Consumption limits for televisions: EU stops power-hungry 8K TVs

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8K televisions like the huge Sony ZG9 are no longer allowed to come onto the market because of their high power consumption.  © Sony

8K TV ?? like the huge Sony ZG9? are on the brink of extinction due to their high power consumption

E.Energy saving is very popular. If you use particularly energy-efficient devices instead of electricity guzzlers, you reduce CO2 emissions and your electricity bill. Years ago, the European Union introduced the so-called Energy label introduced. This is emblazoned in the shops on washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators as well as on lightbulbs and TV sets. A scale from A to G shows how economical the products are with electricity. And when more and more economical devices came onto the market over the years in certain product groups such as refrigerators, the EU added a plus sign to the classes: A +, A ++ and so on.

The best 55 inch TVs (around 140 cm)

What’s new with energy labels?

There will be new energy labels from March 1, 2021. They look similar to the old ones, but contain additional information. The new label for televisions and monitors with an extended color and contrast range (HDR, High Dynamic Range) shows not only normal power consumption but also consumption during HDR playback. Most important, however, are the new consumption limits for classes A to G. The previous letters are retained, but the addition of A +, A ++ and so on is no longer applicable. Only the most economical devices in a product category will receive the A label in future. A refrigerator of today’s energy class A +, on the other hand, is classified as class C or D. If the devices in a category become more economical over the years and increasingly reach classes A or B, the EU wants to revise the classification again.
The power consumption of televisions is highly dependent on the picture settings.  © COMPUTER BILD

The power consumption of televisions is highly dependent on the picture settings. In the settings recommended by COMPUTER BILD for correct film playback, consumption is often below the standard specifications.

New energy label: what does that mean for televisions?

While refrigerators are almost only available with the label A or better, the current ratings of televisions range from A + for very economical LCD models to efficiency class C for high-contrast HDR models to D for some 8K TVs. The EU Commission wants to start with the new labels and set a signal for even more economical technologies. COMPUTER BILD compared the label classifications on the basis of current devices in the popular 55-inch class.




According to the data sheet, a noticeably large number of these devices currently consume around 110 watts. For good reason: This means that they are just in efficiency class A. However, one or the other manufacturer regulates the brightness of their TV images down. Example: The LG OLED 55C9 consumes 111 watts according to the data sheet, but the economy mode with poor image quality is set in the factory. In cinema mode, the quality is much better, the picture is brighter, but the consumption is around 30 percent higher ?? that then corresponds to class B. Translated into the new energy label, the device would have efficiency class G in both cases. To achieve the next better class F, consumption would have to drop by around 30 percent to 79 watts ?? with the same image quality, the current situation is unrealistic. Inexpensive LCD TVs and monitors could just do that. The Samsung 55NU7179, for example, has a standard consumption of 111 watts. The underlying standard picture mode is comparatively bright, the better quality film mode gets by with a little less power ?? the upper limit for F could be kept with a slightly changed factory setting.

Early full HD plasmas were no food contenders with 400 watts and a screen diagonal of a good 100 centimeters.  © Panasonic

Early Full HD plasmas were not a food contender with 400 watts and a screen diagonal of a good 100 centimeters, the Panasonic TX-42PZ80E (in the picture) swallowed 400 watts.

What do the manufacturers say?

Manufacturers differ about further savings potential. The experts at LG are of the opinion that all optimization options for LCD screens have been exhausted in the last 20 years. “After every leap in technology, the savings potential has diminished,” says Korea. The TV brand Philips is more optimistic. Danny Tack, Director Product Strategy & Planning, says: “LCD can achieve better efficiency by increasing the light output of the backlight LEDs. We are also improving the efficiency of the LCD color filter year after year to reduce backlight costs and energy consumption In the future, mini-LED technology will be able to combine good contrast with low energy consumption. ” Mini-LED means that thousands of tiny LEDs shine through the LCD screen instead of fewer LEDs in the edge. However, Tack does not have specific watt values ​​for this. LG sees more optimization potential in newer display types: “OLED televisions could have a higher potential in the long term, but they require significantly more time for research and the improvement of production processes than the regulation allows. “Manufacturers are silent on concrete savings opportunities.” The EU has passed excessively strict efficiency targets that make the properties more up-to-date Products as well as the preference of consumers for improved image quality are not fully taken into account, “say the representatives of LG. Half as wild, EU representatives reject.” The basic principle is that the two top classes should be practically empty when the regulation comes into force, as it is a fast developing technology sector. This ensures that the two classes A and B will not be overcrowded in the next ten years “, writes the responsible department of the EU Commission in a statement.

Inexpensive LCD televisions have a screen diagonal of around one meter and are far below 100 watts (in the picture a Samsung GU43TU8079 with 69 watts).  © Samsung

Inexpensive LCD televisions have a screen diagonal of around 1 meter and are far below 100 watts (in the picture a Samsung GU43TU8079 with 69 watts), even the popular 55-inch models only need a little more than 100 watts.

Is there a limit?

What does that mean for HDR & 8K?

The new energy label for televisions sets much stricter limit values.  © EU

The new energy label for televisions is similar to the previous one, but also states the HDR power consumption ?? and sets much stricter limit values.

How much can you save?


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