TV's; a theoretical experiment

CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
Probably no one out there has a working valve-type TV from the sixties anymore, but I was wondering what results you'd get if you plugged one in to a Kill-A-Watt and compared it to a modern LCD/LED/Plasma set.

You'd expect the pre-transistor set would use more power than even a 60" plasma. When running this would no doubt be true. But when you shut it off ... The old set's on/off switch disconnected the line from the whole of the circuitry (the horrible "instant-on" versions notwithstanding). New sets stay connected and leach a small amount of current all the time. So over the course of a year, which one would actually use more power? That would depend on how much TV you watch. At some point the tables would tip in favour of one over the other as a direct result of this "phantom usage".

In another post, Neil mentions the very old idea of "paddle wheels" - water wheels. This was mankind's first mechanization power source (discounting animals). Originally the mechanical energy was used directly, which limited the placement of any mills/plants. It was only logical to hook the over-shot or under-shot up to the generator and get "transportable" power which could be sent down wires to anywhere. This facilitated use, which as we all know inevitably meant usage increased. The point here is that lower power sources such as solar, wind, and micro-hydro would be more viable alternatives if people would just stop wasting so much energy. As always, conservation is the key.

Now what has that got to do with the TV question? It's the same bugabear as tankless vs. tank-type water heaters; the one that uses less energy over-all is not always the one that uses less energy at the moment. I keep seeing tankless heaters being pushed as energy salvation, but in an application where large volumes of hot water are necessary this simply is not the case.

If we're really going to conserve, our devices must be re-designed to really shut off when they're "off", and our understanding of energy use must be expanded to the long-term time-frame rather than the immediate.

Too many "green" things aren't green at all for the energy used (wasted) in their production & installation and the resultant disposal of whatever they replaced.

Nothing is ever simple, is it? :roll:

Completely unrelated but I have to mention it before I forget: the question about the use of breakers as switches. In agriculture, circuit breakers are routinely used as switches for heavy equipment such as vacuum pumps, compressors, barn cleaners, silo unloaders, grain augers, et cetera. There are thousands upon thousands of such uses all across North America being switched on and off dozens of times a day, every day, year after year without failure. The logical conclusion, therefor, is that circuit breakers can be reliably used as switches.

Forgive me; I'm a ramblin' ol' man. :blush:

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment

    actually the old vacuum tube type tv drew far more power than the transistorized type and even integrated circuits added more savings in power. as to lcd, led, and plasma they do draw more power than the crts they just replaced, but let's face it they are bigger screened tvs too. plasma i do believe draws a lot more power compared to lcd or led from my understanding. just how much power did a 32in crt tv draw? i don't know off hand, but maybe somebody does have an example.
    my old 20in crt drew about 45w-50w on average and had a remote. my current 32in lcd draws about 65w and obviously has a remote, but i can take that down to 32w on the best power savings setting. both of those were measured via a killawatt meter.
    now the advent of remote control is what killed the real chances of conserving power whether it be of the transistorized/ic crt types or the current types we have today. i don't know the general power differences between lcd and led and i doubt there would be any big differences, but somebody can correct me on that statement if i'm wrong.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment

    Killowatt meter says 85 watt on my toshiba 36 inch CRT. S:Dlarvic
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment
    solarvic wrote: »
    Killowatt meter says 85 watt on my toshiba 36 inch CRT. S:Dlarvic

    Thanks, Solarvic. That'd be a transistor set, right? :D

    I seem to recall the old sets had 5 Amp fuses ... probably drew 300-400 Watts for 19" of black&white! :p

    Everything uses less power when you shut it off. :D
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment
    Thanks, Solarvic. That'd be a transistor set, right? :D

    I seem to recall the old sets had 5 Amp fuses ... probably drew 300-400 Watts for 19" of black&white! :p

    Everything uses less power when you shut it off. :D

    It is transistor type and uses 0.35 on off position. Solarvic
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment

    maybe what is needed is an additional switch that is to allow for manual on/off operation that will bypass the remote on/off feature and its circuitry from drawing power. 2 on/off switches would confuse the general public though.:roll: for that reason and the fact that manufacturers would have to spend another 50c for the additional part is why we probably won't see this come to fruition.

    solarvic,
    that was .35 what?
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment

    25" color, all vacuum tubes set drew about 500 watts. Power transformer was about 4.25 inch square, weighing about 20 lbs.

    25" 4:3 aspect CRT is about 290 sq. inch viewable area.

