My cable box uses 19watts when its off! - Fuelly Forums

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Old 06-20-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
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My cable box uses 19watts when its off!

I bought a 'kill a watt' meter a while back and today i was checking the powerstrip that my 42"lcd tv, a dvd player and my cable box are plugged into, and discovered that my cable box uses about 20w when off, my TV about 1w, and my dvd player doesnt register any wattage. Im not sure how accurate a kilawatts meter is.

Is there an aftermarket cable box that would allow me less energy usage?
(i will be switching off my powerstrip as much as possible now)


And for anyone who might be interested I measured the Wattage of my Westinghouse 42" lcd tv uses while fired up. this using the dvd player and with the cablebox unplugged from the power strip. I measured it while playing a beach scene (brighter sun light footage) from the movie, INITIAL D.

I had read somewhere that turning the backlight down on lcd tv's you would cut your energy consumption, i starting turning mine down several weeks ago but only today measured the differences.

(according to the kilawatts)

with the backlight at 100% it uses 244w
with the backlight at 50% it uses 159w
with the backlight at 10% it uses 97w.
with the backlight at 0% 87w.

im not sure how much a ctr tv uses atm. ive got one but its not in use.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:11 PM   #2
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If you have digital cable I would not recommend switching it off. Even when the TV is off digital cable boxes are always downloading current program info. If you kill your digital cable box with the master switch on your power strip then you will have to wait for the thing to boot up and then download all new program data. I remember last time I was at a friend's house and her power was out. When the power came back on it took almost 20 minutes before the on screen program guide worked right.

-Jay
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:21 PM   #3
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I agree with Jay on that. I have a 4 year old 25" CRT and the label stats its power at 140W. I don't have a meter to test that, but I'm sure its close, and no less than 100W with a black screen.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:34 PM   #4
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244W on an LCD TV???? wow, pretty sure my CRT is only rated at 150-200, but it's only a 28" not a 42.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
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244W on an LCD TV???? wow, pretty sure my CRT is only rated at 150-200, but it's only a 28" not a 42.

Its rated at that, have you measured it though?

Also, as i mentioned, the 244w is with the brightness turned all the way to 100%.

It looks fine at 10% and 0%(what i now keep it at) especially when the room is darker, so that gives me about 100w usage. Plus having the brightness all the way up doesnt make the picture better, just brighter.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:30 PM   #6
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The local cable company upgraded to new boxes that only use a few watts when an output device isn't on and ~20-30W when on.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:44 PM   #7
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If you want to really save money, just cancel that cable or satellite service altogether. No more parasitic converter boxes, and your TV will spend a far greater amount of time turned off. Plus, you just might find better things to do!
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:16 PM   #8
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my comcast box would take 30mins or more to up load if power was shut off. now with my newer verizon box, its 1-2 mins some times. I shut the internet modem off and the verizon has no problems, it gets its tv guide from the internet so once in a while ill leave the modem on overnight just in case their is a night time upload that I missed.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:04 AM   #9
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I've made several minor changes in the last 6 months to limit the parasitic loads. In addition to simply not having those damn TV boxes plugged in sucking up power 24/7, I've installed a photosensor into a low wattage porch light that needs to be on at night - and frequently got left on all day too. I've also disconnected a stereo system in the garage that was apparently consuming about 20W - again, left on most of the time, and replaced it with one that only draws about 3W. And I have placed a conveniently located switchable power strip inline to the desktop computer, which with speaker transformer consumed over 20W with both switched off individually. Plus, I have replaced our 250W heatlamp in the bathroom with a 25W flourescent for the summer months. All told, I think that is saving us about 1.5 kWh/day. That only works out to $4.50 at the end of the month directly, but the extra heat from the satellite box and parasitic load of the computer stuff in our bedroom was also prompting us to use the AC more at unknown additional cost.

Oh, and another biggie was unplugging the two dual 48" flourescent tube fixture in the garage from the switched outlet in favor of the CFLs at the same location - since everybody but me apparently has no clue how to turn off a light switch! Savings: About 150kWh over 12-16 hours per day for 2-2.5 kWh/day or roughly $7/month. (And yes, I have tried motion sensors, but the crappy department store variety don't work properly with CFLs and kill them in just a few weeks, and the tubes die in just a few months.)
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:25 PM   #10
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If you want to really save money, just cancel that cable or satellite service altogether. No more parasitic converter boxes, and your TV will spend a far greater amount of time turned off. Plus, you just might find better things to do!
A couple years ago I did just that! Got tired of paying $70 a month to watch commercials. The same movies over and over. "Reality" TV. Faux News. (Actually, I only used Fox News to punish those who live with me!) I'm no richer (other bills swallowed up my savings) but at least I'm doing something instead of vegging in front of the TV...I'm on here!
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