From March 2023, the rules for energy consumption of a TV will become stricter. TVs must then meet a stricter standard in order to be allowed to appear on the European market. What is the impact for the consumer? And what exactly changes?
Tips to save on energy consumption
The conclusion may therefore be clear, not much will change in 2023 in terms of energy consumption in TVs. The harsh reality remains that energy has become a lot more expensive. Can you save on the consumption of your TV? We give you seven tips.
Choose an energy-efficient model
The energy label helps you with this, because in addition to the energy efficiency class (the letter on the label), you will also find the energy consumption on the label. Now that most devices fall into the G-class, energy consumption is even the best indicator. You will find both the consumption in SDR and HDR on the label. It is best to take both numbers into account. Energy consumption varies depending on what you watch and in which picture mode you do so. The SDR value is representative of what the TV consumes if you don’t change how it comes out of the box. That mode is often optimized for energy efficiency. As soon as you select a different image mode, consumption can change substantially. In many cases the HDR value is therefore a better indication of what you can expect if you adjust the image modes for optimal image quality, especially if you regularly watch in a lot of ambient light.
The energy consumption is expressed in kWh/1000h. One thousand hours is equivalent to watching about 2.74 hours a day for a year. You can therefore multiply the indicated consumption by the average annual price of the electricity (which is always expressed in €/kWh) to calculate the total annual cost. Do you prefer to compare the TV with other devices of which you know the power? No problem, the number in kWh/1000h also indicates exactly what the average power consumption of your TV is. (kWh/1000h = 1000Wh/1000h = W)
Reduce the backlight
The most important consumer in your TV is the light source, regardless of the type of TV. The brighter you want the image, the higher the consumption. You can therefore greatly reduce consumption by lowering the screen lighting. That setting is usually the first item in the picture menus. The designation can be different, sometimes it’s backlight, sometimes brightness. Especially when you look at dim light in the evening, there is no reason to set that setting to the maximum setting. If your device has a Filmmaker mode or Cinema mode, the setting in that image mode is often a good guideline for what you use in a dark viewing environment. The Vivid/Dynamic image mode is what you can use with a lot of ambient light, and almost certainly also ensures maximum consumption.
If you don’t want the hassle of tinkering with that setting yourself, almost all TVs nowadays have a light sensor. It itself adjusts the brightness of the image based on the ambient light.
Keep in mind that in HDR it is best to leave the screen lighting at the default values. That will often be the maximum, HDR images need that. Of course you can still lower the screen lighting, but then the images will almost certainly lose part of their specific character.
Auto power off
Set the TV to turn off automatically after a certain amount of time of inactivity. By default, this is set to four hours on all devices, but you can adjust it via the menus. One or two hours can be useful if, for example, the children regularly turn on the TV and do something else a little later without turning off the TV.
Complete shutdown or standby mode?
A recent TV that is in standby mode consumes a maximum of 0.5W. That is very little, about 4kWh per year (2 euros per year at current energy prices). But there is a second standby mode, namely the networked standby mode. In addition, the TV can be switched on via the network, for example via an app on your smartphone. In that position, most TVs consume 2W, older models may consume a bit more (4W). It is therefore advisable to disable the networked standby mode if you are not using it.
It is of course also possible to switch off the TV completely, for example by removing the plug from the socket or switching it off via a smart plug. Keep in mind that smart plugs also have a consumption, often around 1W. Compared to the normal standby mode of the TV, you gain nothing by switching off your TV completely with such a plug, in fact, the plug consumes more. If you switch off multiple devices with that one smart plug, it can be useful. With an older TV, the standby consumption can be higher, in which case it is also worth considering. In case of doubt, it is best to measure the standby consumption of your TV, and then also measure that of your other AV devices. Measuring is knowing.
Do not switch off (QD) OLED TVs completely!
This is a special case of the previous tip. It is best not to switch off (QD) OLED TVs completely, leave them in standby. After all, these TVs carry out maintenance at regular intervals OLED screen off to prevent burn-in. It does this after a number of hours set by the manufacturer when it is in standby. This way it does not bother the user, because the operation takes about ten minutes. If you always switch off an OLED TV completely, the risk of burn-in is greater, or the TV will force you to perform a maintenance cycle while watching.
Turn off the screen for music
Many TVs have apps for Spotify or Deezer on board for music lovers. YouTube is also often used as a music source. But those who regularly use their TV in this way can save a lot of energy. In the settings, find the option to turn off only the image. Start your favorite playlist, switch off the picture and enjoy your music. This tip is less useful when watching video clips, but it works perfectly for background music.
Consider a motion sensor
You can also automate the use of your TV a bit more. For example, install a motion sensor that turns off the TV when no one is in the room. Just like with the smart plug, you have to take into account that such a sensor and switch also consume energy. The profit must therefore be sufficiently large. If you use the sensor to switch off the TV from the on position, that is certainly the case. But if you want to use this to completely switch off the TV instead of going to standby, that is probably not the case. Unless you switch off multiple devices at the same time with that sensor.