At CNET, we take HDTV power consumption seriously, which helps explain our excitement when Philips announced its Eco TV. The 42-inch, 1080p resolution, flat-panel LCD, model 42PFL5603D (due in March, $1,399 MSRP), is packed with power-saving features.
Chief among them is the ability to dim the backlight--by up to five times peak brightness--in response to program material, much like the "local dimming" found on Samsung's LED-based
With this trifecta engaged, we saw the panel's power consumption dip to an impressive 75 watts during the in-booth demo--Philips had hooked up a Watt's Up to track consumption. That's a bit more than a standard incandescent light bulb and 30 watts less than the most miserly 42-inch LCD we've tested ourselves so far, Philips' own
Until we test it over a period of time we have no idea how much money this HDTV will save on your annual power bill--the dimming backlight introduces too many variables--but we don't expect it to be more than $50 over a standard 42-inch LCD, assuming average energy costs. Philips also built in a few other non-power-related greenie features, including lead-free materials and only "trace" amounts of mercury, which enables it to comply with strict ROHS and State of Vermont standards, respectively. And yes, even the box is made from recycled material.
The 42PFL5630D lacks the company's patented Ambilight technology, which is actually another power-saving perk since those lights draw more juice. It also lacks the high-end features such as the 120Hz technology found on its more-expensive brethren--this is strictly a mass-market TV, and one that should be more satisfying to environmentalists than any large-screen flat-panel we've seen so far.