TV on all the time
March 15, 2009 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Craigslist HD TV was $25. The rub being it "doesn't always turn on". The first week it was fine. Then it started not turning on until later in the evening. The boyfriend (possibly) diagnosed the problem and will attempt to fix it when it becomes absolutely necessary. However, until then we are leaving it on all the time.

We are keeping it on one of the video channels. Is there a chance that doing this(keeping it on a channel that is black/silent versus one with action/noise) uses less electricity? Thank you!
posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron to Grab Bag (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Turn down the backlight when not in use, if there is such a setting on that model.
posted by roomwithaview at 11:53 AM on March 15, 2009

No. It uses the same electricity.

Just don't leave it on a channel with a ticker- like CNBC or CNN. It will burn in.
posted by Zambrano at 12:02 PM on March 15, 2009

Just don't leave it on a channel with a ticker- like CNBC or CNN. It will burn in.

Only if the HDTV in question is a plasma TV. And even then, very unlikely.
posted by Justinian at 12:09 PM on March 15, 2009

It depends what kind of teevee it is (plasma vs LCD), but it probably uses (very slightly) more electricity for a black screen than a white one (the backlight runs either way, but a black screen requires sending a charge through more liquid crystals) (LCDs are different from CRTs in this respect), and for noise versus silence.

You can check this with a Kill-a-Watt (or similar device) if you're so inclined.

(Incidentally, LCDs suffer from image persistence, but not burn-in.)
posted by box at 12:12 PM on March 15, 2009

Seconding "turn down the backlight", based on the results of my own Kill-A-Watt. The contents of the screen make little difference, but on my 47" TV the backlight settings vary power usage from 100W to 285W.
posted by roystgnr at 12:54 PM on March 15, 2009

Regarding fixing the TV, trying to fix the inards without knowing what you're doing in dangerous. TVs still have an enormous amount of energy stores up inside even if it is off. If you don't know how to properly discharge said energy or avoid the components, he'd be playing with fire.
posted by jmd82 at 12:56 PM on March 15, 2009

TVs still have an enormous amount of energy stores up inside even if it is off

Again, depends on the type. Very true if it is a CRT, not so true for LCD or Plasma.

The channel choice might make a very slight difference but not enough to matter. Backlight (or brightness on plasma) makes a bigger difference.
posted by cosmac at 1:22 PM on March 15, 2009

Since it worked fine the first week you had it, maybe the key is unplugging it (or just switching the main power with a power strip) for a few hours every day. I'm just guessing, but this may explain why the seller had problems with it, then unplugged it, sold it to you, and it worked fine for a while.

Also, does it not turn on with the remote nor the button on the front?
posted by bengarland at 2:11 PM on March 15, 2009

Not an answer to your question, but just in case you haven't thought about it: If the problem is related to the power supply (rather than the display) and if your TV has an "audio only" feature, you may be able to keep the TV "on" while saving the display and saving electricity. Every Aquos I have owned does this. What model is the TV?
posted by Kwantsar at 2:16 PM on March 15, 2009

I have a cheap-ass Insignia HDTV that had a similar problem after it spent a few months next to a cold exterior wall. We figured out by Googling that running a blowdryer over the top vents did -- something -- but even though it was a major pain in the ass to spend 5 minutes with the blow dryer every time I turned it on, it probably used less power than leaving it on all night and day when it wasn't being watched.

I finally broke down and called a local tv repair place and got it fixed for less than $200, and it's still working perfectly almost 2 years later. I'd recommend trying the blow dryer or getting it fixed ASAP.
posted by maudlin at 2:18 PM on March 15, 2009

Only if the HDTV in question is a plasma TV. And even then, very unlikely.

Any type of TV can burn-in. I have seen enough of them (at TV stations I've worked) to know.
posted by Zambrano at 2:20 PM on March 15, 2009

Also, my Samsung LCD seems to power off the backlight without turning the whole unit off when it cannot detect a source.
posted by roomwithaview at 2:21 PM on March 15, 2009

Bengarland: It won't turn on with will actually make the sound like it's trying to, then nothing.

Kwanstar: It's a Sony Trinintron
posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron at 5:15 PM on March 15, 2009

If it's a Trinitron, that means a tube. Flat tube (well, cylindrical) with an aperture grill. That being the case, I would highly suggest your boyfriend not attempt repair on it himself unless he actually knows what he's doing. Tube TVs have capacitors in them that can store lethal charges for weeks after being unplugged, and all he has to do is touch the wrong point and he could be looking at anything from a really nasty electrical burn, to a trip to the morgue.
posted by barc0001 at 5:55 PM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

barc0001..After reading that to boyfriend, he wants to know "can I wear rubber gloves?" The problem, from what he found with the Google, is one of the chips on the D board is bad. So he needs to remove said board, and solder the bad chip. Obviously,YANMElectrician but I'd prefer not to have a dead given what he plans on doing, is there still that chance?
posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron at 6:53 PM on March 15, 2009

barc0001 is absolutely positively completely right. You do not want to touch the inside of a cathode ray tube television. In addition to the high voltage electronics, the tube has a tendency to explode if you look at it wrong. Oh, and the chassis of the television may be electrically live if the manufacturer cut a few shortcuts to gain FCC EMI certification. If your boyfriend is not a trained technician, I would warn against you doing anything with that TV. It's not worth the risk.

For the record, I'm saying this as a professional electrical engineer.
posted by saeculorum at 8:51 PM on March 15, 2009

My repair guy soldered the chip for (I'm checking the receipt) $176. If you get a similar price from a shop in your town, for a total cost of about $200, you'll have a functioning tv for another few years, at least. And, according to some people on this thread, a functioning boyfriend for many more years.
posted by maudlin at 9:06 PM on March 15, 2009

Maybe you can switch the TV to an input that isn't connected, to turn it 'off'. I know my LCD monitor will switch itself into powersave mode (turning off the display entirely) when there is no signal present on the currently selected input. Perhaps if your TV has HDMI1 and HDMI2, you can switch to the input that isn't in use and it'll go into powersave mode. (Not sure how likely this is to work on TVs, but it's worth a shot.)
posted by knave at 12:07 AM on March 16, 2009

The fact that your boyfrien is asking you "can I wear rubber gloves" indicates he doesnt know what the hell he's doing around capacitors that have enough farads to send him up the styx. Your call.
posted by lalochezia at 2:09 AM on March 16, 2009

I'm almost tempted to wire you $25 so you can cut your losses and throw the TV out the window. Your bf will kill himself if he goes into the back of that set. This isn't some hysterical scaremongering. Bang, dead. Really.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:57 AM on March 17, 2009

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