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Tivo energy consumption--what should we do?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by TiVoEvan74, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. TiVoEvan74

    TiVoEvan74 New Member

    Sep 11, 2004
    We're doing a home energy audit and discovered to our shock that our two Tivos were consuming more power than anything else in our house, including our furnace!

    They are two Series 2 DVD units (Humax and Toshiba) and both draw 60 watts! That's equivalent to a 120w light bulb running 24-7. While at first glance that doesn't seem like much it works to 3 kwh in a day, 90 in a month, and over 1,000 in a year! At 16 cents/kwh, it turns out to be about $170 a year!

    I hope my calculations are wrong (they certainly could be :))!

    Both machines are on lifetime (fortunately), but it was a major surprise to realize that we're paying roughly $15 a month just to run them and that they are the biggest energy hog in the house!

    Looking for advice on possible solutions on how to save energy

    1. Live with it.

    2. Put them each on a timer that shuts them off 16 hours a day.

    3. Replace both with a newer Tivo.

    4. ???

    #1 keeps hitting the pocket book.

    #2 according to many puts wear and tear on the Tivos.

    #3 would lose the DVD capability. In addition, we're on basic cable, meaning analog land-- no digital cable. So, getting a new Tivo may not even be an option.

    Any advice appreciated!
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    If you were to replace them, series 3 and above can handle analog cable, digital cable with the cable card, OTA without a digital converter box.
  3. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    I think your claim of 60W usage is far off. These boxes draw more like 25W apiece. How did you arrive at the 60W figure? There is no good way to lower the energy cost and still keep DVR functionality.
  4. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    Not sure if the newer boxes will be much better but I'm really surprised to see the 60 watt numbers because Weaknees claims that most S2 boxes only have a 38 watt power supply (http://www.weaknees.com/powertrip.php). I suspect that the hard drive is the biggest consumer and the ratings on the old drives seems to be close to that of the newer drives. For instance, the stock 40GB drive from a TCD240 shows 0.80 amps at 5 volts and 0.45 amps at 12 volts (9.4 watts). The stock 160GB drive from an S3HD shows 0.65 amps at 5 volts and 0.50 amps at 12 volts (9.25 watts). The stock 320GB drive from a Premiere is the same as the 160GB from the S3HD.
  5. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    The last time I pulled out my Kill-a-Watt for the S2, it registered 33 watts, half of your number.
  6. TiVoEvan74

    TiVoEvan74 New Member

    Sep 11, 2004
    Well, I got the 60 watt figure from the technical specifications in the back of the Tivo manuals!!

    They are both DVD units-- the Humax and the Toshiba versions.

    To be frank, I did round off the numbers. The manuals say 59 watts!!

    So, do you think each company's manual is wrong? Or, is it that the DVD units draw more power? Perhaps that's needed to run both the Tivo and the DVD unit, which happens at the same time.

    If they actually running only at 33-38 watts, that changes the equation.

    I'll have to get a Kill-a-Watt meter!
  7. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    Get a meter, I am sure you will find the actual draw much lower. The DVD drive is not running all the time, but at most it draws 2-3W when it is.
  8. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    I didn't have my Kill-a-Watt when I had my old Toshiba TX20, so I can't tell you what the draw was, sorry. I can't imagine it'd be much more than a standard S2 though (same platform). But I recommend getting one ... it's cheap and can be a real eye-opener.
  9. JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    Standard single tuner S2 = 23W.
    This from my kill-a-watt which I plugged in now.

    I recommend this product if you are going to go the green path route. Many devices will offer a maximum power that's an instantaneous spike, but he ongoing power can be a fraction of that. The meter shows 22,23,24 over the hour since I plugged it in. I see you have a different model, I bet yours isn't much higher. 25*24*30= 18KWH/mo or $2.70 per Tivo, give or take. The risk of turning it on/off 365 times a year to save $30 isn't worth it, IMHO.
  10. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    Aug 2, 2003
    The Premiere is designed to draw less power than older models, and it will still handle analog cable.

    The Premiere XL4 (nee Elite) draws even less, but it will not handle analog.
  11. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You can never use the figure from the back of any appliance, as they all give you a higher wattage than one will ever see when in normal use.
    Using a Kill-a-Watt meter my Humax with DVD TiVo came out over 24 hours at about 40 watts.
  12. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    You need to do the mats, if investing in a new TiVo or TiVos will pay for the electric savings.

    Analog cable is going away eventually, so you will need to add a DTA, or use a newer digital model TiVo.
  13. toddinmd

    toddinmd New Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    Manuals are always worst case, most likely during start up for most devices. Get an amp or watt meter to truly measure.

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