[STB] Energy efficient set-top boxes on the way
[Continued from an earlier thread: »[STB] energy star compliant STBs? ]
Today, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) have come to a voluntary agreement on STB energy conservation, so that at least 90% of all new set-tops purchased and deployed by cable MSOs will meet EPA Energy Star 3.0 guidelines:
CEA, NCTA Agree on Set-Top Energy Efficiency
Say new box energy standards will save consumers $1.5 billion
By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable - December 6, 2012
DirecTV, AT&T, Dish, Verizon join NCTA effort to deploy green set-tops
Groups say conservation agreement may reduce electricity bills by $1.5 billion annually
By Steve Donohue, FierceCable - December 6, 2012
Vendors, video service providers onboard energy conservation agreement for STBs
By Brian Santo, CED Magazine - December 6, 2012
See the voluntary agreement here: »i.ncta.com/VoluntaryAgreement-En···oxes.pdf
Today's Light Reading Cable daily news round-up item (»www.lightreading.com/document.as···lr_cable) has a good summary of the agreement:
Fifteen pay-TV providers and device makers have signed a Set-Top Energy Conservation Agreement that, they claim, will result in annual residential electricity savings of $1.5 billion-plus. The five-year initiative, which includes the backing of competitors such as Comcast Corp., DirecTV Group, Dish Network Corp., Verizon Communications and AT&T, takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.
Among the commitments: At least 90 percent of all new boxes bought and deployed after 2013 will meet Energy Star 3.0 efficiency levels, while "light sleep" capabilities will be downloaded by cable operators to more than 10 million already-deployed DVRs. The participating telcos and satellite TV guys pledged to offer an "automatic power down" feature in 90 percent of set-tops purchased and deployed starting next year. All members will also test a new "deep sleep" function in next-generation boxes and, if it works, deploy it.
To assist in meeting these new standards, Seagate has just introduced a new, lower-power, 2.5 hard disk drive specifically engineered for use in always-on video applications such as in DVRs:
Seagate Announces Video HDD for 24/7 Applications
By Anton Shilov, X-bit labs - December 13, 2012
It would raise the price but are SSDs more energy efficient?
Well, according to the specs I found on the new Seagate 500GB 2.5" Video HDD (Model ST500VT000: »www.seagate.com/internal-hard-dr···2-5-hdd/), it uses 1.5W while active and 0.66W while idle.
In comparison, the specs on the SanDisk Extreme 480GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (Model SDSSDX-480G-G25: »www.sandisk.com/products/ssd/sata/extreme/) says "Active Power: 0.6W," which is about 60% less than that of the Seagate HDD.
As far as cost, while I did not see any prices on the new Seagate 500GB Video HDD, a similar model on Amazon (»www.amazon.com/Seagate-Momentus-···06KYYBMI) was selling for $69, while that SanDisk 480GB SSD was selling for around $360 (»www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme-2···06EKIQYM).
So while an equivalent SSD would be about 60% more energy efficient, it would also cost maybe 5 times more right now. Probably not worth the approx. 1W in power savings.
|reply to Zoder |
Currently, an SSD would NOT be very good for a DVR. The Flash chips used in SSD's can only flip bits so many times before they stop working. SSD's use complicated algorithms to keep the 'wear' even. A DVR is CONSTANTLY reading and writing and the SSD would wear out pretty fast.
said by andyross:Yes, that's something I hadn't thought about, but manufacturers seem to be gradually improving the life of SSDs. As it says in the Wikipedia article on SSDs (»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSD ):
Currently, an SSD would NOT be very good for a DVR. The Flash chips used in SSD's can only flip bits so many times before they stop working.
Each block of a flash-based SSD can only be erased (and therefore written) a limited number of times before it fails. The controllers manage this limitation so that drives can last for many years under normal use. [I guess that doesn't include use in DVRs, though.]
said by andyross:Yes, it's called "wear leveling": »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear_leveling
SSD's use complicated algorithms to keep the 'wear' even. A DVR is CONSTANTLY reading and writing and the SSD would wear out pretty fast.
The Wikipedia article on SSDs has a very informative chart comparing SSDs with hard disk drives across all their various attributes/characteristics.
Thanks for the info guys.