Plasma TVs Demand More Energy…?

According to Dr. Joseph Reger, CTO of Munich-based Fujitsu Siemens Computers, if all the plasma TVs were on at the same time, “you would need something that produces 2.5 gigawatts. That can be done today with around two nuclear power stations.” Britain’s appetite for plasma TVs is claimed to pose a serious threat to the planet. How ludicrous. Let’s put this into perspective.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) plasma TVs totalled almost 2 million units. That would put the power consumption of each of these units at an average of 1,250 watts. I’m not sure if that’s close to reality. According to c|net, the most power-hungry rear projection TV (RPTV) that they compared was HP’s MD6580n, a 65″ RPTV that consumed only 276 watts. The next most power-hungry was Mitsubishi’s WD-62628 at 235 watts. Compared to plasma TVs, LCD TVs faired a bit better with Sony’s 40″ KDL-V40XBR1 consuming 214.4 watts. Plasma TVs were in fact the most power-hungry with Hitachi’s 55″ 55HDT52 consuming 434.1 watts. Of course all of these are different sizes, so c|net has a “per square inch” metric:

Watts Per Square Inch
0.41 : Samsung SyncMaster 151MP (LCD)
0.37 : Envision A27W221 (LCD)
0.40 : Sony KD-34XBR960 (CRT)
0.39 : Hitachi 42HDT52 (PDP)
0.39 : Maxent MX-42X3 (PDP)

The highest watts-per-square-inch for a RPTV unit was a tie between HP’s MD6580n (65″) and Panasonic’s PT-52LCX65 (52″) at 0.15. As you can see, plasma TVs are not the only TV technology to blame when it comes to power consumption.

There are two points I would like to make: Dr. Reger is WAY off in his estimate of about 1,250 watt-consumption for plasma TVs, most are around 400 watts. The second point is that LCD TVs and CRT TVs are just as bad as plasma TVs when it comes to power consumption. The article by The Independent also reports that “the new sets use up to four times as much electricity as the old-style cathode-ray-tube TVs, which is where the problem lies.” Absolutely not correct, but probably closer to being correct if you compare a 60″ plasma TV to a 20″ CRT TV.

If you want to save the planet by reducing energy consumption get a RPTV. According to the c|net article, JVC’s HD-61FH96 (61″ RPTV) consumed only 0.11 watts-per-square meter, the lowest among the TVs surveyed. And much lower than much smaller CRT TVs.

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