Can I unplug or switch off my TV or set top box at night?
You can switch off almost any digital TV, set top box or digital TV recorder at the wall or pull the plug out every night and this will save electricity. Though of course do not switch off a digital TV recorder if it is set to record programmes in advance. You should not switch off a TopUp TV box as these download their programmes overnight. For more information see Energy saving.
The only drawback is that some digital boxes take a minute or two to start up again, particularly services such as Sky or Virgin who generally do not recommend that you unplug. There is also a slight risk of missing any software updates for your box if it is left unplugged for several days at a time when these are broadcast.
Since the introduction of new energy saving legislation the standby power of digital TV devices has been reduced to just one or two watts so the savings will not be very large.
How can I save energy?
We have measured the power consumption of all the set top boxes, digital TV recorders and iDTVs tested, both in use and in standby mode. See the individual summary test reports for details. You can use the Product Search to rank products by their standby power consumption.
We have also tested a range of standby energy devices. These aim to save energy by switching off a number of products in one go. See Standby devices.
If you are planning to buy a new LCD type iDTV you can also save energy by selecting one that offers ‘adjustable backlight’. Running the screen illumination backlight at a lower level when viewing in the evening can save power. Some of the latest models can even adjust the backlight automatically for you, depending on the brightness of your room.
To find out which products have the Energy Saving Recommended logo see Energy saving