Critics of energy waste target TV set-top boxes

It turns out there is a price to be paid for all of our TV time-shifting: New research from the Natural Resources Defense Council notes that TV set-top boxes--and in particular DVR--are even bigger energy hogs than they are bandwidth hogs.

The boxes deployed by cable TV, telco TV and satellite TV players consume about $3 billion worth of electricity every year, but, according to the NRDC, up to 66 percent of that is wasted. While the set-tops are not always being used, they are always on. DVRs are Public Enemy No. 1 for power waste, consuming about 40 percent more energy than other set-top gear.

Reduced-power set-top boxes are achievable and are already sold by some manufacturers, but to date there has not been enough pressure on service providers to deploy them en masse or for vendors across the board to heavily promote this option. Perhaps now that consumers are finding out about the waste, as well as the accompanying electric bill charges, this may change.

For more:
- read this report in The New York Times

Related articles:
The global set-top box market was flat in 2010
Set-top boxes are giving way to gateway gear
TiVo continues to innovate on the DVR front

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