'Light Sleep' Mode Conserves STB Power

CableLabs-Energy Lab tests verify significant set-top power savings from 'Light Sleep' mode

March 20, 2012

1 Min Read

LOUISVILLE, Colo. -- Digital set-top boxes being deployed by the U.S. cable industry this year are projected to offer energy savings of 20 percent or more when the devices shift into a new “light sleep” mode, according to recent evaluations by CableLabs - Energy Lab.

As part of a major new cable industry energy conservation initiative announced last fall, the six largest U.S. cable companies, serving approximately 85 percent of U.S. cable households, committed to deployment of a “light sleep” option for new set-top boxes beginning in September 2012. Some of those deployments already are under way. To further accelerate energy savings in the millions of existing digital set-top boxes, the operators will also begin providing software upgrades this fall to set-tops boxes already in consumer homes to enable light sleep in models capable of the functionality.

Measurements taken from the new CableLabs - Energy Lab show the significant improvement in average overall power consumption when the new software shifts the set-top boxes into a “light sleep” mode when they are not in active use. “Light sleep” refers to a lower-power condition that allows essential activities within a set-top box to continue while energy consumption associated with other tasks, such as channel tuning and video display, is discontinued.

“Our CableLabs Energy Lab test measured further reductions of 20 percent or more by implementing light sleep,” said Ralph Brown, CableLabs Chief Technology Officer. “Applying EPA estimates for how long a typical set-top powers down and the average energy savings we measured, this indicates annual energy savings of about 35 kilowatt hours per set-top. We anticipate that operators will have more than 10 million set-top boxes in light sleep operation by the end of this year.”


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