This past Wednesday Toshiba announced that it is developing a new LCD TV that has a very special function. The TV that will double as a Blu-Ray disc recorder will consumer absolutely no power whilst in standby mode. Toshiba plans to commercialize the new “REGZA” devices by the end of the 2011 fiscal year.
The devices are equipped with an “Eco Chip”, which is essentially just a semiconductor chip with a capacitor that is used to store electricity while in standby mode. A mechanical relay that is situated between the power cable and the power supply unit within the television is controlled by the eco chip. When the TV is in standby, the relay is turned off, meaning that the device is unable to consume any electricity, as if the power cable were unplugged. To avoid a total loss of power during prolonged periods of standby time, the relay will turn on for a short time, allowing the Eco Chip’s capacitor to recharge. The relay, of course turns back on again as soon as the user turns on the television, allowing power to return to the TV.
Alongside this, Toshiba has developed the “RZ Power Saving Remo”, which is an Android application designed to aid in reducing power consumption of the Regza series of LCD TVs. The application allows the user to remotely set a power saving mode in accordance with power consumption through the use of “Electricity Forecast” and “Power Consumption Meter” which are services provided by Yahoo! Japan to Android users. Toshiba plans to begin distributing the app free of charge in Mid July.