In the United States, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and The Internet & Television Association (NCTA) have extended the Voluntary Agreement for Ongoing Improvement to the Energy Efficiency of Set-Top Boxes. This agreement has already saved more than 7,000 million in energy consumption, as well as avoiding the emission of 39 million tons of CO2 until the end of 2019.
Greater demand for efficiency by 2025
Now, the new agreement will extend the application of the current regulations, and will make them even more demanding from 2023. As a result, the devices will consume a third of the energy consumed by a similar player in 2012, which is when the agreement was signed for the first time. In total, it has spread three times, affecting millions of devices that are sold each year to access new content.
Advances in device processing power have helped a lot to reduce this consumption, as even low-power processors have enough power to play content in 4K thanks to codecs such as HEVC, which allow it to be done using hardware with minimal processing requirements. Sleep or sleep power saving modes also help.
Televisions increasingly include media players
At the same time, the inclusion of the players directly on the television makes it possible to dispense with other devices in the home, helping to save energy and reduce the amount of cables that we have around it. Thus, in addition to avoid CO2 emission, the price is also reduced in the invoice of the users. Modern televisions are also more energy efficient than older ones, although the increase in the average size of the screens does not help to make them efficient.
This improvement will not only affect the United States, but will also end up affecting other countries in the world. If a large manufacturer designs a device to comply with US regulations, and the device is also sold in Europe, it will end up benefiting European citizens.
In the European Union, current law establishes that multimedia players (set-top boxes) cannot consume more than 5 W of power in use, and cannot exceed 0.5 W and standby. The regulation has not been updated since 2009, but it is already restrictive enough in terms of energy consumption that it has not been necessary to renew it in 12 years.