Better Experience Needed: “Greening” TV

Jack Blog

June 27th, 2011 By Jack Morton

Kudos to the New York Times for an eye-opening article on the huge amounts of energy consumed by most set-top cable boxes and DVRs (

Is the average consumer aware that a high-def DVR and cable box consume as much as a refrigerator? Or a central air unit? I certainly wasn’t.

Now that I am, I will certainly look to my cable provider to offer up more energy-efficient options—and there are dramatically more efficient options. But as quoted in the Times article:  

“The issue of having more efficient equipment is of interest to us,” said Justin Venech, a spokesman for Time Warner Cable. But, he added, “when we purchase the equipment, functionality and cost are the primary considerations.”

There’s an opportunity for someone in this sector to create a distinctive and better experience simply by virtue of deciding that sustainability and good corporate citizenship need to be the primary considerations. Sure, cable providers are in flux and under pressure from Netflix and other on-demand options, but isn’t that exactly the time to do the right thing?