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Power-Saving Televisions on the Way

This article was written by in Consumer. 1 comment.


I’ve always been a big fan of saving energy, both mine and my household’s, but more for efficiency reasons that a desire to “save the Earth”. If there’s nobody in a room, it just doesn’t make any sense to leave the light on. If turning off unused devices helps reduce global power consumption, then so much the better.

Separately but relatedly, if a TV is on within earshot, then the TV is the thing I’m made to concentrate on. I simply can’t tune it out, and I don’t understand when people say they like to have it on for background noise. That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, I just don’t understand it. Unfortunately, it also means there’s a significant energy drain lighting up that TV screen for no reason.

But what if the TV screen could get dimmer when you look away, and return to full brightness when you start looking at it again? Enter the new Sony LX900 TV which has multiple settings you can employ to save energy when the TV isn’t the most important thing in the room.

It features:

Sony’s Intelligence Presence Sensor, a face detector that tells when a user has stepped away from the television and then dims the backlight, eventually switching itself off should the viewer not return. It also alerts the viewer to being too close to the unit and detects the position of a user to optimize video and sound balance.

Yes, the TV has a kind of camera in it, and it’s watching you. My optimistic guess is that the resolution is just good enough to recognize a face, not any one specific face, and that these images aren’t being uploaded anywhere. But I can’t prove any of that, yet.

Weird? Creepy? Practical? Do you want a TV that dims the screen when you leave the room or look away?

Sony BRAVIA XBR-LX900 leads the 3D charge, Mick Webb, Gizmag, January 8 2010

Published or updated June 7, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Kathleen

According to energy experts it takes a pound of coal to power a TV for 4 hours. I had been in the habit of having the TV on even though I was totally concentrating on the computer. The second I read about the amount of coal being burnt, I turned off the TV. It took a few hours to get used to not having it on, but it was so much more peaceful without it. Just imagine all the energy not wasted by turning off all those TVs. TV on 12 hours a day = 3 lbs of coal * 365 = 1095 lbs (half a ton). That’s 1 TV.

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