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The Future of TV is Looking Green

by Employee ‎01-06-2012 04:56 PM - edited ‎01-06-2012 04:57 PM

Velcro is great! You can even use it to watch TV. Well, not quite yet, but one day your set-top box, that appliance that lets you watch Modern Family in HD or DVR Monday Night Football, will be so small and light weight that you’ll be able to Velcro it to the back of your TV.

 

Let’s take it a step further. You’ll be able to use a media server in one room to watch live, recorded or on-demand content in other rooms as long as you have an IP connected device like a game console or a blu ray player.

 

In our labs in Waltham, Mass., we’re busy working with partners to develop the future of TV. The teams there focus heavily on breaking down old tech barriers and on pushing the boundaries to deliver premier user experiences, but they’re also focused on increasing the energy efficiency of the devices that keep our customers connected — the devices that keep our customers entertained.

 

Our recent announcement of an app on Microsoft’s Xbox that lets FiOS TV customers watch 26 channels via the console certainly points to what’s to come. In the meantime, we continue the evolution of the set-top box by making your TV watching experience a little greener.

 

In 2011, more than 70 percent of the set-top boxes we installed were ENERGY STAR certified. These boxes use approximately 30% less energy in customer homes than previous models. Already, 100 percent of the set-top boxes we’re ordering are also ENERGY STAR certified.

 

Many of us can remember when TV and video only lived in the living room; or more recently when we all huddled around the family PC to watch a video on YouTube. Video is quickly going everywhere.

 

In the meantime, be sure to hold on to that Velcro. You never know when you might need it.

Comments
by mikecapeann on ‎01-17-2012 12:57 PM

Mr. Gowen: Verizon's commitment to the environment, by introducing Energy Star set-top boxes, would be a lot more believable if the company wasn't charging a monthly premium to its customers for them.  I am a energy-conscious consumer, and have spent considerable time and effort in reducing our families environmental footprint.  Alas, one of the remaining challenges I face is reducing the electric consumption of Verizon's HD DVR, which consumes significant kilowatt-hours of power when turned off.  When I contacted Verizon service and sales department about exchanging the existing, energy-hog Motorola DVR with one of your Energy Star-rated units, I was told it would be an additional $5/month rental charge.  Granted, my primary motivation isn't to save money, but I think it is unconscionable for Verizon to make an additional profit from its customers that strive to be more green.  I doubt if it was the federal government's intention, when it required set-top boxes and DVR to meet Energy Star standards, for cable TV companies to charge their customers an extra fee for these units. Shame on you, Verizon!

by Employee on ‎01-18-2012 03:19 PM

Hi Mike. There is no extra charge for EnergyStar boxes. The information you were given was a mistake.  If you email me at responsibility@verizon.com and include your account info or billing phone number, I’ll get someone to investigate further. I apologize for the miscommunication.

 

by mikecapeann on ‎02-17-2012 06:26 PM

Mr. Gowen,

It appears there is a disconnect between what you have told me and what Technical Support is telling customers.  After we communicated on 1/18, I was contacted by Verizon's New Hampton Solutions Center and a new HD DVR was sent to replace my older HD DVR.  However, the new DVR (model # QIP7232) is not Energy Star rated, and draws only about 2 watts less than the old one (according to your Responsibility Blog, the energy efficient DVRs are 30% more efficient than old ones).  I contacted the Solutions Center again to find out why I didn't get an Energy Star device replacement, and I was told that none of the HD DVR devices they have in stock are Energy Star rated. They did say that one unit (QIP7232-this was highlighted in your Responsibility Blog) was slightly more energy efficient (they didn't know how much), but didn't have the Energy Star rating.  However, to get this HD DVR, I would have to pay a $40 one-time fee because it is an upgrade (larger hard drive). 

 

I can't help but get the feeling that these postings on your Responsibility Blog and elsewhere on Verizon's website is more about "green washing", than actual "green technology" that reduces energy consumption.  If 70% of all set-top boxes installed in 2011, and 100% of all new set-top boxes that Verizon buys, are Energy Star rated, it's odd that the Verizon Solutions Center doesn't have a single Energy Star unit available.  And to just get one that consumes a little less energy (but still isn't Energy Star) than an old one, requires me to pay a $40 fee.  Not exactly the sustainability culture that Verizon is promoting on their websites.

by mikecapeann on ‎02-17-2012 10:14 PM

Mr. Gowen,

 

Correction on the model number of the DVR that Verizon Solutions Center sent to me to replace the older HD DVR.  The replacement model is QIP7216, not QIP7232.

Making a Difference for Our Customers & Communities
The Responsibility Blog — Learn how Verizon is using communications technology to connect people to the larger resources of the community—education, health care, accessibility and safety—in ways that make lives better. Visit the Verizon Communications Corporate Responsibility Report. We hope you will share your views with us.

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About the Authors

Rose Kirk

V.P. of Global Corporate Citizenship and President of the Verizon Foundation

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Rose leads Verizon's global corporate responsibility initiatives and philanthropic strategy, which focuses on applying Verizon's technology to improve education, healthcare and energy management.

James Gowen

Chief Sustainability Officer/
V.P. of Services Operations

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James oversees Verizon’s supply chain, vehicle fleet, investment recovery, purchasing and materials management and sustainability initiatives.



Jack McArtney

Director of Corporate and Community Responsibility

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Jack promotes digital wellness and online safety. He works with parents, educators, service providers, application developers and industry leaders to foster responsible use of Verizon's mobile and broadband networks.

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