Is Dixons right about getting rid of standby?


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Aug 10, 2019
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I've just read this site's news story about Dixons seeking to abolish the standby mode on electrical components. But I'm none the wiser, because everyone concerned seems to be doing little more than protecting their own interests! Fair enough, the likes of Cyrus are all about making their kit sound better. But are these companies doing enough, and are they being pushed hard enough, to make their products more environmentally friendly? As for What Hi-Fi itself, what's the view here? It used to be ok to act as if protecting the environment and sticking up for consumers were two completely different things, but that's no longer the case. Nowadays, most people want to be better informed about the environmental effects of the products they buy, and will use that knowledge to inform their purchasing decisions. So more information please! We consumers want to make informed choices, and most of us realise by now that ignorance is no excuse. So what ARE the greenest hi-fi and home cinema products? Lastly, one thing the guy from Cyrus touches on but doesn't go into, is the issue of product lifespan. Is it the case that having standby extends the life of the product by avoiding power surges? And if so, wouldn't having products that last longer be actually MORE environmentally friendly? Might it not be the case that the energy used in making and purchasing new products and sticking busted old ones in landfill sites could be MORE harmful than having the standby function? Does anyone have information on this?

Joe Cox

Content Director, What Hi-Fi?
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May 31, 2007
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It's clear information is the key here, and thankfully manufacturers are slowly addressing the previous gulf that existed in terms of power usage and overall 'greeness' of products. We've featured a few examples of this in our News pages in recent months...

Philips announced a green tick logo for its consumer goods to indicate that they've passed various tests for energy efficiency and overall environmental friendliness. It also says that the green tick logo will indicate a product that's significantly more efficient than its nearest competitor. See here for more on that:

While if you fancy doing your own research, there's a handy website to get you started. features power usage figures and resultant costs for a range of AV components. It's by no means exhaustive, and the figures quoted are manufacturers' claims rather than independently tested results, but it provides a rough guide if nothing else.

We expect to hear about new initiatives from other manufacturers and industry groups in the future, and we'll be sure to pass it on as we do...


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