US Lobby Group Warns Ultra HD Screens Can Be Energy Hogs

November 19, 2015 by Dave Haynes


Via Display Daily

The emergence of LED-lit LCD displays and the disappearance of plasma displays would probably, reasonably, make end-users think that energy consumption is no longer much on an issue in digital signage deployments. LEDs, after all, are far more energy efficient than the older technologies that were light up flat panel displays.

Turns out there is a new issue with energy usage – 4K panels.

The American environmental action group Natural Resources Defense Council suggests, in a new report, that 4K displays consume 30% more energy than regular HD displays.

As reported in Display Daily, the NRDC’s findings suggest:

NRDC’s key findings:  

The report suggests consumers can cut several hundred dollars off the lifetime energy costs of a new UHD TV by buying models with the ENERGY STAR label,, turning  Automatic Brightness Controls on, avoiding some features – like quick start feature on Internet-connected televisions – that waste power sitting in standby mode.

This is TVs, not commercial panels, but presumably some of the energy implications are similar for the 4K panels going into signage deployments.

I did a quick check of commercial displays and found a manufacturer’s 46-inch UHD had a typical energy consumption of 87 watts, whereas a 48-inch 1080P panel (lesser resolution, but 700 nits versus 500 – so brighter) typically needed 44 watts, or half of the 4K display’s needs. It’s hard to get to apples to apples comparisons, so my comparison is admittedly way less than scholarly.

The NRDC makes the full report and an executive summary available online.



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