By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
In this turbulent economy, with energy costs going rising, consumers are more conscious than ever about power consumption in their homes. We’ve also just come off an election where things like climate change and greenhouse gas emissions have been a prominent topic. Energy and environmental issues are in the thoughts and minds of consumers when they purchase and use products.
Many of today’s consumers have multiple electronic gadgets in their homes, which leads to higher electric bills. Consumer electronics manufacturers must begin to offer consumers ways to cut back on energy consumption, to help reduce these unwanted bills and preserve the future of our environment. The LCD industry is becoming a leader in this mission. On the brink of the new Energy Star version 3.0, scheduled to be released this month, LCD televisions are expected to readily meet these requirements while other display technologies will struggle.
Many television manufacturers, including Sharp, have found ways to reduce the overall negative impact on the environment, through the manufacturing, the transportation, the actual power consumption and even the safe disposal of products. Much of this is due to the overall production of the LCD, from the manufacturing factory up through the finished product, with energy efficient practices at the manufacturing facilities.
Manufacturers that are the most environmentally conscious in the building of their products will receive more consideration in the purchase process.
LCD companies are taking this a step further, by building features into the products that directly result in saved energy. Sharp, for example, has two new series of LCD TVs that enable up to 20 percent less energy consumption when compared to previous models. A “Power Saving Mode” enables active contrast and active backlight to reduce the energy of the television while in use. These models also offer a feature to automatically adjust the unit’s brightness based on the lighting of the room.
The key to products like this is to allow for significant power reduction while maintaining overall picture quality. It is the product that offers efficiency in energy consumption, with no sacrifice to performance or design that will be most appealing to consumers.
Of course, we also must be concerned with electronics that have reached the end of their lifecycle. That’s why Sharp is creating a nationwide electronics recycling program to provide free, convenient consumer recycling of Sharp Electronics televisions and other consumer audio and video products. The program will kick off in several states this month, and is slated to expand to all 50 states with many hundreds more sites. Sharp, along with most of the other Tier 1 flat-panel brands have implemented or are in the process of implementing nation-wide recycling programs.
I think we’ll continue to see more consumers looking for energy features right on the box when they go to retail to make a purchase. The combination of social responsibility when manufacturing, coupled with savings on energy expenses throughout the life of a product, is gaining more awareness with consumers and should factor in to all manufacturing processes and decisions.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.