Finding the Greenest Set-top Boxes

The US ENERGY STAR program looks only at energy efficiency and not other sustainability factors. About twenty set-top boxes (STBs) or cable, IP, or satellite from seven manufacturers came in at less than 65W in the program's Total Energy Consumption (TEC) metric. This is a big improvement from two years ago, when our top twenty cut-off was 100W.

Apple TV is the most efficient, helped by its very low stand-by power consumption. We the derived the following table from the ENERGY STAR database.

Company Model Type [1] TEC
Apple Apple TV MD199 IP 6
Panasonic DMP-MST60 IP 16
Funai NetBOX TB600FX2, Magnavox NetBOX TB600MG2F/F7 IP 18
Sony NETWORK MEDIA PLAYER NSZ-GS7, NSZ-GX70 IP 21
Pace SD Micro DTA DC50Xu DTA 29
General Instrument Motorola Mobility Set-top Box HD-DTA100u DTA 35
ARRIS MP2050NA IP 38
Vizio VAP430 IP 38
DIRECTV L14-A-700 Satellite 39
Cisco DTA 170HD Cable 43
DIRECTV L14-O-700 Satellite 44
DIRECTV C31-700 Thin-client/Remote 47
DIRECTV D12-700 Satellite 51
ARRIS Media Player MP2100A Series IP 55
DIRECTV L14-100 Satellite 55
Pace DC60Xu DTA 56
DISH Echostar VIP211Z Satellite 61
EchoStar 6400-2 Satellite 61
DIRECTV D12-100 Satellite 63

[1] IP = "internet protocol" STB to receive content through home/office LANs. DTA = "digital transport adapter" so analog TV sets can receive DTV (digital television) signals.

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