Finding the Greenest Set-top Boxes

The US ENERGY STAR program looks only at energy efficiency and not other sustainability factors. The program uses a metric called Total Energy Consumption (TEC).

There were only four models rated at 50 TEC or less this year, less than half as many as a year ago. Apple TV, with two of the four models, is by far and away the most efficient, helped by its very low stand-by power consumption.

The European Union has a program for STB energy efficiency and we've listed the manufacturers that signed its Code of Conduct. There are also three European STB models that received the German Ecolabel.

We derived the following table from the ENERGY STAR database.

Company Model TEC
Apple MGY52 (Apple TV 4th gen) 7
Apple MP7P2 (Apple TV 4K) 8
KAONMEDIA StarHub Streaming Go Box - KM_SH368AT 23
LG S60CLI 38

The EU has a Code of Conduct on Energy Efficiency of Digital TV Service Systems. Partners include:
Advanced Digital Broadcast SA
Matsushita Electric (UK) Ltd
Nokia
Pace Micro Technology PLC
Philips
Pioneer Europe N.V.
Proximus
Swisscom
Technicolor

Blue Angel gives its German Ecolabel to three models of the Telekom Mediareceiver series: 601 Sat, MR 401 Typ B, and MR Entry/MR 201.

More about STBs and Green ICT

2018

We derived the following table from the ENERGY STAR database. We expect power improvements with each generation, which is why we reduced the cut-off point to 50 TEC for this listing.

Company Model TEC
Apple Apple TV MGY52 7
Technicolor IPV5010 36
DIRECTV C41-700 36
DIRECTV C41-700 37
LG S60CLI 38
DIRECTV C61-700 39
DIRECTV C51-100 39
DIRECTV C41-500 39
DIRECTV C41-100 40
DIRECTV C61-100 40
DIRECTV C51-700 42

* This is Apple TV 4th Generation. The recently announced Apple TV 4K is not in the database, but we have posted the Apple TV 4K environmental specs.

2013 Rankings

About twenty set-top boxes (STBs) or cable, IP, or satellite from seven manufacturers came in at less than 65W. This is a big improvement from two years ago, when our top twenty cut-off was 100W.

Apple TV is by far and away the most efficient, helped by its very low stand-by power consumption. We 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.