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Should the Federal Gov't. regulate DirecTV receivers and other STBs?


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24 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Lord Vader

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 01:56 AM

Why doesn't it surprise me that this pending battle began in California, perhaps the king of the nanny states?

From the Morning Bridge today:

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) sent a letter to the major cable and satellite pay-TV providers urging them to phase out what she calls "always on" STBs that waste energy and increase consumer utility bills. The Senator says if the industry doesn't take the initiative to develop and distribute more energy-efficient models on its own the Federal government will do so on its behalf.

Citing recent studies that show STBs "consume astronomical amounts of energy," Feinstein says energy hungry set-tops and DVRs are among the largest consumers of electricity in the average American home. The problem, she says, is that current models are not equipped with adequate stand-by or sleep functions that could reduce power usage during down times. As a result, STBs being sold or leased by pay-TV providers operate at near-full power 24/7 costing upwards of $3B annually... $2B of which is incurred while the boxes aren't being used.

"I strongly encourage you to work with your competitors to stop the distribution of 'always on' set-top boxes in California," she said. "If such an initiative does not materialize, the Federal government will have an obligation to regulate the efficiency of these boxes in the interest of American consumers."

Whether DirecTV receivers consume "astronomical amounts of energy" or not, isn't that the end user's problem? If I want to leave my lights on all night, should the government step in to tell me I'm wasting energy, only to be followed by regulating my light usage (probably by mandating light switches that don't operate after midnight or something)?

Seriously, this nanny state "we know better than you" or "it's for your own good" mentality is beyond ridiculous. The more these regulations are implemented, the fewer freedoms we possess.

Make more energy efficient DVRs? Sure, why not? But let competition and the market do it. Let company ABC make set top boxes (STBs) that they claim are more efficient and consumers may flock to that manufacturer on their own. Don't have the frickin' government dictate everything.

FAITH: I find the lack of it disturbing.

Opinions are my own but should be those of all Americans, who would be much better off intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally if that were the case.


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#2 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 03:57 AM

Make more energy efficient DVRs? Sure, why not? But let competition and the market do it. Let company ABC make set top boxes (STBs) that they claim are more efficient and consumers may flock to that manufacturer on their own.


Fine, but sometimes they need a swift kick in the cahones to get motivated, hence regulation. They've had a decade to do it themselves and have done nothing.
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#3 OFFLINE   Lord Vader

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 04:14 AM

Give me a break! This is over regulation at its finest, yet another shining example of the federal government sticking its nose farther into the lives of the American people.

FAITH: I find the lack of it disturbing.

Opinions are my own but should be those of all Americans, who would be much better off intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally if that were the case.


#4 OFFLINE   DogLover

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 05:24 AM

Fine, but sometimes they need a swift kick in the cahones to get motivated, hence regulation. They've had a decade to do it themselves and have done nothing.


Have they done nothing? Recent DIRECTV DVR's have been EnergyStar certified, while older ones were not. Seems like they don't need the "kick" to do something on their own.

And, there are arguably much bigger energy wasters in the home.
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#5 OFFLINE   webby_s

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:52 AM

Get the government out of my house, let alone out of my DVR's.

That's all I have to say on the matter.
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#6 OFFLINE   autumnghost

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:58 AM

Let's look at the real picture here. Local feds have long ago taken
control of the cable tv market. They use the infrared remote sensors on electronic devices to surveillance you. I know, as I've been a victim of it. You may not believe it, but I know firsthand. With so many people shifting to satellite, they're losing control. Satellite receivers do not allow the local feds to tap into and view people. The direct-to-home nature of reception prevents this. The feds want to manufacture the boxes themselves so they can modify them to get back all the spying techniques they've lost since so many people are getting dishes. That is the real reason, hidden behind the guise of energy efficiency.

#7 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:45 AM

I'd like the initiative and I will support my senator to push it.

I know guts of the DVR from beginning and see how they involved with very lazy approaches in design and SW development.
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#8 OFFLINE   ub1934

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 09:10 AM

Get the government out of my house, let alone out of my DVR's.

That's all I have to say on the matter.


Looks like your a real Scott Walker buddy . :rolleyes:

#9 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 09:24 AM

DIRECTV has been fairly aggressive on their energy savings. If I recall correctly, the previous listing of set top boxes by EnergyStar had quite a number of DIRECTV boxes, all the then shipping new receivers.

They just came out with a new list and the D12, H25, and HR24 are all on the list with the more stringent requirements; again all the currently shipping and being manufactured models (I believe.)

