Boxee Power Consumption

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Hello TV fans!

I’m about to make a change to my A/V setup inside of my house. I was curious about how this would affect my power consumption. Out comes my Kill A WATT and I roll up my sleeve and go to work.

First, lets take a look at the TV just for comparison purposes. I’ve got a Vizio 47″ LCD TV.

Powered Off: 0.0a; 0.0w
On w no video feed blue screen: 1.7a; 209w
On to cable news show: 1.5a; 185w

I have a HTPC (Home Theater PC) that is an old Hewlett Packard business type PC. Not a video game setup but also not designed for low power. So without further ado, here’s the power consumption for comparison purposes:

Powered Off: 0.0a; 0.0w
On but not doing anything: 0.9a; 102w
On and playing a movie: 1.0a; 114w

So, what I’m going to be retiring soon is one of the two satellite providers. This is NOT an HD DVR, but it does have two tuners. These DVRs are famous for using a lot of power so I was curious about its consumption.

Powered Off: 0.4a; 31w
Powered on: 0.4a; 32w
Recording 1 show: 0.4a; 32w
Recording 2 shows: 0.4a; 32w

Interesting results here but not that surprising. If you think about it, this DVR is recording shows all the time but throwing the show away if I’m not setting it to record. I think this is why the power consumption is not that different from when it is ‘asleep’ and when it is recording shows including two shows at once.

So, lets take a look at the Boxee power consumption. I’ve got the Boxee Live TV USB dongle to let me play OTA (Over The Air) shows. Also, on that system, I’ll be playing shows over the Internet and via Netflix.

Powered Off: 0.0a; 0.0w
Powered On w Live TV USB: 0.2a; 13w
Powered On w/o Live TV USB: 0.2a; 13w
Sleep w/o Live TV USB: 0.2a; 11w
Sleep w Live TV USB: 0.2a; 13w
Playing Netflix show: 0.2a; 11w
Playing Internet show: 0.2a; 12w

There you go. The Boxee Box is quite conservative with power consumption. I’d guess that since this box is so quiet. There is some sort of fan, but it must be very small. The satellite DVR uses twice the power as the Boxee Box but that’s not too bad considering that it’s spinning a physical hard drive in the box, plus the fan. My HTPC is the pig in the story, but it also wasn’t designed to be low power.

The cost per year for these systems is very low, but I thought it would be a very interesting comparison to make. Bottom line, the TV is the big pig of this group.

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