Ban plasma TVs and standby, say Tories

The Conservatives have said they would ban power-hungry plasma screens. They didn't mention LCDs -- presumably they don't know the difference

Ian Morris
2 min read

Earlier this week a commission set up by Conservative leader David Cameron -- the Orwellian-sounding 'Quality of Life' group -- indicated that it would advocate the banning of plasma screens, because they apparently use too much power. They didn't mention the more popular LCD screens, and I'm going to assume this is because they don't know the difference.

They also claim that 'standby' is killing the planet. Apparently, 2.25 per cent of Britain's power usage comes from things that aren't turned off properly, and I agree that's shocking, but this is a matter of public education, not of political legislation.

The problem is, Joe Public doesn't want to turn his TV off, he wants it on standby. I'm guilty of it too -- when I finish watching TV at night in bed, I put it on standby. I'm not going to get out of bed to turn the power off, it's not worth it. Plus I use the sleep timer because I frequently fall asleep with the TV on, so getting out of bed isn't an option.

If the Tories did get into power, and did ban standby, what would happen to PVRs that need to sleep with one eye open, waiting to pounce on a programme at a moment's notice? What would become of Apple TV, which is after all never off, unless you yank the plug out of the back? All these devices would have to go if the eco-policy makers had their way.

I want to cut wasted power as much as anyone, so I'll try harder to turn stuff off properly, and I hope that TV manufacturers will work out a way of reducing standby power consumption to virtually nothing. But at the same time, I want Cameron's minions to back off my technology -- we'll call it a compromise.