what I'm getting.

If Sony (or whomever) doesn't think the energy saving features were important enough to implement properly, they shouldn't have wasted resources to do a half-assed job in the first place, and they shouldn't have bothered to advertise said (supposed) functionality.

Sony products are generally of good quality, and this is just ruining that good reputation.

Why would the EPA bother changing the requirements (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772253)

They could require devices to generate energy while on standby (by vapourizing invisible pink unicorns), and manufacturers could keep self-certifying their devices as compliant.

Re:Why would the EPA bother changing the requireme (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772479)

They could require devices to generate energy while on standby (by vapourizing invisible pink unicorns), and manufacturers could keep self-certifying their devices as compliant.

That, or use magic pixie dust.

Re:Why would the EPA bother changing the requireme (5, Funny)

roaddemon (666475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772615)

Invisible unicorns? Sure. Pink unicorns? No problem. But invisible pink unicorns? Now you're just making stuff up -- everyone knows that invisible doesn't have a colour.

As an aside, what colour is a mirror?

F

Infidel ! (2)

Mornedhel (961946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772631)

You don't have the faith [wikipedia.org] , do you ?

Re:Why would the EPA bother changing the requireme (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773571)

it is axiomatic that an invisible pink unicorn viewed in a mirror is mirror-colored.

Re:Why would the EPA bother changing the requireme (2, Informative)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26774151)

As an aside, what colour is a mirror?

Silver.

Re:Why would the EPA bother changing the requireme (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773679)

I have a bad habit if measuring claims made by manufactures and it appears that lots of them must have access to those invisible pink unicorns since their claims are way off. I find that CFLs are the worst offenders and often to take up to about 55% more power than they claim and while I can't measure a lumen from a non-consistent point source (I'm not even sure how it should be done), I can measure average light output in LUX after a bulb is 1000 hours old and I have yet to be impressed with the honesty on the product boxes.

I have found that larger companies with a strong European market are doing much better with their standby power. My imac and Nokia chargers take so little power when the device is fully charged that is less than the error range of the instruments I use.

My freezer has the same problem (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772281)

My Freezer has an energy star rating also, but I see that it too, downloads TV listings and so is exempt. Same with my toaster. It is supposed to draw 0 Watts when not toasting, but because it's downloading TV listings, it draws 1500 watts continuously and glows like a red pepper. I also have a blender, Energy star rated, but because it downloads TV listings it too draws 1500 watts and glows red hot also... make is kinda hard to chop up ice cubes!

Yet another reason not to buy Sony any longer. (5, Insightful)

krischik (781389) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772291)

What do whe have:

1) Rootkits by Sony BMG.
2) Non existent customer service and end of live / support in less the 6 month by Sony Ericsson.
4) Insistence on prohibitory memory stick by all Sony departments.
5) Lying on Energy Star Rating by Sony Electronics.

Well Sony is on my the list of evil corporation for quite a while now and it does not look they are getting of the list any soon.

Martin

Odd that you say that (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772355)

I really do not know that much about consumer electronics(tv, stereo) anymore. When we went to several different stores, I was surprised that all of them said that Sony no longer has the customer service and their equipment tends to fail quickly. Picked up a Samsung instead.

Re:Odd that you say that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773537)

That isn't really surprising. Most people are pissed at Sony for one thing or another, most in GP's list.

Re:Yet another reason not to buy Sony any longer. (5, Funny)

kramer (19951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772383)

Not only that, but they are probably responsible for stealing your third argument!

Re:Yet another reason not to buy Sony any longer. (0, Redundant)

SolidAltar (1268608) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772673)

Mod parent up

Re:Yet another reason not to buy Sony any longer. (1)

kbdd (823155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773381)

Yes, Sony really is evil :-)

Re:Yet another reason not to buy Sony any longer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26775011)

Nah, I just patented the act and the process of making the third argument. There can be no third argument in any discussion unless a license is aquired from the foundation of ACs. A licensee will obtain the license at a reasonable portion of their moderation powers. Any unauthorised use of the third argument can lead to a criminal prosecution and punishment (such as a troll or a flamebait moderation) as required by the TRIPS agreement.

Re:Yet another reason not to buy Sony any longer. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772389)

I don't here wankers like you moaning about Pioneer doing the same thing across their entire range.

