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Consumer Electronics are Going Green

going_greenThis year, the expectation has been set for citizens, companies, and government to act with an environmentally conscious mindset.  Is this a trend for 2009, or is it a lifestyle that will be adopted to improve our society?

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2009, many company’s booths featured “green” products, alternative energy sources, eco-friendly packaging, and environmental efforts.  This is a convention that we, as an audio video dealer, try to attend consistently so that we stay informed of the latest developments in the field of electronics.  Some of these companies had a separate “green” section at the booth, and some had side-by-side models of “green” models and previous models of their products to demonstrate the improvements in eco-friendliness.


The efforts demonstrated by these companies included, but were not limited to:

use of recycled materials in product manufacturing

buy-back and recycling programs for used products

new products on the market that are more energy efficient

charitable environmental causes and projects

emphasis on compliance with Energy Star ratings

Specifically, Toshiba was honored with “green” ratings by Greenpeace for its eco-friendly laptop, Portege R600, which fell on the list shortly under the “greenest” product, Lenovo’s L2440x computer monitor.  Toshiba has begun a tree-planting program in Southern California’s areas damaged by wildfire, to make an effort toward their goal of reducing their carbon footprint upon the planet.

LG, Panasonic, and Samsung are among some of the companies who are now producing TVs and/or washer and dryer sets that operate on less wattage than the previous generations of these products.  The LG50, LG60, and LG70 series of LCD televisions also include an ambient light sensor for adjusted power usage, so when less energy can be used to operate the device, it will.  In addition, Panasonic and Sony are also involved in recycling and buy-back programs for CRTs, laptops, batteries, and other types of electronics that need to be disposed.

In an effort to create awareness of power usage, energy-monitoring devices are starting to appear on the market from companies such as:  P3 International, Ecobutton, and Green Plug.  These plug-in devices monitor and measure energy flow and may cause idle devices to hibernate when appropriate.

Alternative energy sources have been extended to produce a device we all probably thought was either earthunimaginable or would only exist in the millennial world of the Jetson’s:  a pocket sized solar panel.  The smallest version of this portable energy source, made by PowerFilm, unfolds from a package that is wallet-sized, holds two AA batteries, and retails at $55.  This is an incredible tool for hikers, backpackers, boaters, and members of the military.

Across the board, electronic companies are making efforts to give consumers the option of being “green” in their purchasing decisions.  It is up to us to meet their challenge not only this year, but in our future.

We look forward to bringing you greener ideas and products with out future home theater design. Doing our part creating a greener earth.

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Industry News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mine’s Thinner, Newer and More Connected than Yours

By Dawn Hatchard

cesBigger is not better this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Efficiency, internet capabilities, and portable devices have taken over the “mine’s bigger than yours” competition seen in recent years.

Meeting the demand for more energy efficient TVs, Samsung has introduced 1-inch thick TVs that reportedly use 40% less energy. Rather than fluorescent lamps, these ultra-thin TVs utilize LEDs (light-emitting diodes) as the light source.
Netflix has done it again by making its innovative online movie ordering available from your TV. LG has paired with Netflix to enable users to stream some 12,000 movies and shows right to the HD sets with no additional equipment required.

Are 12,000 titles not enough for you? Amazon has partnered up with the new players, Roku Inc., to offer 40,000 movies and shows on the $100 Roku player (www.roku.com).

Of course there is more available with these internet-friendly TVs than just the ability to stream videos. Small internet applications can be utilized alongside the program you’re watching. Couch surfing will take on a whole new meaning as you watch a movie and stay on top of messages, all on one screen. All the big names have hopped on this bandwagon, including: LG, Samsung, Pioneer, Pioneer Elite, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic.

What will one of these broadband TVs set us back, as the consumer? It is less than you might think; only a mere $200-$300 more than standard HD sets.

Do you gotta have BLU-RAY? Want it everywhere? This portable prayer has been answered by the thoughtful folks at Panasonic. A couple of specs include: 8.9 inch LCD and VIERA CAST internet accessibility. VIERA CAST offers access to Amazon’s video-on-demand, YouTube, and other popular applications. One unfortunate condition is the 3-hour rechargeable battery, which limits the number of movies you can watch before recharging.

No pricing information is available from Panasonic, but we all know that if you want the premium quality of BLU-RAY, you must pay the premium price.

January 9, 2009 Posted by | Industry News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments