How Integrators Can Prevent Pollution

With proper calibration and settings, flat panels you install can contribute to energy savings.

How Integrators Can Prevent Pollution
Dolby's soon-to-come Individually Modulated LED (IMLED) panels are said to provide 10 times the brightness and contrast of regular TVs, saving energy.
Jeannette Howe · September 24, 2008

You can help prevent global warming and promote a cleaner environment by increasing the quality and performance of the flat panels you sell.

Soaring gas prices have raised everyone’s awareness regarding energy consumption. Now is the time to tap into what you can do to protect our planet and be a greener activist in your community.

According to the research by Energy Star, a government program designed to protect the environment by increasing energy efficiency, a typical home video system can be responsible for up to 10 percent of the household’s electricity bill.

Last year, the average household utility bill was more than $2,000. In 2007, the United States is estimated to have consumed about 54 billion kWh of electricity powering up the nation’s televisions. By 2010 that number is expected to hit 76 billion kWh—a whopping 41 percent increase.

Television efficiency has been researched extensively by Ecos Consulting. Of all the various adjustable settings on the television, only two were found to have a significant impact on energy consumption:

  • contrast (white level)
  • brightness (black level)

As a rule, video manufacturers crank up the brightness and the contrast on televisions because they want the display to “pop” on the sales floor.

Unfortunately, most televisions do not live out their overly vibrant lives on a showroom floor, but rather go to the consumer’s home with the energy-intensive factory presets preserved—not a good thing for our environment but definitely a green selling opportunity for integrators.

Proper Calibration Helps Energy Savings

The California Energy Commission conducted a television energy consumption survey and found that proper adjustments optimizing image quality on a television can reduce power consumption by 30 percent to 50 percent.

An Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) certified technician is qualified to go into TV submenus to recalibrate a display device to industry standards that optimize picture performance. So, integrators should consider getting one or some of their installers certified by ISF.

Joel Silver, president of ISF, recommends all showroom dealers purchase a Watts Up? Pro 99333. This handy device measures voltage and current thousands of times per second.

Once you are ISF certified, you can place ISF calibrated and factory-fresh panels on display in your showroom and demonstrate not only the superior picture quality of a professionally calibrated display, but also show the energy savings a calibrated panel delivers.

Plasma vs LCD: Equal Power Hogs

There is a general misconception that plasma panels are energy hogs compared to LCD panels. Not true anymore!

Plasma panels light up selective pixels whereas LCD panels are backlit so every pixel is always on. Lighting selective pixels means that at times some pixels are actually dormant, which increases black level and decreases energy use.

LCD panels have been getting larger and brighter. Inch for inch, LCD panels can now consume as much power as a plasma panel.

Both technologies now require significantly less power than first and second generation panels.

Coming soon is Dolby’s IMLED technology (Individually Modulated LED). IMLED panels will provide 10 times the brightness and 100 times the contrast of existing display panels and each LED can be controlled individually.

The end result is “true black” when the LEDs are turned off because the diodes emit no light. These new panels will consume less energy than LCDs and plasmas.

Some of us remember the days when you turned on a TV five minutes before your program so that the CRT could warm up. Today the five minute warm up period has been replaced by “stand by” mode so televisions can gratify consumers with the “instant on” feature.

Of course, “instant on” means the TV continually pulls current out of the wall.

Energy Star Contributes to $16 Billion Savings

As of November 1, 2008, all TVs carrying Energy Star specification will consume 30 percent less energy in both standby and active modes than last year’s TVs.

In 2007 alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved more that $16 billion on their utility bills while reducing the greenhouse emissions equivalent to those of 27 million vehicles.

Remember: Saving energy actually prevents pollution.

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