Could a Plasma TV ban really be forthcoming? Well we all know about the massive commitments that the Government has made with regards to carbon emissions for the coming years, most of which have been done through the backing (or rather cajoling) of the EU. But with the growing economic problems, and the large amount of money that the government is spending to bail out failing companies, there is less incentive and money to spend on this issue.
However the green brigade are back, and this time their targets are firmly on something that have been escalating in size and power usage over the last few years, something that is often on and something that we all wish we have: Giant Plasma TV’s such as the LG Plasma TVs and the Pioneer Plasma TVs we’ve recently covered here on Zath. They have been coined the 4×4 of the living room, and that is relatively not far from the truth when you consider that a 42 inch Plasma TV can use around 822 kilowatt hours a year.
This is on the back of the recent withdrawal of 100W incandescent light bulb in an attempt to cut emissions, although in this case the plan isn’t necessarily to ban these un-environmentally friendly TV’s, but to make it obvious how bad they are. There will be a few exceptions (the worst ones will be phased out), but apart from them a system similar to that used by White goods (like fridges) will be used. By using an A, B, C, D etc system Defra hope to raise awareness of the large amount of power consumed, and thus encourage people to by more efficient models.
One of the main reasons that Plasma screens are so inefficient is that they lose large amounts of heat, and thus is a result of the technology used to create the picture. However this problem is not experienced by LCD or the older CRT screens, who as a result have a lot lower power rating. For example a 42 inch Plasma screen would use 822 kilowatt hours a year, whilst a LCD of the same size would use 350kWh and a CRT (admittedly only 32inch, the biggest you can get) only uses 322kWh.
This may come as quite a surprise to some people: how can 10 years of progress have resulted in TVs that are roughly 75% less efficient? This is mostly down to the manufacturers, as they have strived for size and picture quality, but ignored power usage, but consumers are also to blame – when was the last time you looked at how much electricity a product uses before buying it? Hopefully the visual stimuli of the labels and better informed sellers will result in fewer emissions.
But isn’t this bad for the industry? Are we quashing progress for the sake of a few polar bears? I think not – not only is the environment an important issue, but this will hopefully increase interest in more efficient electronic products as a whole, not just the TV sector. The average number of electronic gadgets and appliances in each household now stands at between 17 and 47 – which are massive numbers that have a huge impact on how much electricity we use.
So, expect to see these labels some time in the future and perhaps for the maximum power usage for TVs on standby to be lowered. Although this may at first hamper the suffering industry, it should also speed up the development of LED TVs, which are just over the horizon, as well as new technology.
Source – The Independent