Zenith Digital TV Converter Box Offers Energy-Saving Features for Budget-Minded Consumers

March 9, 2009

‘Energy Star’ Rated Box Ideal Answer for Easy Reception as Digital TV Transition Enters Final Countdown

WASHINGTON, March 9 /PRNewswire/ — With less than 100 days remaining until all full-power analog television broadcasts are switched off across the nation, experts urge budget-minded viewers to consider an Energy Star(R)-rated digital-to-analog converter box as the ideal way to keep their favorite channels after midnight on June 12.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, which manages the government’s digital TV coupon program, the Zenith DTT901 converter box consumes less energy in “on mode” than any other converter eligible for the $40 federal government discount coupons. The Zenith DTT901 also performs better than the guidelines of the Energy Star program, which stipulates conservative energy use in both the “on mode,” when the box is in use, and in the “sleep mode,” when the converter box is not in use.

“I tested the Zenith converter box and found that the DTT901 not only meets the Energy Star specification but that it actually outperforms the requirements. My testing of the Zenith DTT901 with a consumer watt meter shows that it consumes less than 4 watts when turned on, and about half-a-watt when in sleep mode,” said Marc Alt, president of Marc Alt + Partners, a design, research and brand strategy agency dedicated to sustainable innovation.

Alt, who is the co-founder of Greener Gadgets, a conference that explores “green” trends in the consumer electronics industry, added that “when multiplied by the millions of people who are using this efficient converter box, the upside for both cost savings and energy savings are welcome news. Energy efficiency in consumer electronics is on the front line in helping reduce domestic energy bills and will play an important part in reducing our national energy footprint.”

Converter boxes that qualify for the Energy Star logo must consume no more than eight watts in “on mode” and no more than one watt in sleep mode. The Zenith DTT901 significantly outperforms on both, consuming only enough energy to receive digital TV signals and convert them for viewing on older analog TV sets. Official energy measurements for the DTT901 are 3.9 watts in the on mode and 0.6 watts in sleep. The DTT901 also turns off automatically after four hours of inactivity, to further conserve electricity.

“When we first announced the Energy Star program for digital-to-analog converter boxes two years ago, we hoped that manufacturers would embrace the voluntary program as a way to help consumers save energy and money. I’m delighted that the Zenith box exceeds the stringent Energy Star specification,” said Katharine Kaplan, Energy Star product manager for consumer electronics and office equipment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Before our program was expanded to include converter boxes, it was common for many converters or similar boxes globally to consume 17 watts in the ‘on mode.’ We’ve been able to trim energy consumption by more than half for consumers who purchase converter boxes with the Energy Star label,” Kaplan added. Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency.

Zenith is urging analog TV viewers to install their boxes now to begin enjoying the benefits of digital broadcasting and to avoid possible confusion about receiving the new digital channels on June 12, when all of the nation’s full-power TV broadcasters are required to make the final transition to all-digital service. (As of Feb. 17, more than 640 TV stations or one-third of the nation’s 1,800 full-power broadcasters already have switched off their analog signals.)

The Zenith digital TV transition Web site (www.zenith.com/dtv) includes an online video that, among other things, shows how to scan the new digital channels with a touch of a button on the box’s remote control. Scanning and re-scanning are important functions for consumers to perform as stations in their market go all-digital. Fully captioned and also available online in Spanish, the video shows how easy it is to connect a converter box to an analog TV.

Endorsed by low-power community broadcasters, full-power broadcasters, and environmental and disability advocates for its ease-of-use and low energy consumption, the Zenith DTT901 combines advanced digital technology in a simple package for consumers. When turned on, the converter’s on-board digital tuner delivers additional channels of weather, news and entertainment sent by local digital TV stations.

The ultra-efficient Zenith converter box is available at national retailers at a suggested retail price of less than $60 (just $20 with the government coupon).


Source: newswire

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