Groups propose power consumption standards for converter box

A letter last week from three interested parties to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration urged the agency to adopt specific minimum energy use requirements.
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Three groups at the center of the digital-to-analog converter box issue have written the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) asking the agency to adopt specific minimum energy use requirements for converter boxes.

An Oct. 25 letter from the Association for Maximum Service Television, Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition and the Consumer Electronics Association to Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce John Kneuer requested that the boxes be required to meet a 2W standby power limit and include an auto-power-down feature.

According to the letter, the three stakeholders reached an agreement that “takes advantage of an important opportunity for energy savings and avoids state-level regulation of converter boxes potentially detrimental to the nation’s transition to digital television.”

The groups want converter boxes eligible for the government coupons to use no more than 2W in a sleep state and to have an automatic power-down feature.

The move is seen as an effort to keep the digital TV transition on track by nationalizing power requirements and superseding efforts on the part of California to impose its own power consumption regulations for the boxes.

In the letter, the groups expressed their continued support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program for digital-to-analog converter boxes.