TV power consumption?

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Hi,
I've used this site to help me set up my solar system for my small house in Mexico. I am trying to find a TV to use with DVDs, we don't have satellite hookup for broadcast TV. I can't find anything on how much power different types of sets work. I was looking for a 20 inch that didn't cost much, but if LCD's draw much less than a regular tube set I might go that way. Any input?
Thanks,
Rick

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  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    Your best bet is to find a Kill-A-Watt meter for $30-$40 or so (like here):

    http://www.amazon.com/P3-International-Kill-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU

    LCD and Plasma TV's still use seem to use quite a bit of power when compared to the standard picture tube type TVs (when I looked a year ago). Remember, LCD TV's (and computers) use a backlight through the colored pixels--so there is a pretty bright lamp in the back of the screen that is lite the whole time (lots of "wasted" energy).

    You can look at the power ratings on the back of the set--but they don't always give you useful comparison data... Sometimes they only give volts and amps (worst case numbers), some may give watts too (may be typical or worst case). The kill-a-watt meter is small and easy to plug in... You can probably go by a friendly local store (or even measure a few TVs in your home/friends places) and get the real numbers.

    Also, it may be nice to get a laptop computer (or even a cheaper "laptop" type computer without batteries) as the laptop computers are designed to use quite a bit less power (my old 14" LCD uses about 30 watts with the backlight on).

    Other than finding a portable DVD/LCD player (with battery--to assume that it was designed with minimum power usage in mind), there is another way of approaching the problem... I have read about projectors that use RGB LEDs--they are small and don't use too much power, and can only be used in a darkend room (25 lumens vs the 250-1,000 lumens of a standard conference room projector)--but you should be able to get a decent image from them in the evening and night.

    I have found one link--appears to be available for sale (not cheap)... But you might be able to find others that would fit your needs better:

    http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=895872

    There is a battery pack option available too... So, I would assume that it's power requirements is somewhere 20-40 watt range of power consumption.

    -Bill

    PS: http://www.mitsubishi-presentations.com/products/projectors/PK20.html MFG Link

    PPS: The PK20 version Mfg. Spec. is 37 watts.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    I´m not a big TV watcher, but I make my living in installing Satellite and TVs. With a 20inch (tube) set, you will have the best compromise between price and electricity use. A typical set will use around 60 watts with a DVD, 50watts without. A 14" set runs on average with 35watts with DVD and 25watts without and can be bought for around $100 (with DVD already build in)

    As BB said, a laptop is a good alternative, not because of less energy use (it runs at about the same, as processors and fans have to be used as well) but a PCMCIA TV card is even cheaper then a small TV, of course this is only an option, if the laptop is already there. LCD TVs use quite a lot of electricity (45-50 watts for the 15" type, up to 80 for the 20"-21") and they mostly do not have the DVD build in, meaning you need 2 inefficient power converters in 2 machines, besides that they cost from 3times the price (and have a shitty picture, especially with sports)

    You can calculate about 3A for a 14" set and at least 5A for a 20" set of your batteries (@12V). Mosts sets can be rigged for 12V directly, bypassing the power supply (do not try this at home) and then they use about 30%-40% less, as those cheap trafos normally just heat up. I have a 30 year old b&w set for emergencies here, that can be used on mains and on 12V, mains operation draws 12.3watts, direct 12V 5.9watts!

    Also, just a thought, a cheap tube set is less likely to draw burglars then a nice shiny flatscreen.

    Greetings

    Chris
  • crewzer
    crewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    We have a 15" LCD flat screen TV in our kitchen. My Kill-A-Watt meter says it draws 22 W when on and 1 W when off. Interestingly, this very slim TV does not have a built-in power supply. Instead, it runs off an AC-DC converter brick similar to those for laptop computers.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    chris,
    i think the figures you gave for picture tube tvs may be a touch optimistic. i have an 20 inch energy star emerson and it is rated 74w. i also have a smaller 13 inch off brand, that i've found emerson did make it because the remotes work interchangeably, that isn't an energy star tv with a consumption of 53w. these will be maximum wattage figures so the kill-a-watt meter would say for your particular tv, but i never got around to buying the meter for myself. tvs have come a long way since having tubes with transistors and ics being used now, but these solid state devices are dissipating alot of heat comparatively and much of that heat is basically wasted electricity. do note that some wasted electricity in the form of heat is inevitable, but the more heat, the more parts tend to fail from it too.
    i like the power consumption rates lcd and plasma offers, but they come with a higher initial price tag too. unless you can afford the plasma or better lcds, then the picture tubes will offer the better pictures with the plasmas having the best pictures of all imo.
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    Yes, the numbers on the back are normally max figures. My 14" says 45watts, but when I measure it, it peaks at 35 (white picture, not a normal condition) and goes down to 18 watts at a black picture. The only thing with the tubes is, that they need quite a start up surge, my little 14" needs a whopping 210 watts for half a second to start up.
    Plasmas, they start at 42", need start ups of around 1500watts and running depends on brightness between 280-450watts, not really the stuff batterie dreams are made of.
    The LCDs, at least the small ones like the 15" computer screens with tuner build in, CAN be very good, especially with external power supply's. The cheep ones with internal ones are bad and normally run over 35watts, permanent, since with a LCD the brightness is of no concern, the backlight is always on.

    (TV is bad for you, you know :-D)

    Chris
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    Also Rick,

    Since you may not need a TV (not sure--it reads like you may not have broadcast TV in your area?), look for used computer monitors that match the output of your DVD player (RGB or VGA or others I/O connections). At least around here, some very nice used computer monitors can be had for little money--and look for the Energy Star Logo on them (should be, on average, lower power requirements).

    Although, a nice 20" computer monitor is going to be very big and heavy.

    Lastly, you did not say how much energy and DVD viewing you planned on, and how much "excess energy" you may have available (and if you live there seasonally, or full time).

    If you don't have a lot of extra solar power available--it is going to cost you something like $5-$10 a watt (panels, controller, batteries) to run the "new load". So, if you watch a 50 watt TV/DVD combo for 2 hours a day, you are going to need about 50-100 watts of new panel (plus batteries, controller, if not much there now) to run this. 100-200 watthours would be (very roughly) $500 to $2,000 USD to run this combination.

    Or, looking at it from another direction, you may wish to pay more for a "lower power" TV/DVD setup rather than paying for extra solar power to run a less expensive solution.

    And, if you use a generator, electricity may cost you $0.50 per kWhour...

    2 hours * 0.100 kWatts per day x 30 days x $.50/kWhr = $3.00 USD/Month for "generator power"

    So, when you look at your solutions, make sure that you account for all of the costs (TV and power) and not just focus on one part of the problem.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    Hey! Thanks for the input. I should mention that going to a neighbors, or picking up a watt meter at the store doesn't quite fit my situation out here in the boonies! After hurricane John, it's been a two and a half hour jolting journey to town. Right now I watch movies on a notebook computer with a LCD screen. I thought that LCD's didn't use much power because they don't get as hot? Guess I was wrong. I might get a computer monitor to work with either the notebook or our DVD boombox stereo, sure love the thought of a flat screen using up less space. We use so little electricity that it's embarrasing!
    Rick
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    Yeah, I've been noting the larger LCD TV's and have to say that I was shocked at the heat pouring off those things! I never would have expected that. :-(
    Wayne
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    (TV is bad for you, you know)
    yes it can be, however, i've found that life can be bad for you too as it's guaranteed to kill you sooner or later :-o.
  • Patman3
    Patman3 Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    My Samsung 42" plasma draws 330W with a bright screen, 80W when coming on and idles around 25W. I run it off my solar system on sunny afternoons just fine.
    OMG Niel  :-o!  You don't have a Kill-O-Watt meter??  Tell your wife you need one, it's important  :wink:!
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    you know patman that's not a bad idea with christmas coming. she's always wondering what to get me. thanks for the idea. :-D i know i asked once before about who has the best pricing on them as at that time i was interested if anybody would've carried the meter in a local store, but mailorder seems the best way if not the only way to go. prices do change too with sometimes new places offering it as well so i'd like to rehear what prices for where are now out there. i will do a search as well and if anybody knows of a place that's shakey or weren't good to deal with chime in with that too. this also benefits all who read here as well as me.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    I got mine from Amazon (direct, not partner). Free shipping and no CA state sales tax (~8.5% in my area).

    I notice now that it is $24.90 from Amazon--a bit less than I paid--but free shipping starts at $25, so they are trying to get you to buy something else too. Tricky guys~!

    If you want anything else from Amazon (like two kill-a-watt meters :-P ), it is a pretty good price.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    yup, i cant recall what mine measured at but my 42" plasma (daewoo believe it or not) runs at alot less than our standard tv that we replaced, and it was smaller screen. generally speaking lcd monitors for computers' big advantage is lower radiation and lower power, EVERYONE recommends them for this, i have measured notable decreases when comparing side by side to crt. i am sure there are flagrant exceptions to the rule as companies do whatever they can to push cheap crap out the door. i have 3 lcd's from different manufacturers in the house: a 15" and 19" and a 17", i will measure later and post here. should be inetresting results sionce from 3 manufacturers. i like crewzers and spainguys notes : looking for one that runs off dc directly -anything that comes with a little ac/dc wallwart should work, but if its multiple voltages that would be a pita (at least for me). straight dc will save a ton as noted.
    Patman3 wrote:
    My Samsung 42" plasma draws 330W with a bright screen, 80W when coming on and idles around 25W. I run it off my solar system on sunny afternoons just fine.
    OMG Niel :-o! You don't have a Kill-O-Watt meter?? Tell your wife you need one, it's important :wink:!
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    welp, more useless data:
    heres measurements of my 3 lcd monitors. i recall my original 17" crt used over 50 watts as a reference

    all are energy star rated, the aoc is actually about 5 yrs old, one of the first ones out.

    19" envision , 18-25w running, 1-5(!) watts "off" (this one had lots of variation in voltage fluctuation)
    15" AOC, 24/25w running, 1w "off"
    17" dell, 21-23w on, 0 to 1w "off".

  • Brock
    Brock Solar Expert Posts: 639 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    Hey we everyone with a killawatt should do this. I will test mine tonight. I can check on a 19" CRT, the laptop (screen on and off). 19" LCD and 17" CRT as well.
    3kw solar PV, 4 LiFePO4 100a, xw 6048, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Tesla 3, Leaf, Volt, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • Brock
    Brock Solar Expert Posts: 639 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    Ok our Sony 27 inch TV used 112w over a 1 hour period, lower then I would have guessed. The Viewsonic 19" monitor uses 62w and the laptop 15" screen uses 16w. I didn't get over to my parents place to get their 17" CRT or 17" LCD
    3kw solar PV, 4 LiFePO4 100a, xw 6048, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Tesla 3, Leaf, Volt, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    the killawatt allows retrieving avergae wattage over a timeperiod? i never read the manual ;)
    :oops:
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    The kill-a-watt does:

    voltage
    current
    frequency
    watts
    VA (volt * amps)
    Power Factor (don't think it does positive and negative PF)
    kWatt * Hours (total since plugged in)
    Time (total hours since plugged in)

    No memory or reset--have to unplug to reset totals. Will start over at zero if power is interrupted...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    my tivo when recording (but off) with my 36" Sanyo (off), home theatre (off) DVD player (off) uses 71 watts (when recording), completely idle the combo uses 49 watts (everything off but strip left on)

    the setup when 'completely on' aka watching TV uses 173 watts.

    damn tivos, heh
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: TV power consumption?

    nintendo gamecube is horrible too. we have a new cable box too i wonder what all that "off" is