Energy Efficient Digital Video Recorders Save Money for Consumers

August 7, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

set-topAccording to a new report issued by an independent auditor, D&R International, the voluntary set-top box energy conservation agreement among the pay-TV industry has saved American consumers more than $500 million in energy bills in two years with $336 million in total US retail savings in 2014 alone.

The Voluntary Agreement for Ongoing Improvement to the Energy Efficiency of Set-Top Boxes 2014 Annual Report says a major driver of the energy cost savings is a 33 percent decline in the weighted average of energy consumption of digital video recorders – the most energy-intensive type of set-top box – over just two years. Overall, 95 percent of service providers’ set-top box purchases in 2014 met the ENERGY STAR Version 3.0 standards – a 12 percent increase from 2013, the first year of the Voluntary Agreement – and use about 14 percent less energy than set-top boxes previously issued by the service providers. Additionally, 62 percent of service providers’ set-top box purchases last year – a 32 percent increase from the year before – already meet the even more stringent set of Tier 2 energy efficiency levels, which will be the new baseline for the 90 percent procurement commitment in 2017.

Trials for next-generation power management systems in set-top boxes began in 2014 and will remain underway in 2015. The technology would allow parts of the device to operate in a reduced power consumption mode while still functioning with cable system architectures and meeting consumer expectations for quick start-up time and other required functions.

Photo: Set-top box via Shutterstock

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