Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR® set-top box
Most set-top boxes in homes today continuously operate at near full power, even when no one is actively watching or recording a show. Households with one HD DVR and a second HD set-top box may use more electricity than it takes to run a new, average-size ENERGY STAR® refrigerator.
How it works:
- ENERGY STAR certified set-top boxes are 25% more efficient than conventional models. Contact your cable or satellite provider to inquire about swapping out your existing box for an ENERGY STAR model. Look up efficient models here.
- Alternatively, plugging your set-top box, television, and other home theater equipment into the same power strip and then turning that power strip off when you're not using the TV will save energy costs. Plan to turn on your set-top box a few minutes before you intend to start using it, as the box may take some time to boot up. (See below for more information.)
Go the extra mile:
- If your outlets or power strip switch are difficult to reach, try a "smart strip," which can turn off selected devices completely when one device—such as your television—is turned off or in standby mode.
- If you have multiple DVRs in your home, consider paring down to one or keeping the extra DVRs unplugged until they are needed.
Good to know: Since network infrastructure cannot support full functionality without regular software and data updates, your set-top box could, in some cases, take up to three hours to refresh its systems and load certain features, such as the digital programming guide, after being unplugged. You may be able to watch TV during some of this start-up time, but may not have access to your set-top box's functionality, including your program guide.