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THX Video Calibration Research Shows Improved Energy Efficiency of HDTVs

A research study conducted by THX Ltd. suggests that a secondary benefit to video calibration, beyond improving picture quality, is reducing HDTVs on-mode energy consumption. The THX HDTV Energy Savings Study, which evaluated plasma and LCD HDTV performance, showed that video calibration can improve energy efficiency by up to 50 percent, depending on the displayís technology platform, screen size and model year.

THX will further discuss its findings during CEDIA EXPO 2009.

To learn more about the THX HDTV Energy Savings Study, THX Certified Video Calibration Training Workshops, and THX Certified Displays, visit the THX Learning Lounge at CEDIA EXPO 2009. The THX Learning Lounge is located in The Omni Hotel’s Pine Room, just across the street from the EXPO show floor.

Engineers evaluated more than 15 plasma and LCD models, comparing Vivid or Dynamic Modes versus professionally calibrated settings. Vivid and Dynamic modes are typically designed by display manufacturers to demonstrate the capabilities of an HDTV on the retail floor. Most of these modes boost contrast (light output) and color controls to compensate for the overpowering florescent lighting in the retail environment. However, these modes, which are often the default setting for users, can significantly increase energy consumption.

The THX research demonstrated in all cases that a calibrated viewing mode consumed less energy than Vivid and Dynamic modes. The approximate savings for consumers ranged from 15 percent to 50 percent. A properly calibrated HDTV, in some cases, can save consumers up to $40 per year. The annual consumption and cost calculations are based on four hours of use per day and $0.1136 per kilowatt hours, which is the average residential rate as defined by the United States Energy Information Administration. Savings increases or decreases as user behavior shifts.

Plasma HDTVs manufactured prior to 2008 achieved the highest levels of energy savings after professional calibration, followed by LCDs. The research also confirmed that larger screens consume more power.

“Newer HDTV models are using less energy than ever before as a result of advances in panel manufacturing,” director of education at THX, John Dahl, said. “While the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR standard is driving manufacturers to reduce on-mode energy consumption, both new and older plasma and LCD HDTVs may experience additional energy savings as a result of professional video calibration.”

The primary benefit of professional video calibration is to improve the display’s picture quality for the room in which it resides. While professional calibration is performed post-sale, THX Certified Displays from Panasonic, LG and JVC feature THX Movie Mode, a pre-calibrated setting that achieves studio color, black and white levels out-of-the box. This setting also may be tuned by a professional calibrator to further improve picture quality and energy consumption. For non-THX Certified Displays, the research demonstrates professional calibration can improve energy efficiency by optimizing the picture controls.