Ocean Blue Develops 'Deep Hibernation' software to tackle rising standby power consumption

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

BRISTOL, England — Ocean Blue Software, the digital TV specialist, has developed an intelligent, “deep hibernation” system for digital TVs and set-top boxes to reduce standby power consumption. The new software monitors device usage and will help tackle the increasing problem of standby power consumption, which currently costs UK householders over £500 million a year, producing some 3.1 million tones of carbon dioxide*.

Developed as part of Ocean Blue’s Sunrise software for digital TV, the Eco-TV module monitors device usage and reduces consumption by switching off functions that are not required. Freeview boxes, for example, consume 12 watts, on average, when in standby mode. Sunrise Eco-TV would quickly push the box into deep hibernation, slashing consumption by an estimated 70%.

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“The proliferation of electronic devices in the home is pushing up power consumption but few householders realise quite how much,” commented Ken Helps, Managing Director of Ocean Blue Software. “Pressing a button on the remote to switch the TV or Freeview box into standby is very convenient but very wasteful. Consumers want the convenience and it is up to the manufacturers to find ways to make their devices more efficient. This software is a major step in that direction.”

The number of TVs in the UK is estimated to reach 74 million by 2020 (up from just 18 million in 1970), meaning that there will be more televisions than people to watch them. A recent study by Which? found that the worst devices, Freeview boxes and DVD recorders, in some cases consumed over 20 watts in standby, and that a typical combination of entertainment devices left on standby could cost households almost £40 a year each in wasted electricity.

Ocean Blue Software is working with several electronics manufacturers to implement Sunrise Eco-TV into future generation of chipsets and CE products. In some cases, the software can make instant savings, in others new electronics will also be required to achieve greatest savings, which will take some months to develop.

* Figures from the Energy Saving Trust on standby power use in the UK. The Trust also found that the average household has up to 12 gadgets left on standby or charging at any one time.