slashes the current standby power requirement from 3 watts to 1 watt or less.
Moreover, Energy Star 3.0, for the first time, places requirements on active-mode power consumption.
Energy Star 3.0 demands 149 watts of maximum allowable on-mode power watts for a 37-inch screen TV, 208 watts for a 42-inch TV and for a 50-inch screen 318 watts, according to calculations done by Steve Sechrist, editor/analyst at Insight Media.
The same maximum on-mode power consumption guidelines are applied to any TV regardless of display technologies.
Based on the published numbers, said Sechrist, none of the 37-inch LCD TVs on the retail shelf today can meet the new standard. In contrast, 7 out of 10 models of 50-inch plasma TVs offer published on-mode power watts compliant to Energy Star 3.0. Sechrist said, "Interesting from a screen efficiency view, the larger screen size performs better in watt/square inch."
Real-life laboratory tests (vs. published numbers) appear to show an ever harder reality.
While declining to name names, Doug Bartow, strategic marketing manager, advanced television segment at Analog Devices Inc., said, "We tested eight HDTVs that were on retail shelves over the last eight to ten months. And only one passed these new max active power consumption guidelines."
The new maximum active power consumption guidelines imposed by Energy Star 3.0 are likely to spark new discussion on display technologies used by flat panel TV designers, Bartow speculated.
Plasma TVs, for example, face close scrutiny, because they consume more power than LCDs. But even LCD TVs can be problematic because of backlights that need to be turned on all the time.
Beyond the choice of display technology for flat-panel TVs, what will truly stump TV designers is Energy Star 3.0's 1 watt or less standby mode requirement, predicted Bartow.
The 1 watt requirement is a huge challenge when advanced consumer entertainment systems need to support the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) function. CEC, a part of the HDMI interface standard, is a single conductor wire or bus technology designed to carry IR-remote and control commands between interconnected HDMI devices.
For the bidirectional link over a HDMI cable to properly function -- in sending and receiving CEC commands, "A TV needs to be ready to wake up or it must monitor the CE bus at all times," Bartow explained.