Report: Ultra-High-Definition TVs Can Be Huge Energy Hogs

Photo (cc) by JohnKarak

Ultra-high-definition TVs, which feature 8 million or more pixels, are hyped for adding more detail, extra depth and increased color resolution to your TV viewing experience. But better picture quality could come at a hefty price to consumers.

According to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, UHD TVs use a whopping 30 percent more energy than high-definition TVs. If energy-savings improvements aren’t made to all models before Americans transition to watching their shows on UHD TVs – also known as 4K TVs – it could cost consumers an extra $1 billion annually in electricity to watch television.

“That energy waste could add up to an additional 8 Terawatt-hours of electricity a year nationally – enough to power all the homes in San Francisco for three years,” wrote senior scientist Noah Horowitz, director of NRDC’s energy program, in an NRDC blog.

The increased electricity use could also produce an additional 4.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

“The potential national energy impacts of the shift to 4K TVs are profound,” according to the report.

A number of factors contribute to the higher energy use of 4K TVs, including brighter backlights, the processing power needed to display videos and other functions.

Horowitz said that when it comes to energy usage, not all UHD TVs are created equal.

“We found an almost three-fold difference in energy consumption between the best and worst UHD TVs, with some models using little or no more energy than their HD predecessors, proving the technology already exists to cut needless energy waste in these large televisions,” Horowitz said.

Although the NRDC is encouraging policy changes that push for more energy efficient UHD TVs, Horowitz said getting TV manufacturers to commit to reducing their TVs’ energy consumption is key.

“To avoid an upsurge in television energy use and the related higher energy bills and power plant emissions that come from having to generate more electricity, we need TV manufacturers and their suppliers to continue to focus on improving the energy efficiency of their new TVs,” he explained.

If you already own a 4K TV, the NRDC offers these tips to reduce your TV’s energy usage:

  • Turn on automatic brightness controls.
  • Turn off the “quick start” booting feature on your TV.
  • Don’t use video game consoles to stream movies.

Do you have a 4K TV? What do you think of the NRDC’s report? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Most Popular
New Retirement Bill Would Help Savers of All Ages
New Retirement Bill Would Help Savers of All Ages

With bipartisan support, this bill could help millions of workers and retirees boost or conserve their retirement savings.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

What Inflation Means for Social Security Checks in 2022
What Inflation Means for Social Security Checks in 2022

Recent inflation figures were ugly. Here’s what they hint about the next Social Security benefits adjustment.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.