Would you stay, on Standby

Posted by Dom

Ian’s recent blog highlighting the ‘Switch Off Something’ campaign prompts me to share a small but curious thing that’s been bugging me the last couple of days.

My trusty TV blew up on Friday night, which is not exactly the thing you need after coming home from the pub wanting to just sit down and watch the Euro 2008 highlights. Seeing as I’d had it for nearly 10 years, though, it was hardly surprising, and it enabled me to go out on the Saturday and buy a new slimmer, sexier telly that would hopefully last me another good long stretch (I’m not exactly a crazy spender when it comes to electrical goods).

After loads of debating and mind-changing, I settled for for a 32-inch LG50 TV, which ticked most of my boxes in the fact that it looked sleek, wasn’t ridiculously expensive, had good picture quality and was also apparently an ‘energy-saving’ model.  

Now I’m not exactly an expert on energy saving, and I’m not going to debate the claims made on the outside of the box for the model’s environmentally-friendly credentials. One thing that I don’t understand, though, is that this brand new TV, which looks attractive, packs impressive performance and is in all other techy respects top-notch, *doesn’t have an OFF switch*.

Yup, the TV can only be put in ‘Standby’ mode, which, as many politicians and green-aware campaigners will tell you, is not exactly a good thing when you’re trying to save electricity.

What’s the reason for this? Is the TV so environmentally conscious that it doesn’t need a mere Off switch to be a green powerhouse? Have the negative effects of leaving your television on Standby been exaggerated by the media? Is there actually a cunningly hidden Power button in some secret compartment on the telly? (I’m pretty sure this isn’t the case).

I’m flummoxed, and the few reviews I’ve dug out on the internet of the LG model seem to be pretty puzzled as well. It just seems such a… weird omission when so much has gone into every other aspect of the telly.

OK, it’s not exactly the end of the world. You can pull the power plug out of the TV, or switch the whole thing off at the wall (if you can actually get to the wall in the first place, which in the labyrinth of wires and cables at the back of my television, isn’t easy).

All the same, I’m just surprised that in these energy-saving times, one of the simplest, most important devices to help you do your bit for the environment – the ‘Off’ switch – has been ignored on a seemingly state-of-the-art TV.

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