By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: The industry body representing many of the leading TV brands has rejected suggestions that many current plasma and LCD TVs could be banned from sale within a year, which has been reported in the press today.

Australian Digital Suppliers Industry Forum (ADSIF) chairman, Ross Henderson, told that articles published in response to a new report on proposed energy efficiency standards for TVs were potentially misleading.

“The idea that plasmas and LCDs are going to disappear from the market is simply something that is not in the report,” said Henderson.

“The [Digital CEnergy] report is about suggesting guidelines to implement greater efficiency standards.”

The discussion paper, titled Television Energy Rating Labels: The case, and proposal, for MEPS and Labelling Televisions, argues for a labeling scheme to be introduced in 2008 with mandatory requirements phased in from 2009.

But Henderson said home entertainment suppliers are in discussions with the government to work out a suitable timeframe.

ADSIF met with the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) last week to discuss proposals for an energy labeling regime.
“No manufacturers were arguing against energy efficiency standards, the industry supports it. It is just a discussion about the timing and making sure that due process is followed,” he said.

Henderson suggested manufacturers would require at least two years from the announcement of any such scheme before it became effective.

The Digtital CEnergy report, which will be considered by the government in formulating a labeling scheme for home entertainment products, said flat panel TVs are accounting for a greater share of household energy consumption and urged quick action to stop

But Henderson argues that manufacturers are making progress on lowering energy consumption, particularly in lowering standby power from up to 70 watts with many CRTs to less than one watt with many flat panels.

“Looking back we can say that CRTs used less power but the screen sizes were also smaller. Screen sizes have increased because that is what the market is demanding, and so they are going to use more power,” he said.

Sony today pounced on the opportunity provided by the report to spruik the green credentials of its Bravia LCDs and encouraged consumers to consider energy consumption when buying a TV.

“Our figures show Bravia LCD TV power consumption is at least 30 per cent less than the published specifications of comparable plasma models in Australia,” said Sony senior product manager – visual display, Graham Keogh.

“In terms of the MEPS and energy rating proposal relating to Sony’s Bavia range specifically, like many LCD models on the market, Bravia LCD TVs already comply with many of the standards suggested in the Digital CEnergy discussion paper.”

But energy ratings have long been a highly disputed specification among flat panel TV manufacturers.

Plasma makers including Hitachi have argued that while plasma uses more power at peak levels, in actual daily useage the difference in power consumption between an LCD and plasma will be virtually negligible.