Energy-Efficient Cable Boxes Coming

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The cable industry is aiming to save consumers $1.5 billion a year.

We’ve written before that cable boxes use more power than your fridge. So check out what The National Cable & Telecommunications Association announced this week…

Participating companies include providers (listed according to number of customers) Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Verizon, Charter, AT&T, Cablevision, Bright House Networks and CenturyLink, and manufacturers Cisco, Motorola, EchoStar Technologies and ARRIS. Through the voluntary, five-year Set-Top Box Energy Conservation Agreement, which goes into effect January 1, 2013, these companies commit to the following:

  • At least 90 percent of all new set-top boxes purchased and deployed after 2013 will meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR 3.0 efficiency levels. Based on market projections for set-top box deployments, this will result in residential electricity savings of $1.5 billion annually, as the agreement is fully realized.
  • For immediate residential electricity savings, “light sleep” capabilities will be downloaded by cable operators to more than 10 million digital video recorders (DVRs) that are already in homes. In 2013, telco providers will offer light sleep capabilities, and satellite providers will include an “automatic power down” feature in 90 percent of set-top-boxes purchased and deployed.
  • Energy efficient whole-home DVR solutions will be available as an alternative to multiple in-home DVRs for subscribers of satellite and some telco providers beginning in 2013.
  • “Deep sleep” functionality in next generation cable set-top boxes will be field tested and deployed if successful.

This is something senators like Dianne Feinstein have been pushing for more than a year, so even as government is accidentally creating new fees it’s also trying to save consumers money.

Stacy Johnson

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