The competition is shifting from past battles over image quality, screen thinness and so on, to energy efficiency, marking a dramatic change in liquid crystal display (LCD) television trends. Tech-On! has popped open one of the products leading this trend to take a closer look at the technologies used to slash power consumption.
New energy-efficient LCD TVs are hitting the shelves in large quantity in 2009. The TV accounts for about 10 percent of total power consumption in the home, and TV manufacturers who are recognizing that low-power products will be more competitive are engaged in an intense performance competition.
One of the LCD TVs at the cutting edge of the trend is the Bravia, from Sony Corp. of Japan. The first model to have low power consumption emphasized as a key selling point was the KDL-32JE1, a 32-inch set released in July 2008. Power consumption was only 89 watts, a 34 percent reduction from the prior model, and Sony promoted the set as the "Number One power-saving model on the market by a wide margin." And in fact power consumption was dramatically lower than prior designs. The first 32-inch Bravia model, released in Oct 2005, drew 150 watts, while the 32-inch cathode ray tube (CRT) model of June 2000 drew 220 watts.
We picked up a Sony KDL-32J5, a 32-inch set released in February 2009 as the successor to the KDL-32JE1. The company claims this set's power consumption is 84 watts (max luminance mode, all-white screen, max volume). Actual measurement of terrestrial digital broadcasting in the standard mode was 56.45 watts. We asked a few specialists, including engineers from TV and backlight manufacturers, to join us in disassembling the set to find out how Sony did it.
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