    26" Flat 16:9 has viewable area of 289 sq inch viewable area and draws about 140 watts to 180 watts.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment

    thanks rc for that good comparison.
    i believe that answers part of this thread. the other with remote circuitry drawing power is only solvable at this time with a switched load center so that no power will get to the remote circuitry and it can be truly turned off. maybe energy star should require the total off option to qualify sets for their energy star rating.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment
    niel wrote: »
    maybe what is needed is an additional switch that is to allow for manual on/off operation that will bypass the remote on/off feature and its circuitry from drawing power. 2 on/off switches would confuse the general public though.:roll: for that reason and the fact that manufacturers would have to spend another 50c for the additional part is why we probably won't see this come to fruition.

    solarvic,
    that was .35 what?
    I checked it again. That .35 was the kwh clock. In watt and VA watt button the meter doesn,t read anything when tv is off. seems that it should since the remote works. If not receiving signal from my digital tuner it reads 70 watts. When receiving picture it bounces around some according to picture but stays at about 85 watts or less. I use one of those zenith digital boxes that hardly use any power at all. It registers 3 watt on and 0 off. In home power mag. they listed the zenith box at 1 watt off and 2 on. So my kilowatt meter might not be registering the first watt. If that is so then my tv must only be using 1 watt when is off. I think I bought this tv in 1998 or 1999. I know I am not parting with it as it works as new yet. S:Dlarvic
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    25" color, all vacuum tubes set drew about 500 watts. Power transformer was about 4.25 inch square, weighing about 20 lbs.

    25" 4:3 aspect CRT is about 290 sq. inch viewable area.

    26" Flat 16:9 has viewable area of 289 sq inch viewable area and draws about 140 watts to 180 watts.

    Thank you indeed! This is precisely the kind of close comparison data I was looking for.
    Now, according to my calculations, with even as little as 1 hour viewing per day the discrepancy is enormous; on the order of 10kW/hrs per month. That would mean the 'new' set would have to use roughly 14 Watts when 'off' in order to give any advantage to the old set. That is extremely unlikely! Less than 1 Watt is 'off' is more like it. Still, that's potentially 690 Watt hours per month. Probably closer to half that.

    Obviously the conclusion is: it's best to watch that big screen TV as much as possible! :p

    (Explanation: people who live off-grid get a little obsessed with even very small amounts of power usage. :p )
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment

    Hi just to throw in a little bit herE: as Neil said, plasma's do in fact use more than lcd's. we had a 42" plasma that used more power than a 52" led that we have now.

    i have our tv/entertainment system/stereo/game console/cable and roku boxes on a power srip as the whole thing uses something ridiculous like 40 watts "off" if i recall .
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment

    My 52" Samsung with EL backlight draws about 245 watts. As received it was 275 watts. Samsung and many EL backlight panels have separate backlight and brightness controls. Brightness manipulates LCD transmissiveness while backlight level is just the EL back panel brightness.

    I was able to adjust the backlight down a couple of notches and turn up the brightness a tad to get an acceptable setting near comparable to default setting. This saved 30 watts in EL backlight power.

    LED backlighting is more efficient, particularly when they are picture segment modulated based on scene situation. For dark sections of picture the LED is turned down in that area. Not all LED backlight TV's have ability to segment modulate the lighting level. All generally modulate LED level based on overall scene screen brightness. LED's have fast response to allow the scene modulation. EL backlighting is slow response preventing much intensity modulation ability.
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment

    I think the thing to realize is that anything that uses a remote to turn on or off, will never really turn "off". When I built my house, I switched 1/2 of any outlet that I thought might have a remote controlled device. When I go to bed, the TV and satellite receiver is turned off with a wall switch. Switched outlets used to be common in older houses.

    A key may be that, we don't brag about the dog that will fetch a stick but about the one that will fetch a beer! "We" now want a remote to change the channel rather than getting up an turning a dial!

    BTW teaching the dog to get a beer was no problem, teaching her to get a glass of whiskey was! :p
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment
    audredger wrote: »
    I think the thing to realize is that anything that uses a remote to turn on or off, will never really turn "off". When I built my house, I switched 1/2 of any outlet that I thought might have a remote controlled device. When I go to bed, the TV and satellite receiver is turned off with a wall switch. Switched outlets used to be common in older houses.

    A key may be that, we don't brag about the dog that will fetch a stick but about the one that will fetch a beer! "We" now want a remote to change the channel rather than getting up an turning a dial!

    BTW teaching the dog to get a beer was no problem, teaching her to get a glass of whiskey was! :p

    This is not true with the LG' lcd's I have been using. Unless you can prove that the search pulse is being loaded down slightly more. I have a sony dvd and LG 46" that the remote works when the inverter is in search. I believe the manuals say they use .01 watts in standby. Also have a weather station that works well with the inverter in search.

    How did you get her to pour you a glass?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
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  • bluetickbluetick Registered Users Posts: 19
    Re: TV's; a theoretical experiment

    I've got a 50 inch philips plasma that could double as a heater. The image quality is outstanding, but it runs HOT!

    About the dog fetching a beer, mine never would, but he would bring me his bowel for his share of my beer!
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