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#10 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 09:27 AM

Let's look at the real picture here. Local feds have long ago taken
control of the cable tv market. They use the infrared remote sensors on electronic devices to surveillance you. I know, as I've been a victim of it. You may not believe it, but I know firsthand. With so many people shifting to satellite, they're losing control. Satellite receivers do not allow the local feds to tap into and view people. The direct-to-home nature of reception prevents this. The feds want to manufacture the boxes themselves so they can modify them to get back all the spying techniques they've lost since so many people are getting dishes. That is the real reason, hidden behind the guise of energy efficiency.


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#11 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 09:58 AM

I'd say energy star certification is probably all the government should expect at this point. I do think DIRECTV is moving toward more energy-efficient models because the consumer demands it. As for this legislation, I'd say Senator Feinstein is introducing it at a time when it has little chance of passing. This is a tried-and-true strategy for getting your name in the papers.
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#12 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 10:04 AM

I'd say Senator Feinstein is introducing it at a time when it has little chance of passing.


Isn't this the same state that regulates big screen TVs and essentially every other consumer product to the point that special "California" versions (ie. lawn mowers, weedeaters, etc.) have to be produced?
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#13 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 10:55 AM

That's a bit of an oversimplification but yes.
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#14 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 10:55 AM

Isn't this the same state that regulates big screen TVs and essentially every other consumer product to the point that special "California" versions (ie. lawn mowers, weedeaters, etc.) have to be produced?


So what ? At least it's best state in US by many means. :P

#15 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:32 AM

After pondering this a bit, several things come to mind:

Stuart was right--this was mostly a grandstand play. (She didn't just write it to the industry--she copied the press...) :)

This was most likely an empty threat. If she had left out the threat altogether, I wouldn't have any problem with her writing a letter asking them to do something.

I like the EnergyStar concept and I hope it is relatively well done.

Beyond that, the government has no right to really poke its nose into this. We gots more important things to worry about.

And we don't need extra costs by both the government creating these laws and electronics companies fighting their creation.

Cheers,
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#16 OFFLINE   Gloria_Chavez

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:19 PM

Lord Vaders asks, "Should the Federal Gov't. regulate DirecTV receivers and other STBs?"

I reply, No, and neither should it regulate the energy market.

This means that we should eliminate the gas tax, and no state or municipality should have the ability to slap an excise tax on gasoline.

And I say all this as a Dem who believes that Senators like Feinstein are hurting the Party's ability to draw new voters.
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#17 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:33 PM

Beyond that, the government has no right to really poke its nose into this. We gots more important things to worry about.



Like the volume of TV commercials?

Or the type of light bulbs available?
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#18 OFFLINE   Lord Vader

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:51 PM

Looks like your a real Scott Walker buddy . :rolleyes:


I'm a teacher, and I'm a big fan of Scott Walker. The actions of him and his party in Wisconsin DID save the state a ton of money, so much so that many districts now have the money to hire more teachers, and this is not because many in the state are retiring, either.

As far as P Smith supporting this, I assume he'd also support the government putting timers on his lights to control when he can turn them on/off; or supporting the government putting ignition locks on his car to control when he can drive to cut down on pollution; etc.

Where does it end? Give the government an inch now, they'll take a mile later.

FAITH: I find the lack of it disturbing.

Opinions are my own but should be those of all Americans, who would be much better off intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally if that were the case.


#19 OFFLINE   Lord Vader

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:54 PM

I'd say energy star certification is probably all the government should expect at this point. I do think DIRECTV is moving toward more energy-efficient models because the consumer demands it. As for this legislation, I'd say Senator Feinstein is introducing it at a time when it has little chance of passing. This is a tried-and-true strategy for getting your name in the papers.


Because she has nothing better to worry about, right? No other important items for Congress to tackle now, I guess. :rolleyes:

Isn't this the same state that regulates big screen TVs and essentially every other consumer product to the point that special "California" versions (ie. lawn mowers, weedeaters, etc.) have to be produced?


Which is why it's so screwed up, especially economically.

So what ? At least it's best state in US by many means. :P


Hardly. Mine isn't, either, but California is a mess, especially financially. It tries hard to be the biggest financial deadbeat in the country, but that honor officially belongs to the one in which I live. :nono2:

FAITH: I find the lack of it disturbing.

Opinions are my own but should be those of all Americans, who would be much better off intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally if that were the case.


#20 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:59 PM

I know that Tom and I have participated in bringing this thread to where it is, so I'd like to ask quietly, let's steer this back to the subject of regulation on STBs and not to politics in general.

Thanks.
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