TV3 Sunrise spreading FUD.

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 17-Oct-2007 08:27

I turned my TV on a few minutes ago to see James Coleman and Carly Flynn in their office with a woman talking about recycling and energy savings in the office. Along with the usual solutions such as turning off PC's and recycling goods was the claim (while pointing at the Dell LCD monitor) that black pixels use less energy than white pixels so having a black desktop background uses less energy and the woman refers to a site as proof of this. Unfortunately for her (and TV3) she's failed to check the full facts and infact many people listening to this advice will actually be increasing their energy consumption and not saving energy due to the differences between old CRT technology which has to use more power to create whites and LCD technology which has to use more power to create blacks.

Check out this detailed test

In summary

There’s no argument that on CRT monitors, Blackle does reduce the power consumption but it’s not by the 15-watts claimed. We tested the four CRT monitors we could get our hands on and found that only one unit, an older 22-inch Compaq, showed the 15-watts or more power differential.

But with the LCD monitor market penetration worldwide now beyond 75%, it’s the LCD monitor power consumption that’s just as, if not more, important.

The most interesting aspect we found was that of the LCD monitors we tested of size 22-inches or less, all showed an increase in power consumption using Blackle. Beyond the 22-inch mark however, five of the six models showed a fractional decrease in power consumption when using Blackle, except the ViewSonic VX2835wm, which showed a 2.2-watt increase.

For the five that dropped their power consumption, the average drop was 3.16-watts, again, not the 15-watts being suggested.

Just because you heard it on breakfast TV doesn't mean it's true! Smile

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Comment by freitasm, on 17-Oct-2007 09:55

That's like the Greens asking to ban water... ROFL.

Comment by lugh, on 17-Oct-2007 13:06

Like anyone (except housewives and retired folk) takes anything on any of the breakfast shows seriously.  Mind you, this could lead to interesting questions being asked of retail staff (e.g. @DSE)...

Q: "Are you sure the black pixels aren't using power?"
A: "Of course, the extra RAM I've sold you will take care of that."

(mmMm, Carly )

Comment by rscole86, on 17-Oct-2007 13:22

Did you not know that DSE use the latest in power saving RAM?

Comment by lugh, on 17-Oct-2007 13:38

They do have power-saving RAM?  It must be true - it's on Geekzone!  (watch for the article in the Herald)

Comment by rscole86, on 17-Oct-2007 13:44

It looks like I might be wrong, an unreliable source has just told that the RAM actually produces power! and feeds it back into the grid, therefore reducing your power bill.

Comment by lugh, on 17-Oct-2007 15:40

Power-producing RAM??  If I upgrade to 4GB, my computer could run itself!  When are they coming out at DSE? 

Comment by Mike, on 18-Aug-2008 04:29

There are around 16 different versions of "black google" online. The best one I've found is Cleanblack is the only version that allows you to change the text colors of the google search results. Try it yourself by going to

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sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at