US cable launches energy efficiency initiative

The US cable industry has announced a new initiative dedicated to improving the energy efficiency of consumer set-top boxes and other devices and developing advanced cable-enabled services designed to promote innovative consumer energy conservation measures. A key element of the initiative is the “CableLabs – Energy Lab,” a new facility within the cable industry’s R&D consortium that will concentrate exclusively on improving energy efficiency.

The energy initiative will promote the development, testing, and deployment of technologies that will enable cable subscribers to reduce and manage energy consumption in the home, including establishing new requirements for both cable video devices and network support systems. Among other things, these specifications will enable the manufacturing of devices that have “sleep” capabilities to reduce power consumption when subscribers are not actively watching television. After successful field testing of STBs with next generation power management semiconductors, cable operators will begin promoting the deployment of these devices as part of their ongoing efforts to provide functional, reliable and energy efficient services.

The resulting increased energy efficiency for new model STBs will improve on the strides in recent years by cable operators to utilise devices with dramatically lower energy consumption than previous generations of equipment.

US Senator Dianne Feinstein applauded the initiative: “I am pleased the cable industry was responsive to my request that it work on deploying energy efficient cable boxes,” said Feinstein. “I plan to monitor the progress of this initiative closely. Moving toward cable boxes with ‘light-sleep’ and ‘deep-sleep’ technology is an important victory for American consumers who stand to save substantially on their utility bills.”

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