More capable yet leaner audiovisual gear

New expanded International Standards to measure consumption of individual devices replace single publication

By Morand Fachot

The range of audio, video (AV) and related equipment used by households has been expanding constantly over recent decades. Long gone is the time when homes had on average a single TV set and a few radios only, followed by the introduction of fairly basic recording equipment.

OLED TV set (Photo: Sony Corp.)

Widening range of equipment

The introduction of more advanced and capable, and yet comparatively more affordable equipment, in addition to new distribution modes, such as digital broadcasting over the air, cable satellite and the Internet has seen a rapid growth in the number of devices in households. TV sets, for instance, are no longer a monopoly of affluent societies but can increasingly be found in large and growing numbers in developing economies, in addition to a wide range of other equipment.

Limiting power consumption a central concern

A consequence of this wider market is that overall electricity consumption has increased for these devices. Measuring the power consumption of individual devices is essential to improve their design to make them more energy efficient.

The IEC has been at the forefront of efforts to curb the various consumption modes of household appliances and AV devices.

This task of determining the power consumption of individual AV devices was entrusted to Technical Area (TA) 12: AV energy efficiency and smart grid applications, of IEC Technical Committee (TC) 100: Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment.

TA 12 initially developed a single International Standard, IEC 62087, Methods of measurement for the power consumption of audio, video and related equipment, in 2002. This publication has been gradually updated over the years to address the introduction of additional equipment.

From single to multiple document

The first IEC 62087 International Standard gave basic parameters for individual devices like TV sets, video recording equipment, set top boxes (STBs) and audio equipment.

The Standard listed the specifications of operating modes that include disconnected (from all external power sources), off (connected to an external power source but cannot be switched on by a remote control unit, an internal or an external signal), two standby modes (connected to an external power source, produces neither sound nor vision but can be switched into another mode with the remote control unit or an internal or external signal), on (the power source and produces sound and vision or records a signal).

This Standard covers the “On” mode only, not the standby or off modes, which are covered by other IEC International Standards.

It sets out the general method of measurement that included general measurement conditions and procedure, and separate measuring conditions for individual devices. Over the years this single document has been gradually expanded.

However, the entirely different features of the devices covered by this Standard, and the complexity of updating the relevant sections concerning each type made it sensible to subdivide the existing Standard in six separate parts.

Newer, cleaner documents

The new International Standards have been published in June 2015, replacing the original IEC 62087 and subdividing it in the following six parts:

IEC 62087-1: General, which specifies the general requirements for the determination of power consumption of AV and related equipment. The requirements for specific types of equipment are specified in the other five parts of the series.

IEC 62087-2: Signals and media

IEC 62087-3: Television sets

IEC 62087-4: Video recording equipment

IEC 62087-5: Set top boxes

IEC 62087-6: Audio equipment

This new series of International Standards will make it easier to update the different parts relevant for type of equipment and more suitable to the needs of manufacturers who have access now to more specific, yet much more comprehensive documents to determine the power consumption of individual devices.

Sony OLED TV OLED TV set (Photo: Sony Corp.)
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Internet protocol-based set-top box (Photo: Comtrend) Internet protocol-based set-top box (Photo: Comtrend)