You can find out how much energy a television uses by looking for the wattage rating listed on the label or manual. A small 19″ cathode ray (old fashioned) TV will consume between 55 and 90 watts. For flat screens, plasmas consume slightly more energy than LCD screens. A 42″ LCD television consumes 210 watts; as 42″ plasma consumes 270 watts.
In comparison, one or two 60-watt incandescent lightbulbs are usually enough to light a medium-sized room. A computer and monitor can consume up to 350 watts when in use. A large microwave uses 1440 watts. The TV uses a substantial amount of energy, but it’s not the biggest energy-user in the house.
A 32 inch LCD TV requires 98 watts an hour, a 42 inch Plasma TV uses 190 watts a day (more than a refrigerator!), and a 56 inch Rear Projection TV uses 194 watts an hour. All TVs sold today must pass ENERGY STAR efficiency standards that feature a standby mode to save energy. It also depends on what you are watching, dimly light soap operas require less energy than the bright animations of South Park.
It depends on what you are watching!
Different genres and different filming use differing amounts of energy when your tv projects them. For example, soap operas with low background lighting require less energy than cartoons with bright, solid colors. According to this article, the difference can be as much as 200% between genres of television. Volume and size are some other factors to consider. Plasma screens use more than LCDs (a plasma tv would use 190 watts/hr compared to an LCD of the same size which uses 92 watts/hr)
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