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DAM Pops Energy Star's Bubble

Martin Hellman (1254284) writes | more than 5 years ago

Power 0

Martin Hellman writes "Last month's Slashdot story Energy Star Program Needs an Overhaul reported on 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 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.

Today's Device Guru reports 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 TV's that claim Energy Star compliance (devices are self-certified by the manufacturers!), so investing in a power meter is likely to have a good return on invesment. (Device Guru has a link to an inexpensive meter.) 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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