If you’re planning a new meeting room in your coworking space or startup office, you better buy that big-screen TV soon. From March 1st, 2023, the EU is set to ban all 8K TVs and some 4K models from the European market. That’s gotta suck if you have made booking the boardroom out to play Minecraft under the pretence of a meeting a fine art.
What’s behind the ban?
EU legislation on energy labelling aims to eliminate the least efficient products from the market. Since September 1st, 2021, every television and screen label has included the electricity consumption in kWh for 1,000 hours in high dynamic range (HDR) mode with its energy efficiency category (from A to G).
From March 2023, the European Commission could increase this to include a new EEI (Energy Efficiency Index) scale. This introduces a maximum energy consumption which cannot be exceeded.
Previously, 8k and microLED TVs enjoyed an exemption.
High-end TVs offer brighter screens, resulting in increased energy consumption and resource-intensive image processing required.
Currently, no 8K TVs meet the EU’s energy efficiency levels. Yep, NONE. And only a few 4K models fall within limits.
What happens now?
Besides lobbying by industry bodies, we may see a rush of TV sales before the ban kicks in. Companies will scramble to recoup some of the R&D costs on their top-line models. You might make a decent saving on your business expenses come the Christmas sales.
But it could also motivate TV makers to update their software to be more sustainable, especially considering they typically already offer Eco mode. Do better people!
It’s also worth considering the flow-on effect for startups working in digital advertising, animation, film, gaming, and design who rely on 8K resolution for optimal presentations. Let’s face it, like it or not; everything looks better on the big screen. Crowding around a small screen is a miserable experience — trust me, I grew up in the ’80s. It’s a damn shame it can’t be greener, and hopefully, this drives the industry to do better.
Just the beginning
We can expect this to be the beginning of energy reductions. Over the last few weeks, Germany passed a new law banning the illumination of landmarks. Spain set a curfew for shop and monument lights, and Paris is dimming the lights on the Eiffel Tower an hour earlier. (I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll still see plenty of energy-sucking Christmas lights).
And if nothing else, trade shows like IFA and CES won’t be the same without the splendour of giant convention floors full of massive screens — even if they cost more than a room full of laptops. But hey, they might get cheaper soon.