In this age of new media and smart devices, we’ve become tethered to the growing need for technology. From school to work in entertainment, our dependence on screens is higher than ever before. But with these new tech thirsts comes a high energy demand. Unfortunately, energy costs are not going down. It used to be that the electricity bill would come and a few dollars over would get Dad in a fit. Now, we easily see double and triple those numbers. Because of this, the power-saving functions on our devices are becoming increasingly important, especially in our Smart TVs.

smart tv

But how do we use them? How can we cut down the most from our electricity cost while still maintaining the functionality and entertainment of our living room centerpiece? The even bigger question is: is saving power even relevant anymore?

Screensavers

If your house is like most modern homes, there’s a device going on at all times. Usually, it’s the smart TV. Now, smart TVs are notorious for eating up all of the electricity. It’s almost as much as the cost of having a treadmill on with a screen attached to it (we’re looking at you, Peloton). Needless to say, smart TVs aren’t going anywhere. We’re going to keep using them. But we need to find ways to lessen the amount of power used.

One way you can do it is to install a screensaver if you’re in a position where you need it to be on. A good 4K screensaver can keep back the bulk of the power that your tv is using up while not in active use. Let’s say you’re used to sleeping with the TV on. Most people like to have a bit of background activity while working on a report or an article. A screensaver is the perfect non-distracting add-on to those who feel more comfortable with it on.

Adjust Settings

There are certain features that you can deactivate when you use your smart TV. There’s a “power saving” mode on most models spanning from LG to Samsung. It does affect the quality a little bit, but that’s reversible. If you’re just watching clips on Facebook or watching the news, 4K HD isn’t a necessary feature. Fortunately for us, this is what we tend to use the smart TV for the most.

Most of the videos that we stream are not in 4K. That level of definition is meant for massive screens—movie screens even. Lowering the settings to adjust to the things you are watching is just a few simple steps, and carries over to a much cheaper bill at the end of the month.

Unplug It For a Bit

One thing that we can do is to unplug the television for a while, when not in use. That’s generally something that people don’t do very often. The electrical sockets in a modern home are usually behind an entertainment center of some kind and impossible to get to, if not just a major pain. But unplugging can do some wonders. For one, it gives your device a chance to rest for once. Even when it’s off, there’s still a current that’s passing through, ready to snap the screen on at the push of a remote button. Or better yet, a voice-activated command. That feature means it’s still on, even if you don’t see the screen working. So try and unplug for a bit. Maybe take a breather from the TV. You’ll save cash and keep your smart TV healthy.

Watch The Continuous Stream

There’s a feature we see in most streaming services that’s criminal when it comes to eating up power: the continuous “next” on every platform. If you’re on Netflix, it’s going to keep playing. It’s going to keep going. Recently, they added a feature that asks you if you’re still watching. This is a function of their money-saving technique when it comes to bandwidth. But electricity? If it’s asking you if you’re still watching, that means the meter is still running.

YouTube is the worst offender. It will go down an infinite list of videos that add more info to their algorithm. One second you’re watching a video on motorcycle repair, the next you’re captivated by the most extreme race you've ever seen. If you’re watching, it’s not an issue. You’re still deriving some pleasure from it. But when you leave it and forget to turn it off? That’s when the horror show starts. Better yet, your kid turned it on and instinctively put it on YouTube because, well, they’ve been effectively programmed to. They walk away and do something else. You’re probably at work or in the office. Meanwhile, you’ve got hours and hours of wasted energy going down the drain in the form of YouTube’s infinite streams.

The idea of power saving is extremely relevant when owning a smart TV. Frankly, they’re power-sucks. But, alas, they’re an integral part of any modern home. Just keep an eye out on overuse, install a screensaver, and maybe unplug every once in a while. You should be fine.




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