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Sony launches 'green' 32in Bravia LCD TV

Consumes 25% less power than current sets

Sony is adding to its Bravia LCD TV range with a new 32in model that consumes 25 percent less power on average than existing sets.

Based on an average of 4.5 hours of viewing per day the set will consume 86kWh (kilowatt hours) of power versus 115kWh for Sony's existing 32in Bravia model. That's a 25 percent reduction in annual power consumption.

Driving this is the backlight that sits behind the screen. The new set has fluorescent tubes that provide higher luminance efficiency at lower voltage and an optical film that transmits light better so less tubes can be used but the picture appears just as bright as on the existing models.

The backlight is one of the biggest energy draws in an LCD television and is a key target when engineers are looking at how to reduce overall energy consumption. In some advanced TVs, monitors and laptop PCs the fluorescent tubes are being done away with altogether in favor of LEDs (light emitting diodes) to realise even lower energy consumption but LED backlights remain expensive.

The television also contains recycled materials from old Sony televisions and makes use of waste from the optical film production process to achieve a 40 percent cut in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) output during the manufacturing process.

However the TV still contains PVC and BFRs (brominated flame retardant) - two chemicals that have been criticised by environmental groups for their use in consumer electronics products. Most major electronics makers are moving towards phasing out the chemicals but are yet to do so entirely.

Consumers will have to pay slightly more for the greener TV set. The KDL-32JE1 will cost around ¥150,000 (£700) in Japan, which is about ¥10,000 more than the standard 32in model.

The new set is part of a push by Sony to reduce the amount of energy used by its products.

"We must also continue to improve the energy efficiency of our products, particularly televisions which consume the most energy of all our home electronics products," Howard Stringer, chairman and CEO of Sony, said at the World Wide Fund for Nature's (WWF) Climate Savers conference in Tokyo in February.

"Yet while the trend is towards larger screens and more sophisticated functions that inevitably consume more power, Sony's televisions are already among the industry leaders in terms of energy efficiency... However we anticipate the operating power of electronics products to be reduced to half their existing levels in a few years. I am confident that our engineers can meet these expectations," he said.

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