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Your TV Could Be On Even When It's Off

February 25, 2009

BY MIKE THOMAS Staff Reporter/mthomas@suntimes.com

Shut off the lights. Turn down the heat. Unplug the cell phone charger when it's not in use.

And here's another eco-friendly option you might not have considered: an energy efficient TV.

Major manufacturers such as Sony, Sharp, Panasonic and Vizio are all hawking models that use less juice, preserve the environment and, at least theoretically, shrink energy costs.

"The biggest difference is that for most televisions, especially for most flat-screen televisions, even when you turn the power off, they're really in more of a standby mode so they can power up more quickly," says Marc Cook, general manager at Abt Electronics in Glenview. "So, really, they're still drawing current even though they're off."

Several new sets, he says, have a host of options that make them more efficient -- including power interrupt modes that cut all current, and auto-shut-off motion detectors that determine if anyone's actually watching that power-sucking rerun of M*A*S*H.

© Copyright 2009 Digital Chicago, Inc.