Re:Yet another reason not to buy Sony any longer. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772507)

I don't here wankers like you moaning about Pioneer doing the same thing across their entire range.

We will be if it's true, now that you've mentioned it. But as the GP points out, Sony has some additional evil elements that tend to really piss us off, all the more so because Sony used to be our hero. After all, they were the outfit that won the court decision that affirmed the legality of the VCR, home taping, and time shifting.

Sad thing is, there's probably a good chunk of Sony's current management that regrets having done that.

Sony, frankly, sucks.

Re:Yet another reason not to buy Sony any longer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773325)

I don't here wankers

"hear".

Re:Yet another reason not to buy Sony any longer. (2, Informative)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26775581)

You know what's really going to make the your head asplode?

Sony TVs come with a printed version of the GPL and LGPL!
(also the license statements for OpenSSL, FreeType2, Expat, Curl, Popt, and libjpeg)

...and, yes, they provide the link to the source code [sony.com] .

They're evil, but they're in compliance with the GPL.
They're evil, but they're in compliance with the GPL.
They're evil, but they're in compilance with the GPL.

*BOOM*

Meter the meter (4, Funny)

rxmd (205533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772297)

Picking up a power meter is likely to have a good return on investment.

Remember to pick only Energy Star-compliant power meters, though!

Re:Meter the meter (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26774047)

Hey, did you hear that Sony's started making their own Kill-A-Watts to be packaged with new TV's? ;)

      --- Mr. DOS

Everything On A Switch (4, Interesting)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772331)

This is why I have all of my electronics go through a wall switch. TVs, amps, cable boxes, game systems, etc... all continue to draw power even when off. Flip the wall switch on your way out and you have a low-tech way to fight this problem.

The only downside is that the digital cable box takes a few minutes to start. Actually, come to think of it, it's more of an upside since I get tired of waiting and go do something more productive instead of watching TV.

Re:Everything On A Switch (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772415)

What is the wear and tear on the devices to keep powering down like that? These devices are designed to be always-on, so you may be risking reduced life-span and more frequent hardware replacement by saving a few pennies by using a kill switch.

I have a Toshiba DVR which has failed twice due to power failures. The extended warranty has paid itself off, but this doesn't seem like something that should fail. Unfortunately it does, so I question the wisdom of your plan in the long run.

Re:Everything On A Switch (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772445)

I obviously turn off the devices first. At that point they are supposed to be drawing very little power. If they are drawing enough power, even when off, that powering up and down is going to harm then why have an off button on the device at all?

Re:Everything On A Switch (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772519)

I recognize the likelihood that the DVR's problems stem from being powered down while on, but when it takes more than a minute to start up, I am not so quick to judge anyone who leaves the machine on all the time.

It wouldn't be too hard to put a rechargeable LiON battery in the set to provide backup power in the case that main power suddenly went out. If the device can detect when main power goes out, it can switch over to battery power to perform a safe shutdown instead of doing whatever bad things it does that forces me to take it in for repair/replacement.

Re:Everything On A Switch (2, Informative)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773199)

You shouldn't be flipping a DVR on and off. Not only is that harmful, as DVRs are computers with filesystems and whatnot that can lose integrity, but it defeats the purpose of having a DVR. (And many of them can't be shut down correctly in any easy manner.)

It's your TV that really needs to be on a power switch, along with possibly your amp. (My damn stereo has a light to indicate it's off. Yeah, thanks for that.) And DVD players, many of which don't even have the concept of 'off'. And VCRs that aren't used for recording if you still have one of those around. And don't forget AV switches...don't need to switch around if nothing's turn on.

Re:Everything On A Switch (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772545)

These devices are designed to be always-on,

A cunningly good idea!

yours,
CEO of your local Electricity Supply Corporation

Re:Everything On A Switch (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772515)

The internal batteries (for the clock and such) in those devices are not going to like it, especially not if they are turned off like that for prolonged periods of time.

As for the digital cable box, I'm wondering how much energy is wasted that way.

Re:Everything On A Switch (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772525)

This is why I have all of my electronics go through a wall switch. TVs, amps, cable boxes, game systems, etc... all continue to draw power even when off. Flip the wall switch on your way out and you have a low-tech way to fight this problem.

The only downside is that the digital cable box takes a few minutes to start. Actually, come to think of it, it's more of an upside since I get tired of waiting and go do something more productive instead of watching TV.

