Plasma TVs to be Banned in Europe?

When it comes to entertainment in the home, most people care about screen size, color accuracy, image quality, and how many bells and whistles a TV comes with. Rarely do we consider energy consumption when buying a new HDTV.

In what could set worldwide precedent, the European Union is looking to ban sales of new plasma television sets in all member nations (meaning most of Europe). While plasma televisions are top notch when it comes to color accuracy and contrast ratio, they can also be the most energy-hungry appliance found in homes today. According to Dailymail, Plasmas typically use up to four times as much energy as a CRT television while also emitting much more carbon dioxide into the air.

Along with phasing out the 100W light bulb, the EU plans on phasing out the most demanding of plasma sets this spring. While plasma televisions may be going the way of the dodo in Europe, LCD TV's are safe. A 42" LCD typically uses the same amount of energy as a smaller traditional CRT TV.

A spokesperson for the EU's Department-for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said certain "eco-friendly" plasma sets will remain on the market. While many consider America to be the king when it comes to television sales, Britain alone has approximately 60 million TV's, one for every person in the country.

While the bulk of plasma sets may be taken off the market in Europe, LCD's are outselling plasma sets by a wide margin, usually 2-to-1. LCD TV's are traditionally less expensive, and also come in a much wider array of sizes. When was the last time you saw a plasma TV smaller than 42 inches? While image aficionados still love plasmas for their black levels, the average joe is going to save a few hundred dollars (sometimes more), and go LCD.

Devin Connors currently works as a community manager for Rocket League at Psyonix Studios, but he was previously a senior editor at Tom's Guide, writing about gaming, phones, and pretty much every other tech category. His work has also appeared in publications including Shacknews, GameZone, The Escapist, Machinima, and more. 

  • xsamitt
    Guess I'm not the average Joe,I just bought a Pioneer pro 151fd 60 incher.Ouch.
  • the last resort
    what about cars? last time i checked those completely blew everything away in terms of CO2 output and energy inefficiency. Why don't they make more efficient cars. Besides, its Europe, most people don't travel more than 150 miles/day, so an electric car would be fine.

    Although, being Europe, alot of people dont drive cars.
  • m3kt3k
    UMMMM Have yet to see an EV that gets 150miles on a charge. Besides this is nuts. They ban Plasmas and 100w bulbs? here we are banning bulbs for the damn CFL's. I cant wait really then I get to sue every store that refuses to sell the old ones since the CFL's burn my skin like a sun burn. I guess thats what you get when you have a Nanny state.
  • mdillenbeck
    Personally, I think this is a good move. However, I like to compromise - how about allow them to keep their energy inefficient electronics but charge them an annual tax. It'll be high enough to pay for the assessors to go door-to-door and subsidize the energy costs of the rest to the point where they would be if people actually gave a darn and realized that energy efficiency is one of the key issues in creating a sustainable energy economy.
  • bin1127
    Industry and commercial institutions will create more pollution than any combination of consumers can. Stop making gestures that just looks nice cause in the end nothing can possibly change from banning plasmas. You can always raise electricity prices to kill some demand. but realistically, try banning manufacturing from Britain.
  • Plus,the resolution of Plasma TV's is way lower. You can see a clear 'Grain' on plasma TV's while you can't really see them on an LCD. (unless peering 5inch from the screen).

    Plasma makes little sense. In order to not see the grain on Plasma TV's you need to put the Plasma screen further away. To put it away from you, the TV needs to increase in size, in order to have the same viewing comfort as with a similar LCD closer by.
    Increase the TV,and you increase the powerdraw exponentially; meaning, putting a TV 2x further away, it'll need to grow 4x in size (2xlength, 2x width).
    In the end you end up with needing a larger room, you see the same resolution, and use about 4 times the power of an LCD.

    With the coming OLED TV's it makes little to no sense anymore to buy plasma. Oled has near to plasma contrast and brightness levels, and consumes even less than LCD.
    Oled TV's also can come in 3-5mm thickness;about the size of a mirror with a stand. Way more attractive, way less powerconsumption, and viewing way intenser colors.
  • the last resortwhat about cars? last time i checked those completely blew everything away in terms of CO2 output and energy inefficiency. Why don't they make more efficient cars. Besides, its Europe, most people don't travel more than 150 miles/day, so an electric car would be fine.Although, being Europe, alot of people dont drive cars.
    I think most European cars are from Japan make. Like Toyota,mitshubishi, honda,.... Those cars already have a pretty good efficiency!
    (talking about 32mpg). Cars are consuming and polluting as much as cars from the '50's, only they have an increase of over 2x in horsepower, and are tonns safer, and have more comfort.
  • zodiacfml
    i think, they require eco-friendly plasmas not totally ban it,
    though almost the same banning it since i haven't seen any efficient or eco plasma display.
  • tttbone1
    I love my Panasonic Plasma TV. Everyone that sees it comments positively on it. I'm really not concerned about whether my TV uses more electricity for the couple hours a day I have it on. The comment about seeing "grain" on a plasma just isn't true. You should try to follow the guidelines for seating distance versus screen size and resolution.
  • davidgbailey
    I love it when people agree with banning things in a free market. It's a great idea until they ban something you want. Maybe they'll ban religion next.