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The Green Life: HDTVs: Can They Be Green?

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August 13, 2009

HDTVs: Can They Be Green?

Green HDTV Like it or not, the age of the standard-definition television is over. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a store that sells non-HDTVs. As TVs progress, so do the means by which they consume energy, and the bigger the TV, the more energy it consumes.

As consumers, however, we have a choice. HDTVs come in three types: rear projection, LCD, and plasma. As far as lowering energy consumption goes, rear projection is the clear winner, at 0.13 watts per square inch. Second place is LCD at 0.27 watts per square inch, and last (and certainly least) is plasma, at 0.34 watts per square inch.

The good news is that many modern TVs have earned the Energy Star logo, which means they must have met new, energy-saving specifications. Regardless of type, an 32-inch Energy Star TV must consume fewer than 121 watts, and a 50-inch fewer than 391 watts.

To meet these targets, manufacturers have had to make serious changes, the most noticeable of which is the ability to select the picture brightness and quality at initial setup. The common “home” setting turns the TV to the default picture mode and should save you not only energy but money in the long run.

--Joe Maguid

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