That's great so long as those devices are capable of preserving their configuration when disconnected from the line. If your cable box, say, only has a supercap for memory backup, it may lose its setup after a few hours.

Re:Everything On A Switch (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773579)

Mine does lose its setup, but I generally have to power cycle it once a week to regain a signal that has suddenly cut out, so I don't really see it as an additional burden.

It's Comcastic!

Re:Everything On A Switch (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772585)

I do the same. In the UK at least it is possible to get cheap remote-control power switches that plug into your mains socket, which avoids all the scrabbling behind sets. The ones I have use a multi-channel set up, so you can have one set of sockets go off at one push of a button, and another set of sockets set to go off with another button.

Re:Everything On A Switch (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773339)

What we need is a programmable 'IR relay' power strip like that.

They need to have an IR sensor, that you program for each plug by aiming the remote of the thing plugged into that outlet at it and pressing 'power'. So that when it senses that, it turns said device on...and five seconds later, it repeats the IR signal to actually turn the device on. (Might be nice to be able to program the delay.)

And then it waits and cuts power off when it gets the signal again.

Of course, there are ways around this. A lot of existing TVs actually turn back on if you unplugged them when they were on. Mine, on a power strip, does. Flip back on the strip and it's on. This combined with the fact I use other devices for tuning and sound, means I don't actually use the remote or power button for it at all. (Well, I turn it off if I'm just listening to music.) And unlike a lot of power features, you can probably test this in the store, although you should ask permission before unplugging display models.

I've also seen stereo amps that had a power-out on the back that came on when they were turned on, intended for TVs that automatically came back on.

Re:Everything On A Switch (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773043)

if all one's computer stuff is on a power strip, why not put your other gadgets on a power strip too? :)

Or, go the low-tech way and simply unplug the thing.

price of TV GUIDE (2, Interesting)

farnham (160656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772373)

You can get a subscription to TV Guide for eleven dollars ans a quarter?
are you sure that' snot an introductory rate?
that's at my local average of 8.55 cents per kilowatt hour.

Re:price of TV GUIDE (1)

CoolVC (131998) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773213)

hell, you can buy the whole company for a dollar [mediabistro.com]

Zero power consumption (1)

Jerry Smith (806480) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772379)

DVD-player, TV, cable-box and Wii are on the same energy block, one master-plug in the wall-socket enables/disables all of it. It's unplugged 8 hours per day, and several hours per day: I guess it's the best/cheapest solution .

Re:Zero power consumption (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773353)

Erm, you should really use a power strip with an on/off switch instead of plugging and unplugging.

Somehow, I doubt it. (3, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772407)

Picking up a power meter is likely to have a good return on investment.

Well, only if you can use it to test new appliance BEFORE you buy them. Otherwise, you're going to be spending a lot of time buying things and returning them.

Frankly, my time is worth enough that spending more than three or four hours shopping for a new TV (or any other appliance) is a bad idea. Which means that buying something, then wasting time analyzing the power usage, returning it, buying another one, repeat endlessly is a complete waste of time and money.

Re:Somehow, I doubt it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772455)

Well, only if you can use it to test new appliance BEFORE you buy them. Otherwise, you're going to be spending a lot of time buying things and returning them.

Or, you use your results to file a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer. You'll get millions, while everyone else gets a coupon redeemable for a new TV.

Re:Somehow, I doubt it. (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772533)

Well, only if you can use it to test new appliance BEFORE you buy them.

Which may very well prove nothing. If the device only wakes up every few hours to download new information, you might not even detect the extra power drain when running your test in the store.

Re:Somehow, I doubt it. (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773245)

Or not detect it at all anyway, if the device has decided not to download it not hooked up to cable.

Re:Somehow, I doubt it. (2, Funny)

jshackney (99735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772839)

Frankly, my time is worth enough that spending more than three or four hours shopping for a new TV (or any other appliance) is a bad idea.

Just a little ribbing, but I'd think you have a little more free time [slashdot.org] than you let on.

Re:Somehow, I doubt it. (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773285)

Frankly, my time is worth enough that spending more than three or four hours shopping for a new TV (or any other appliance) is a bad idea.

I could see that spending extra time sweating relatively small stuff would be counterproductive, but unless you have a very good relationship with a store that lets you return things because "I didn't like it", you probably need to spend more than 3 hours deciding when you are buying something that will last 10 or more years.

