NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

How Set Top Boxes Have Become Greener Than Ever

How Set Top Boxes Have Become Greener Than Ever


In today’s hyper competitive pay TV marketplace, cable, satellite and telco TV providers are in a constant state of innovation, working hard for their spot in the connected home.  These companies know that a big part of remaining a welcome part of entertainment centers is to be energy efficient. That’s why the voluntary energy conservation agreement (VA)is so important. And the best news is that the landmark agreement between multichannel video providers, device manufacturers and energy advocacy groups is already making significant progress and saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars annually. A new report shows that after its first year alone, the VA has saved American consumers about $168 million in energy bills and nearly 842,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Eighty-five percent of set-top boxes purchased by pay-TV providers in 2013 met the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR 3.0 efficiency levels. These new set-top boxes use approximately 14 percent less energy than previous models. Some other major milestones of the VA are:

  • Cable providers deployed software updates enabling light sleep for set-top boxes already in homes.
  • Satellite providers included Automatic Power Down in more than 90 percent of set-top boxes.
  • All Pay TV providers are now posting energy efficiency information for new set-top boxes.
  • An independent contractor will begin to verify the energy usage of select set-top boxes in sample homes later this year.

Agreement signatories include 11 cable, satellite, and telco video companies and all major equipment vendors serving 91.9 million U.S. video subscribers, accounting for 91.3 percent of the total market in 2013. CableLabs has also played an important role by providing significant technical support to the VA, by testing set-top boxes in CableLabs-Energy Lab, and by bringing energy efficiency increasingly to the forefront in the development industry specifications. You can see the full report here.