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California Proposes Ban on Power Hungry TVs

We often wonder why plasma TV technology is taking such a seemingly quick exit from the industry. Perhaps it’s because of the green movement?

Pioneer announced earlier this year that it would be ditching the HDTV market altogether, which sadly means no more beautiful Kuro displays. Vizio won’t be releasing anymore plasma TVs either, choosing to go strictly LCD from here on.

Could this be a case of superior technology winning out? Home theater nuts could argue back and forth between LCD and plasma nearly as bad as computer users go at Mac vs. PC; but for those who live for everything green, perhaps LCD is the better technology.

The California Energy Commission will this summer propose a ban on selling televisions that don’t meet specific energy standards, reported Wired. The proposal has two tiers, with one coming into place 2011, and the next phase in 2013.

Televisions will have to fit under a specific power formula. Sets sold starting 2011 would have to have a power usage under (0.156 * screen area (in2) + 80) Watts. Sets sold starting 2013 would have to be even more efficient, down to (0.12 * screen area (in2) + 25) Watts.

The first phase in 2011 would save an estimated 3,831 gigawatt hours, bringing down TV energy consumption by 33 percent. The 2013 guideline would bring it down by 49 percent.

The proposal is being met with some resistance, particularly from those behind the Energy Star program, who feel that they’ve been doing all they need to in regulating efficiency. Makers of large CRTs (they still have those?) and plasmas are also displeased by the plan, but LCD sellers such as Vizio are actually in support of it.

Mind you, this is just a proposal that could still change, or be shut down altogether. But with TVs getting more efficient, and new technologies such as laser TV and perhaps even OLED, the guidelines by 2011 could seem like a walk in the park. Wouldn’t that be nice? … Unless you’re still clutching onto that plasma TV faith.