Samsung has strongly denied a report in a British newspaper citing research suggesting that a few of its TVs in Europe appear to use less energy in tests than in real-world conditions.
The problem, according to the Guardian, is this feature only tends to activate during lab tests when TVs are made to show fast sequences of different material from different sources (such as DVDs, live broadcast and so on), presumably to such an extent that channel-hopping like that in real life would be unrealistic.
But under real-world viewing conditions, no reductions in power consumption were registered, making the sets’ power consumption, fuel bills and carbon emissions correspondingly higher.
There is no suggestion that Samsung, the world’s biggest TV manufacturer, behaved illegally, although energy efficiency campaigners claim that European Union testing procedures are overly generous.
So in other words, it’s distancing itself from the Volkswagen scandal by saying that Motion Lighting isn’t a secretive tool that only comes on during lab-tests, but instead it’s a marketed feature that’s offered on many of its TVs.
Motion lighting was introduced in 2011 across all our TVs as part of a range of features we have developed to help reduce the environmental impact of our TV technology.
The motion lighting feature reduces blur during images of moving objects by modulating the backlight so that viewers can not see the exact moment the pixels change colour, but this often has the effect of darkening the overall picture, thereby reducing power consumption.
It’s worth noting that Samsung doesn’t potentially face criminal charges like Volkswagen does-there’s no law explicitly detailing TV emissions after all-but the idea that there are ways to cheat output tests across electronics products too causes concern for regulators.
If it has we will estimate at what scale and whether the use of alleged defeat devices results in products being tested as compliant when they are in fact not.
“These displays immediately lower their energy use by adjusting the brightness of the display when the standard film is being run”, the report concluded.
She stressed that at this stage the Commission had not launched a formal investigation.
The second study was carried out by the Swedish Energy Agency, which wrote to the European Commission to alert it of its findings in January.
Research underway by the National Resources Defence Council (NRDC) in the United States has also uncovered what Noah Horowitz, the NRDC’s director for energy efficiency standards called “a curious anomaly with one manufacturer’s TV’s”.
‘Consistently high energy consumption rates’
It’s estimated that TVs make up as much as 10 percent of a household’s energy use.