[CES] Sony's 'Eco TV' Turns Itself Off to Save Power

Jan 9, 2009
Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics
Equipped with the "presence sensor," Sony's Eco TV automatically turns off the screen when it detects no one is watching the TV.
Equipped with the "presence sensor," Sony's Eco TV automatically turns off the screen when it detects no one is watching the TV.
[Click to enlarge image]
The presence sensor is located at the bottom center of the TV.
The presence sensor is located at the bottom center of the TV.
[Click to enlarge image]

Sony Corp announced, at the press conference at the 2009 International CES, that it will release the 40-, 46- and 52-inch "Bravia Eco HDTV" series products in the North American market in summer 2009.

The company revised the backlight system of its Bravia TV series to cut its power consumption by 40%. Sony has already released its 32-inch Eco HDTV in Japan, but added some new energy-saving functions for the three models.

First, equipped with the "presence sensor," the new TVs can turn off the screen when a certain period of time has passed after the viewer leaves. The sensor detects human motions using infrared rays. It automatically turns off the screen when there is no motion and turns it on again when the viewer returns.

"Users can set how long their TVs wait to turn off the screen when there is no motion at all," Sony said. Also, it is possible to keep the audio on even if the screen is off. However, as the presence sensor's detection range is only 3m, it still is uncertain how well the function will work if the viewer is in a large room and watching TV at a distance.

Second, the new TVs feature "zero power consumption in standby mode." In other words, it's the return of a switch that can turn off the main power supply.

In the past, the main power supply switch and another power supply switch, such as the one found on the remote control, were different. But, recently, an increasing number of TVs consume standby power of about 0.5W unless they are unplugged.

"It isn't easy to turn off the main power supply switch, if there is any, because it is often located on the back of the TV," Sony said. "We've put it back on the TV's side surface so that users can easily operate it even if the TV is mounted on the wall."

"TVs consume the largest amount of power among home appliances," the company said. "They are often left switched on all day long, even though no one is watching them. We developed this lineup to do something about this issue."