I have quite literally spent 3 hours helping a friend pick out a new home-theater receiver because he needs to answer the question "will it work with my existing stuff?" One of the only ways to find out is to read the manual for each model. Worse, the same manufacturer doesn't always keep features consistent, so a "better" model might not have features that lesser models have.

Without the Internet, this would have been 10-12 hour job, as the only way would be to go to stores and ask to read the manual.

Re:Somehow, I doubt it. (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26774453)

Why don't you join Consumer Reports, then ask them to start including power consumption (both on and off) in their television specs and ratings? They are a non-profit third-party organization that does this kind of testing for us.

I'm a consumer reports member. I just sent the following note to them:

Energy consumption is a major factor when considering electronics purchases. As a recent story illustrates (http://www.deviceguru.com/hdtvs-dam-pops-energy-stars-bubble/), a device could consume significantly more energy than advertised, even when it has "earned" an energy star rating. Could you please start to test electronics (especially televisions) with a power monitor device? It would be trivially easy to do so then report the power consumed when on AND off. While other ratings like home appliances are tested for power consumption, I see no data for televisions.

This way, for a small fee, you can make an informed decision before making the first purchase. And by using a third-party non-profit testing organization to hone your buying decisions, you are helping the market drive quality without added government regulation.

15 Watts isn't _that_expensive (0)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772537)

was actually drawing 15 watts... At current prices, that power consumption cost me about as much as a subscription to TV Guide magazine!

A constant draw of 15 watts is (15/1000)*24*30 = 10.8 Kwh/month. Even at the most expensive prices in the US (20 cents per Kwh), this is roughly two dollars a month.

Re:15 Watts isn't _that_expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772641)

And that's 25 bucks a year, then - not that much, maybe, but also not free, either.

Would you mind if I snuck into your house once a year and took a 20 and a 5 from your wallet?

Re:15 Watts isn't _that_expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772829)

It depends: would you bring me a TV Guide every 6 hours?

Re:15 Watts isn't _that_expensive (1)

hwstar (35834) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773051)

20 cents a kWh? On my last bill, San Diego Graft and Extortion had a top rate of 31cents a kWh!

Re:15 Watts isn't _that_expensive (1)

rbochan (827946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773771)

...Even at the most expensive prices in the US (20 cents per Kwh), this is roughly two dollars a month.

So yes, roughly $25 per year. Per device.

Re:15 Watts isn't _that_expensive (1)

Smurf (7981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26774469)

...Even at the most expensive prices in the US (20 cents per Kwh), this is roughly two dollars a month.

So yes, roughly $25 per year. Per device.

So if your household income after taxes is $35,000 (quite low, specially in those places where electricity costs 20 cents/Kwh), this is 0.07% of your income. Ouch! Also, if your monthly electric bill averages $180 (very conservative if they charge 20 c/kWh), that's 1.15% of the total bill.

Per device.

If you have more than two devices on which you can't turn EPG off, you most certainly earn way more than $35,000, even after taxes.

Now, most places in the US charge FAR less per kWh, frequently under 10 cents. In those cases, it is still cheaper than a cheap $19 subscription to TV Guide [discountpress.com] . (Normally you get it for $40/year [magazines.com] , I'm being generous here).

Time is a factor -- Do the math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772571)

I assume it's only drawing 15 watts while downloading program info. If that takes a whole minute per day, the average power draw is about 0.01 watts, ten times better than the claim. Even if downloads took 10 minutes per day, that only brings it up to the 0.1 watt level.

Re:Time is a factor -- Do the math (1)

internewt (640704) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772731)

by Anonymous Coward on 08-02-09 15:37 (#26772571)

I assume it's only drawing 15 watts while downloading program info. If that takes a whole minute per day, the average power draw is about 0.01 watts, ten times better than the claim. Even if downloads took 10 minutes per day, that only brings it up to the 0.1 watt level.

RTFA - the TV seemed to be in programme download mode 75% of the time it is in sleep, and when in that mode it draws 20W.

Re:Time is a factor -- Do the math (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773149)

While 75% of the time is by any standard WAY too often to be updating the program guide, 10 minutes a day is too little. To get 12 hours of ATSC program data takes an average of 1.5 minutes for each channel. And since programs change, you'll probably want to do this fairly frequently -- I'd say at least every three hours (which will get you a new guide table each time as well), and probably every hour would be desirable. Still, even assuming 10 channels, that's only 25% of the time, not 75% of the time.

