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Moral Quandry: DVRs Waste Energy ... Should We Keep Using Them?

by Jean Bentley, posted Jun 15th 2011 3:00PM
TiVo, DVR, cable boxThe miracle device known as the DVR -- the digital video recorder, for those of you living in the middle ages -- had to have at least one downside, right?

Sadly, this one is hard to ignore. According to a new report, the magical machines that Americans use to parse the crowded primetime TV schedule use a cumulative 27 terawatt-hours of electricity every year. The Los Angeles Times puts it into perspective: That's the same amount of energy per year as nine coal-burning power plants.

And that energy? Not cheap. It costs consumers nearly $3 billion every year, with $2 billion of that coming when the boxes are off.

Something to note -- this includes all forms of digital cable boxes, so even if you aren't hip to the DVR technology, you're still a culprit. As always, those inventive Europeans have come up with a way for the boxes to use less power when inactive, but who knows when that technology will hit North American shores.

So, now that we know the environmental cost of being able to watch both '16 and Pregnant' and 'The Good Wife' on Tuesday nights (um, not like that's a personal example or anything), what can we do to decrease our energy consumption? It's unrealistic to advocate getting rid of those boxes, since that's pretty much the only way you can access even the most basic of TV packages nowadays, but should we start bugging our cable providers to look into new technology?

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Connie

I have to admit this point. the DVR bring much splendidness to our life. If DVRs Waste Energy so where does those energy should consumption? http://www.awholesalecompany.com/mini-dvr.html buy cheap mini dvr.

September 27 2011 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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June 16 2011 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Captain Spork

Sorry got my numbers backwards. Your DVR is adding $5 per month to your energy bill. Oh the humanity!!!

June 16 2011 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Captain Spork

DVR users represent anywhere from 40-45 percent of the market and at with the latest numbers of tv households in the US that's roughly 50 million dvr households. That breaks down to a $60/yr for every DVR user or a whopping $12 a month!!!

You know how much it costs to run a single 8 GB server every year? Anywhere from $12,000-20,000. How many of those do we think this very website uses on a daily basis? Get real.

DVR's are wonderful technology that are only going to become more energy efficient. The convenience and enjoyment tv viewers and families get out these "wasteful" boxes far surpasses any bogus, out-of-context "terrawatt" energy statistic.

June 16 2011 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
General Kenobi

What a crock... so, what did this have to do with DVRs at all? The number of cable boxes undoubtedly dwarfs the number of DVRs out there... probably by a factor of 50 or more. And yet, on this TV website, you didn't suggest we simply stop watching tv, but rather, you zeroed in on a single product that doesn't hold a candle in terms of market share compared to the boxes themselves, and try to put that up as a moral quandry? Really? Get a life and maybe try to sell this crazy to the uppities at a movie site... or maybe a book site... you know, those people with a superiority complex who look down on people who even own a tv??? yeah.... certainly not good fodder for a tv site, particularly when your initial point is so stupid and non-existant.

This site is really becoming a waste of time.... wonder how much energy is wasted putting this crap on the net? I mean if they only stopped posting videos of Price is Right and Let's Make a Deal that NOBODY wants to click into............ maybe that'd save the world. Stupidity.

June 16 2011 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt

so... dvr's waste energy, cell phones give cancer, again, atm's are the reason jobs are hard to find... does anyone notice a pattern... look at my right hand while my left is stealing your money, freedom and your life. If you cannot see that, I do feel sad for you, cause somewhere you forgot to think for yourself. Watch, listen and think... than all things will become clear. Freedom can only exist if your willing to stand up, speak up and be heard.

June 16 2011 at 3:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ronan11

I always take my life lessons from Bill Maher. He is the typical liberal blowhard telling everyone else how to live while doing exactly what he wants. Always with a smug sense of superiority that he is the only one smart enough to figure life out. There is plenty of energy and life on this planet has never been better at anytime than right now by almost any measure you can think of. Yet the sky is constantly falling as liberals and environmentalists move from one crisis to another to help push there agenda forward. All the while it is always do as I say, not as I do.

June 15 2011 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Alan

I think there was a recent episode of Real Time where Bill Maher said that he didn't think Americans would be willing to give up their remote controls to prevent the eventual demise of the human race. Based on the replies here, I guess he was right.

June 15 2011 at 9:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Gaw

DVRs don't "waste" energy, they "use" energy. And in my house, at least, they will continue to do so. Of course, it's a free country--if DVR energy use bothers you, get rid of yours. Of course, you should probably avoid cooking, bathing, reading at night, reading this web page...

June 15 2011 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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