ECO-FRIENDLY TV: Which 50″ Plasma televisions are most efficient?

With After Christmas Sales, and the Super Bowl coming up, it’s time to talk TV’s and power consumption — again.

This time we look specifically at the power consumption of 50″ Plasmas. A 50″ plasma is likely too large to put on your kitchen wall during your remodel, but I’m sure you will be thinking about one for your new media room!

Just like we started our review of 37″ LCDs a couple months back, let’s review the term “power consumption.” There are two parts of power consumption when talking televisions. The first is Standyby Power Consumption (when your TV is turned OFF), and the second is On Mode Power Consumption (when you TV is turned ON)

Standby Power Consumption is what ENERGY STAR uses to rate TVs today. This is the energy your TV uses while it is just sitting there during the day. It is the lowest power consumption mode that cannot be switched OFF by a homeowner. To qualify for ENERGY STAR a television must not exceed 1 watt of power consumption in Standby Mode. The Department of Energy says, that Standby power consumption of an ENERGY STAR compliant TV uses about 30% less energy than standard sets.

As of today, there is NOT an ENERGY STAR rating for On Mode Power Consumption. On Mode is the one we are probably most aware of…this is the mode our kids like to use when they leave their rooms and run outside! In September 2008, ENERGY STAR will produce ratings for television On Mode power consumption (this is really great).

Today, don’t let an ENERGY STAR logo fool you. This is only a logo for Standby Mode. How misleading can this be? Well, the most efficient television on the ENERGY STAR list have Standby Mode consumptions of 0.2W, but in On Mode some of these TVs consume 705W!

So if ENERGY STAR doesn’t rate On Mode power consumption today, what can YOU do? Where can you find your TV’s power consumption? Well, you dig on the internet, you dig into manuals, and you troll through datasheets and marketing literature. Or, you come to, because we do the dirty work to get it for you.

So, here is the list of 50″ Plasma TVs that qualified for ENERGY STAR in Standby Mode (in order of best Standby Mode):

Manufacturer Model Standby On Mode Res MSRP

Panasonic TH-50PX75U   0.2W   499W   720p   $1999.95
Panasonic TH-50PZ700U   0.2W   695W   1080p   $2999.95
Panasonic TH-50PX77U   0.2W   499W   720p   $2099.95
Panasonic TH-50PZ750U   0.2W   705W   1080p   $3499.95
Hewlett-Packard PL5072N   0.4W   460W   720p   $1799.99
Philips 50PDFP5332D/37   0.67W   480W   720p   $1599.99
LG 50PC5DC   0.74W   418W   —   $1599.95
Sanyo DP50747   0.85W   460W   720p   $1294.00
LG 50PB4DA   1W   420W   —   $1999.95


In the above, note the large increase in power consumption on 50″ plasma TVs with 1080p resolution. Also note that it takes 2X+ more power to run a 50″ Plasma vs. a 37″ LCD!

Like last time, we want you to know that there are other models (and manufacturers) that qualify for ENERGY STAR, but these other models do not offer homeowners On Mode power consumption data on the internet in a way that easy to find. So either they have something to hide, or they are not concerned with offering you the information. OR, are they just concerned with getting the ENERGY STAR logo because it is good marketing? We feel that On Mode power consumption is extremely important to make public — this is the mode that hits our environment the hardest.

Finally, we want to give a green round of applause to Panasonic and Philips who both make power consumption discoverable for homeowners. We need to give a green thumb down to Samsung (AGAIN!!) where finding On Mode consumption is virtually impossible! In most cases it was impossible to find the TV mentioned on Energy Star!!!

Leave a Comment