A recent study concluded that many DVR and set-top box configurations are saddled with energy requirements that exceed those of “a new refrigerator and even some central air-conditioning systems.” Which does seem somewhat extreme when presented in that fashion. Of course, given all my gadgets, I’m sure I exceed my fridge’s estimated annual energy usage (615 kWh). In fact, a few years back we took a Kill A Watt around the house to get a read on the energy vampires… And, sure enough, my Series 3 TiVo was the worst offender – drawing 42 watts.
In response to this new report, GigaOm wondered how current streaming alternatives fair and enlisted a Belkin Conserve energy monitor to put several recent players to the test (see above). As you might expect the diminutive Apple TV and Roku were the most miserly in their wattage consumption. Although, Roku doesn’t have much in the way of a standby mode – drawing measurable power 24/7. The larger and more powerful (on paper) Logitech Revue and Boxee Box draw considerably more power, yet still clock in significantly less than a hard-drive-spinning DVR.
Interestingly, as our home entertainment configurations evolve, my iPad will essentially replace both a television and set-top box… providing not only newfound convenience but also the benefit of energy conservation.