Cable set-top boxes have it easier, since they get information on all the channels from a separate stream.

Cable / sat DVR and boxes should go in to a low po (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772601)

Cable / sat DVR and boxes should go in to a low power mode. When not needed You can spin down the HDD when it is not needed and how about put the cpu in a sleep mode / CPU throttling.

Recent "Green plug" debacle (0, Offtopic)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772643)

We had an article recently on "Green Plug", the USB power scheme. that's something else that went wrong. They made it way too complicated, requiring software handshaking between the power source and device.

Instead of GreenPlug, all that's needed is a low-power mode for USB power:

  • USB power sources should turn off their power supply when the resistance at the output is > 1 megohm. In "power supply off" mode they should draw < 10uA from the power line.
  • Devices charging from USB ports should present > 1 megohm resistance across the power lines when not in need of power.

That's all that's needed. Just some micropower electronics. No special "GreenPlug protocol", no software handshaking. USB power sources don't even need the data pins (good for security). But, of course, the GreenPlug people wouldn't have any "proprietary technology" to sell.

Same with Panasonic (4, Informative)

Exp315 (851386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772699)

I had exactly the same experience with my Panasonic TV. I put a power meter on it shortly after I bought it and discovered that it was drawing 20 watts when off instead of the promised 0.1 watts. I figured that the problem might be the EPG, and discovered with experimentation that the undocumented method of putting in a Zip code of 000000 disabled it and solved the problem.

Measure everything!! (4, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772767)

Even at the most expensive prices in the US (20 cents per Kwh), this is roughly two dollars a month.

It may be $0.18 ~ $0.20 for the electrical charge, but on my bill there is delivery and fuel charge. My electricity, in total, comes to a bit over $0.25 a kWh.
"
I recently used a "Watts Up" and went through my whole house. Wall warts (transformers) are nasty. Some just sit and use 10~15 watts doing nothing. So if you leave it plugged in and turn the device off, it still sucks up power.

All "switchers" are not created equal either. Some laptop and monitor sitching power supplies may draw 60w when on, but draw 10w when
"off"

I went through my house and brought my electric bill down from $220 to about $180 a month.

Re:Measure everything!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773603)

Wall warts (transformers) are nasty. Some just sit and use 10~15 watts doing nothing.

I've seen this, and I don't really understand it. My knowledge of electronics is rudimentary, but shouldn't it be possible to use the DC power output as a switch, which is open when unplugged or the device is turned off? No connection there, no drawing power from the wall.

Re:Measure everything!! (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773755)

All measuring devices have limits and I've found most power meters tend to get very sloppy on their lower ends and that can often be in the range of 10 w. If the power factor is nasty (as it often is with low power loads), the meter will give huge errors. What seems to work best is find 10 of your worst wall warts and plug them all in one power strip and measure them that way. Pull one and and see how the rating drops. You can also use a 60w incandescent bulb as a base load since they are very consistent and have a pf of 1.00.

If you have an older style wheel meter, its only compensation for power factor (if any) will be lead/lag. Switching supplies have other power factor issues that newer digital meters account for and bill you for.

Re:Measure everything!! (1)

Kumiorava (95318) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773779)

I did a similar exercise with my modest apartment. I added extension cords with power switches and went from $30 down to $15-20 per month. I really recommend everyone to do this, it's so simple and the savings can be a large percentage of your total consumption.

Re:Measure everything!! (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773891)

Your electricity has a delivery and fuel charge? Are you running generators off diesel or something?

Re:Measure everything!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26774513)

Here is California we have tiered pricing on electricity. Adding that extra 15 watts can bump your usage up into the next tier and REALLY raise the price. That 15 watts can end up being WAY more than $2/month. Don't forget that a higher bill means higher taxes too, it adds up fast.

Re:Measure everything!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26774653)

Wall warts (transformers) are nasty. Some just sit and use 10~15 watts doing nothing.

