Even the most ardent climate-change denier can't possibly enjoy spending more on their electricity bill than they need to. Energy-saving TVs are capable of reducing your monthly bills by a reasonable amount, and, if the habitability of the planet and being able to breathe matter to you, you can also claim to be part of the solution -- not the problem -- by choosing one.
By far the biggest single drain on the national grid is the backlight in LCD TVs. This backlight is traditionally a form of fluorescent tube that illuminates the LCD panel so you can see what's happening on the screen. In a plasma TV, the electricity is used sending a charge to millions of tiny cells filled with gas. Plasma sets had one advantage over LCD TVs until recently, in that the power use would be lower when displaying black or dark images. LCDs, on the other hand, tended to drain electricity at a constant rate.
Some new LCD TVs, however, have an LED backlight. This is a very power-efficient method of illuminating a panel -- LEDs use far less power than a CCFL tube and can also be more easily dimmed.
All but one of the TVs in this round-up are LED-backlit. The Sony Bravia KDL-40WE5 uses other features to keep power consumption down. It has a sensor that monitors the ambient light, and can dim or brighten the on-screen image to match the environment it's in. It also monitors the room to see if you're still in it. If you leave, it can simply switch itself off -- and save you a whole bunch of money in the process.
The good news is that you no longer have to compromise on size to get the eco-friendly TV of your green dreams. These TVs all offer a generous screen size and excellent performance without killing the planet.
Every TV brand and its mother is jumping on the eco bandwagon. But Sony's Bravia KDL-40WE5 offers more genuine power-saving features than any other TV we've seen to date. What's more, it does it without being ridiculously expensive, or compromising on performance standards. It's an impressive set Read more
Reviewed on 16 July 2009
The UE46B8000 is another stunning TV from Samsung. There are so many things about this TV that we adore. The picture quality is epic, the design is a thing of beauty and the extra features are both useful and fun. We noticed that the backlight did give rise to some patchiness, although this is only really a problem with pure-black pictures. Overall, it's a pricey but remarkable TV. Do consider the slightly cheaper B7000 range if this is above your financial comfort zone Read more
Reviewed on 5 June 2009
The Samsung UE40B7000WW is truly wonderful. While we still think plasma TVs have the edge, the UE40B7000WW shows that Samsung is turning sets with LED edge lights into real competitors. We're big fans of the TV's Yahoo Widgets and media-playback capability, and were blown away by the set's ability to play MKV files -- this is truly brilliant, and we're very excited to see a TV with this functionality built in Read more
Reviewed on 20 March 2009
We like the 42PFL903 a great deal. The styling alone makes us want to own one, and with the LED backlight, Ambilight and excellent picture processing modes it should be a real winner. For us, the price is too high for a TV that doesn't match the performance of the similarly priced Pioneer Kuro plasma. This is far from a bad TV, it just doesn't stack up well against the competition at this price range Read more
Reviewed on 2 December 2008