Sometimes device evolution and new technology can blur traditional product definitions. This can make it challenging for agencies when deciding which devices to include in product-specific energy efficiency regulations.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing this issue with the convergence of traditional televisions and new displays designed more for viewing dynamic visual content than computer generated spreadsheets or word documents.
Historically, ENERGY STAR television specifications stated that "qualified" products had to contain an internal tuner. But according to a recent EPA memo, many households no longer receive content over-the-air and manufacturers plan to address that trend by offering TV display products without tuners. To include those products in its ENERGY STAR TV spec, the EPA is proposing to expand the TV program scope to now include Home Theater Displays (HTD).
The version 7.1 draft television definition remains unchanged, but a new definition for HTDs has been added as shown in the definitions below:
- Television (TV) Designed to produce dynamic video and contains an internal tuner. Capable of receiving dynamic visual content from wired or wireless sources.
- Home Theater Display (HTD) Product with diagonal viewable screen size > 25 inches. Designed to produce dynamic video and doesn't contain an internal tuner. Capable of receiving dynamic visual content from wired or wireless sources. Marketed for home theater applications.
Computer monitors and signage displays are not included since they're covered under the ENERGY STAR Displays specification.
The EPA doesn't anticipate any significant energy consumption differences between TVs and HTDs and therefore is proposing that the existing Version 7.0 eligibility criteria be applied to both product types. This includes a maximum allowable on-mode power consumption (in watts) based on the viewable screen area of the product, a maximum standby-passive mode1 consumption of 0.5 W, and a maximum standby-active, low mode2 power consumption of 3 W.
For additional information on this proposal and to download a copy of the version 7.1 draft, visit the ENERGY STAR Television specification web page.
- Standby passive mode = the product is connected to mains power, does not produce sound or picture, and can be switched to another mode only with a remote or internal signal.
- Standby-active low mode = the product is connected to mains power, does not produce sound or picture, and can be switched to another mode with a remote or internal signal, and additionally, an external signal.