SID 2011: Green Displays

Yesterday, I attended a special conference-within-a-conference about Green Displays, hosted by IMS Research. It turns out that this topic runs deep and wide, but there was one particular aspect that I thought would be worth sharing. Consider the following comparison between two Sony 46″ LCD HDTVs.

The Qualia 005 was the first LCD HDTV to use LEDs for the backlight. It consumed 612 Watts of electricity, was 5″ thick, and weighed 130 pounds. Oh, and it sold for a mere $15,000.

Compare that with one of Sony’s current offerings: the 46″ Bravia KDL-46EX520. This also uses LEDs as a light source, but is rated at just 103 Watts. That’s about the same as a single 100 Watt incandescent lightbulb, and it is an 83% reduction in power consumption. At the same time, the weight has dropped to 31 pounds, and the case is just 1.65″ thick. That means a 67% reduction in thickness, and 76% reduction in weight.

It’s obvious that energy will be saved because the set will draw less electricity when operating, but there are energy implications for the other specifications. For example, you can fit three of them in the same space as the other model. That means more pieces per container, which means lower shipping costs. And the lower weight also lowers the shipping costs. And all those are savings that can eventually find their way to the consumer in the form of a lower purchase price. Clearly, not all the savings in the new model come from lower energy costs, but it’s one factor that makes it possible to sell the newer model for $989, which is about 93% less than the first model.

And whether you care about environmental green or not, that’s a lot of folding green that you save.