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Interesting discussion on energy consumption

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Thaedron, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Thaedron

    Thaedron Hall Of Fame

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    I ran across the following earlier today:

    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/06/27/044231/DVRs-Cable-Boxes-Top-List-of-Home-Energy-Hogs

    and the originally referenced article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/us/26cable.html?_r=4

    While some of the claims int he article seem a bit over-blown... There certainly are things that could be done to trim the energy usage within the modern DVR without seriously impacting the user experience.
     
  2. pfp

    pfp Whatever

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    I've seen a couple articles talking about this recently. There people obviously don't understand the function of a DVR if they think it can work as designed completely powered down.
     
  3. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Do wee need second thread about same subj ? http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=194335
     
  4. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

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    as I recall from a few years ago, Directv units (DVRs included) were designed to be more energy friendly than some other units on the market.
     
  5. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Didn't the Ultimate TV DVRs power completely (or almost completely) down and then come back up when they needed to record something? Was a long time ago that I had them and I'm not sure about this. Anybody remember? I've never understood why they can't power almost completely down when not in use. Down to, say, 3W?

    Rich
     
  6. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    That one is on the Dish side. I don't read or follow any of those threads, so having this one does not seem redundant.
     
  7. Avder

    Avder Hall Of Fame

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    One thing that would save power is if the thing wasnt thrashing the disk all the time when its supposedly turned off. An option for a low power mode where nothing but the scheduler and the clock are operating would be nice too. Discard all tuner buffers, shut the disk off, power down the tuners and do nothing but wait for a scheduler command or the user to turn the thing back on.

    You know, an actual standby mode.
     
  8. DogLover

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

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    Since portions of the guide data are continually being downloaded from the satellite, then a true standby mode would have the problem that portions of the guide data would not be updated. While some customers mint be okay with that, some would undoubtably complain when things were not recorded properly, because of a change in guide data.
     
  9. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I'm sure some of the hardware could be powered down more than we have now.
    The guide has its own tuner, so the other tuners could be turned off.
    Now they would still need to power the LNBs [on non SWiM systems] to receive and commands/data, which may mean they'll still use say 10 watts.
    Given that the DVRs use 20 [something] to 37 watts [standby], while saving anything isn't a bad idea, a couple of CFLs seems like they would offset this usage.
     
  10. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    And what about the Power Inserters used for powering the SWM LNB and the DECA modules. etc.

    Then there are the cable/DSL modems and routers. If you want to get to the nitty gritty, you have TVs that use some power waiting for a remote command to turn on. You could list a whole bunch of power consuming equipment in the home. Anyone still have an analog clock plugged in?
     
  11. Skyboss

    Skyboss Icon

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    SSDs.... Not quite yet, but eventually they will leave HDs in the dust on energy consumption.
     
  12. pfp

    pfp Whatever

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    With live buffering you also have a hard drive constantly spinning and writing.
     
  13. pfp

    pfp Whatever

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    I would think the limited writes of an SSD would be problematic for a DVR which is continuously writing data to the drive.
     
  14. Alebob911

    Alebob911 Hall Of Fame

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    Like VOS says, convert to CFL or LED lighting and call it good. I had my Kill-A-watt attached to my HR and what it uses with the power light off was nothing as far as I was concerned. I think it was in the 12-14 watt area. I have all CFL or LED lighting so I am green when it comes to lighting. To me it just seems petty to pick on DVR's has the big electricity monster. If they didn't work on lowering the power usage with new models then pick on them but I think they have been doing a great job in becoming more energy efficient. It takes time to engineer a solid more energy efficient product. :)
     
  15. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

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    While more recent chip designs have 'sleep' modes for certain subsystems, I doubt the current H/HR series have the ability to sleep individual subsystems like tuners, etc. Even stopping the hard drive would require a complete revamp of handling guide data and todo calculations.

    Lowering or raising (depending on the season) your heating / cooling temps by a couple of degrees and changing to CFLs / LEDs would have a much bigger impact.
     
  16. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Attached Files:

  17. astrotrf

    astrotrf Legend

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    > DirecTV HR20 DVR: 33 watts

    Something's not right here -- that's a kilowatt in 30 hours, which costs me ten cents. That works out to $2.40 for a month, not the $10 of the referenced article. Does anybody really pay 40 cents per kilowatt-hour?

    I can't really get excited up about less than $30 of electricity for an entire year. OTOH, I should reveal my biases: "People in the energy efficiency community" mostly just give me a ruddy shootin' pain, anyway, what with telling me to unplug my two-dollars-per-year wall warts, etc. My solution to their making me wait 30 seconds for my TV to warm up and show a picture (gotta get rid of that awful instant-on stuff) was simply to leave the thing on. They want me to sacrifice my convenience to soothe their sensibilities -- so I just say no.
     
  18. admdata

    admdata Legend

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    For my $.05 worth, if they can have the tech in england to power down and up there STB's why not here??, I mean was other's were saying, ok so Directv STB's receive guide data all the time 24/7, most STB's store 14 days (DVR's) and 3.5 days for the SD receivers, if you power down the unit over night (no recording are there), then in the morning you turn on the STB to watch the local news, why not have it that the STB will update the guide data when it is on and running and play catch up, hell Dish's boxes reboot at 3am (Local time) and redownload there guide data in one shot, granted it is either 3 days (for the basic receivers, or 7 days for there DVR's), the tech is out there it is all about the willingness of companies to use it!

    Yes I have upgraded all my lighting in my house to CFL's or Florescent bulbs and it has saved me a bundle, I also have my outdoor lights on timers, after doing the above I saved $60 a month on electric.
     
  19. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    This seems to be the big story this week.

    It's worthwhile to note that the DIRECTV HD DVRs are Energy Star certified and most other DVRs are not.

    Also worth noting that if these devices went into standby when not explicitly being used, energy use would drop but you would never have a buffer when you turned on the TV.
     
  20. ShapeGSX

    ShapeGSX Godfather

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    I think that for some people that would be an acceptable trade off. Not to mention that the hard drive would be silent (great for bedrooms), and the hard drive would likely last a lot longer. They should make it an optional setting if the hardware can handle it.
     

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