Wrong-Way Corrigan Works for Sony?

“Wrong-Way” Corrigan made history by flying across the Atlantic when he was supposed to fly coast to coast across the U.S. (History indicates that it was a case of “accidently on purpose” because he couldn’t get clearance for the trans-oceanic flight.) But his spirit apparently lives on at Sony.

I’m the first to agree that an ugly tangle of wires hanging down from a wall-mounted flat panel HDTV detracts from the installation, so I understand that some people might be excited about Sony’s announcement last month that they have perfected a “highly efficient” wireless power connection that separates the set from the power source by as much as 50 cm. (For those of you who may be metrics-challenged, that’s almost 20 inches.) Cool; all you have to do is mount this other box less than two feet from the TV.

But how cool is it? That “highly efficient” system turns out to be only 80% efficient, and when you add the other components that make it work, it’s only 60% efficient. What does that mean? It means that if you have a TV that draws 100 watts when you plug it directly into the wall, it will “only” draw more than 166 watts if you use Sony’s new arrangement. That’s a huge difference. And this is what leads me to invoke Mr. Corrigan; Sony’s announcement comes at a time when everyone else is struggling to find ways to make HDTVs more efficient, not less.

So kudos to Sony for making a wireless power system that works. Now put it back in the storeroom because we need to start saving energy, not finding more cool ways to waste it.