There's probably a (very?) large measuring error in there. The cheap power meters are only accurate for resistive loads like conventional bulbs. With switch mode power supplies without power factot correction (i.e. those that draw more current when the voltage is at the low end of the sinus swing) won't get accurate readings, and it appears that conventional transformers as found in the heavier, blockier "wall warts", which are almost purely inductive loads (their current draw is 90 degrees out of phase from the voltage) are even worse. The wall wart that came with the DSL-modem my ISP sent me is rated at 9V 1A - 9W. The cheap wattmeter from the coffee shop read 9W when in use, and 9W when the modem was disconnected, but the power supply didn't get nearly as warm.

Re:Measure everything!! (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 5 years ago | (#26774737)

If you're interested in doing this kind of thing -- and it sounds like you are -- a good resource are books written for RVers who spend a lot of time boondocking, i.e., out in the boonies on solar power and batteries. One thing you discover very quickly when you are cut off from unlimited electricity is that electrical appliances tend to be designed with the assumption that electricity will be cheap and plentiful where they're used, so they waste it profligately, often even when turned "off".

Cutting your monthly electric bill by almost 20% is a perfect illustration of why people who do live where electricity is relatively cheap and plentiful should care about this. That's almost $500 a year in your case, which is for most people nothing to sneeze at.

Rules Don't Work! (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772787)

Instead of just making more rules which companies usually break anyway it would be wiser to establish a carrot and stick approach. Reward companies for turning in cheaters by giving them large sums of cash. Reward companies that produce energy saving products by giving them large sums. Fine the hell out of violating companies to get the money to give to the good companies. And please be heavy handed!

No Energy Star - honest wasting power (1)

DrTime (838124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772991)

I've always known my 2 year old 42" LG TV uses a lot of energy for the TV Guide On Screen feature since the processor is never off. Reading this story made me find the box to see if it claimed an Energy Star rating, and to my surprise, LG was honest and there is none.

This model comes with a built-in DVR and its disk drive never spins down, you can always hear the hum when it is quiet. But, I figure it is no more wasteful than the DVR in my previous set top boxes.

Nice thing about it being always on is that I have my computer turn the TV on and off with its wake up, shutdown, and sleep modes using the serial port control. Can't have everything.

Real simple to unturnoffable TV-external switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773013)

Really no text required as this is such a no brainer that I find it hard to believe even in this time of technological ignorance in the midst of plenty. Go to the store and buy one of those plug-in strips that have a switch on it. You do not have to fill in all the other spots, but you likely have the same problem with VCRs incorporating tuners, disc players incorporating tuners whether the previous devices admit to their presence or not; so you can use the remaining spots if necessary to plug them in as well. Then when you are not using the equipment, simply turn it off! Its your equipment and your power subscription!

Simplw Solution (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773061)

An OFF switch

I mean a real, cuts off the AC current off switch. TV's used to have them 20 -30 years ago.
Power used while switched off = 0 watts.

Re:Simplw Solution (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773365)

Although some TVs 30 years ago turned off completely, you have to go back considerably farther to get to the point where every TV was completely off when the switch was off.

It was 1971 when RCA patented "instant on" for TVs [freepatentsonline.com] .

Re:Simple Solution (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773855)

I remember when we got our first TV that had "instant on". My dad, en electrical engineer, always hammered on us kids to turn the power off at the wall when we weren't watching. This was in Australia where we had a real honest-to-goodness power switch on every wall plug. I was boggled to discover a few years later that US power points were live all the time.

Re:Simplw Solution (1)

Corson (746347) | more than 5 years ago | (#26774545)

Setup parameters would be lost in most of the appliances. My Cable TV digital box must be reset by the TV company if disconected for too long.

Plain language? (1)

Corson (746347) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773309)

It would be great if in the future such articles were written in "plain English" rather than in "technicalese", thank you.

Same issue with a Sony KDL-46WL410 (1)

kbdd (823155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773327)

It turns out I had the same issue with my Sony KDL-46WL140 and the fix worked there too. In my case, not only was the TV drawing 16W all the time, but the EPG did not even work in my area. Thanks Slashdot!

Not in the manual? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773817)

The specifications page at the end of the manual clearly states:

* While the TV is collecting TV Guide data and/or during software update the power consumption is less than 30W.

It is documented by Westinghouse (1)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26775139)

I just purchased a Westinghouse television and it is documented, rather well, how to set the television to use less than 1 watt of power in standby. It includes a warning that this is not set as factory default because it takes up to 10 seconds for the television to turn on when in the low-watt standby mode - far too long for most people to wait.

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