Home > Uncategorized > Ohh… swell.

Ohh… swell.

This Sunday’s New York Times online has an article about DVR/cable boxes and how they’ve become the largest power drain in the American home because they’re always on and are rarely designed with energy efficiency in mind… and the article is illustrated with a photo of the exact same make and model of cable box I now have!  I did just notice that my electric bill seemed to be 10-15% higher lately, and I’d wondered if that was part of the reason.  I mean, I had a cable box before, but it didn’t have a DVR so it wasn’t as active when I wasn’t watching it.

And I’m usually so careful about trying to save electricity.  But here I just had to take the box they gave me.  And I’m afraid I’m not noble enough to forego digital cable and a DVR.  It’s not like that’s a solution many Americans would find acceptable.  What we need is to put pressure on the cable companies to design more energy-efficient boxes.  (And TV sets too, since I gather today’s huge plasma flatscreens and such are also horribly energy-inefficient.  I’ll certainly try to find an efficient one when the time comes for me to buy a new TV.)

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Larry Brennan
    June 26, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Plasma sets are energy hogs, but the latest generation of LCD sets aren’t, and they’ve overcome most of the drawbacks like limited view angle. Some even have LED backlighting.

    As for the energy issue – I had no idea. It’s probably because they keep a buffer of whatever channel(s) they’re tuned to so you can go back to the start if you drop into the middle of something interesting. Alas, as long as they’re regulated monopolies, they have no need to respond to customer pressure.

  2. Larry Brennan
    June 26, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Blarg – just noticed my lazy and confusing misuse of pronouns. Of course, my second paragraph is about DVRs, not TVs.

  3. June 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    > And I’m afraid I’m not noble enough to forego digital cable and a DVR.

    Don’t feel bad. I don’t know anybody who going to pass on cable/DVR for the sake of energy conservation.

  4. Bruce Gibson
    July 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    If you are going to put pressure on cable companies for energy-saving DVRs, they may or may not put pressure on the manufacturers. You may need to go directly after the manufacturers of Cisco, Motorola and TiVo.

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