An interesting infographic from FreeMake calls out YouTube as the winner in a smackdown between online content and televisions. Does this mean watching shows could be more energy efficient?
The site states, "The golden age of TV is already long gone. Today all major TV services stream their content online and viewers have more power to choose from than ever. The death warrant of TV was signed with the emergence of the Internet, in particular with the flourishing of one company that was the embodiment of its destruction: YouTube."
However, does this herald an age of dematerialization, where everything can be done with our laptop or iPad, and TVs are obsolete? Does it mean television energy use will be on the decline as people opt to watch on other energy-sipping devices? I have my doubts about that. As the infographic notes, TVs are still in our homes. That means their energy consumption is still an issue -- and what is more, our gadget consumption is even more of an issue. YouTube may be dominating as the place people watch the most content, but unfortunately that doesn't mean much for the environment.
A television can require somewhere between 213-339 watts, the cable box another 30 watts, and a DVR like a TiVo can be somewhere around another 26 watts. A laptop, on the other hand, uses around 62 watts or if you're watching on a tablet device, that's around 10 watts. Quite a difference. (These are estimates - your own particular devices will have varying energy consumption rates.)
What we really need to focus on is gadget minimalism -- if YouTube, Hulu and other sites are so dominant, then might you be willing to give up your television, DVR and other devices, and just stick with your laptop and maybe an external monitor? One could hope.
By Freemake, proud developer of YouTube Converter