Green TV? Cutting the Cord From Cable Box Energy Consumption

Social movements have symbols to rally around. Hippies had peace signs, Breast Cancer Awareness has pink ribbons and The Pirates of the Caribbean have the skull and crossbones (that’s real, right?).


So what’s the symbol for the ever growing cord-cutting movement? Let’s start with the color: green.


cut your tv's energy consumptionYes, green for all the cash you save without a cable bill, but also green for more environmentally friendly. You see, bulky cable DVR boxes suck up A LOT of energy.


How much? Possibly more than any appliance in your house! One HD DVR cable boxes uses an average of 446 kilowatt hours a year, more than a new energy-efficient refrigerator!


The problem is that these boxes basically run at fult-tilt 24/7. Even when they’re ‘off’, they’re on, because of the phantom power (aka vampire power) they’re constantly using when plugged in.


In fact, the Natural Resources Defense Council reports set-top boxes in the United States consumed approximately 27 Billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2010.


To put that into perspective, 27 Billion kilowatt-hours is roughly the annual energy output of NINE coal power-plants combined. Or the yearly household energy consumption of the entire state of Maryland! And it’s also $3 Billion in electricity bills.


That doesn’t even factor in the armies of technician trucks cable companies have on the road, or space junk that satellite companies have in the sky. (Ok, I guess we just factored that in).


In comparison, the amplified Mohu Leaf 50 HDTV Antenna has a tiny carbon footprint. It only consumes about 3.5 kilowatt-hours per year in stand-by mode, which will cost you about 44 cents a year at the average current energy rate. Since you can easily set it up yourself, there’s no need for that convoy of technician trucks. And the Leaf 30 Antenna? Zero kWh in stand-by mode.


Leaf seems like an even more appropriate name now, doesn’t it?


So what do you think the symbol of cord-cutting should be? Green scissors? A Leaf? A Green TV? If you have ideas, let us know.


Brian Toomes

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