Many people might ask: “should I run my TV on a generator?” The answer is yes, as long as you don’t have an older model that doesn’t support newer power-saving features (in which case, use sparingly). And as long as you consider these tips for power saving during disasters.
Newer TVs (built within the last five years) support advanced power saving features that are designed to save energy and reduce standby power consumption. If you’re watching TV on your generator, keep in mind that some of these features are not available.
Power Saving Features:
Auto Power Off : When you turn your TV off, it will automatically shut off all equipment connected to it through an HDMI cable (this includes your set-top box). This is an efficient way to help minimize standby energy use.
When you turn your TV off, it will automatically shut off all equipment connected to it through an HDMI cable (this includes your set-top box). This is an efficient way to help minimize standby energy use. Energy Saving Mode : In addition to automatic power off, some TVs can be put into energy saving mode which means that they’ll only turn on if you use a button on the remote or on the TV itself. This feature is a great way to reduce power consumption.
In addition to automatic power off, some TVs can be put into energy saving mode which means that they’ll only turn on if you use a button on the remote or on the TV itself. This feature is a great way to reduce power consumption.
Freeze Frame: This is an advanced feature that enables the TV to display a still picture of the current scene for a very short time. In addition, when this feature is used in situations where there is little risk of power interruption (e.g., outdoor use), it can help save up to 30% in energy consumption compared to a traditional TV with an anti-glare filter.
Getting your hands on what you need:
You can find TVs with these features at most electronics retailers, though you may have to shop around for retailers that sell them (or look online).
How many watts does a TV use?
When running on a generator, you should know how much power your TV consumes. Most people wouldn’t think your TV would be “hungry” like a dog, but they may not understand the difference between standby power and consumption (or what it means to run a TV on a generator). On average, a television’s wattage will range between 90 and 350 watts.
Factors impacting wattage:
- Size of the TV (smaller is better): If you have a small TV, it will use less wattage than a larger one. For example, a 32″ television would require less wattage than a 47″ TV.
If you have a small TV, it will use less wattage than a larger one. For example, a 32″ television would require less wattage than a 47″ TV.
- Power Saving Features: If your TV has energy saving features (I mentioned above) then it will use less wattage on standby because the power saving technologies require minimal power to maintain the features available (i.e., they are standby-friendly).
If your TV has energy saving features (I mentioned above) then it will use less wattage on standby because the power saving technologies require minimal power to maintain the features available (i.e., they are standby-friendly).
- Certification: The more Wattage-Efficient certified your TV is, the less/lower standby power consumption it will have.
- Thermometer rating: Lower Thermometer ratings means it gets cooler faster. TVs rated at 100 or higher may be hotter to the touch than other models, but their energy consumption will be less.
- Cable/Satellite receiver: A cable and/or satellite receiver can use between 20-60 watts. If you have one (or multiple), add it up! That said, if you are using a cable or satellite receiver during your power outage, you’ll know it’s more of a must than if you turn it off and rely on broadcast channels only.
- Satellite receiver: This will use about 7-10 watts per hour.
- Cable receiver: This will use about 5-7 watts per hour (if you only have a cable box) and up to 20-30 watts if you have an amplifier as well (and if the amplifier is on, it may be hard to turn off).
- Energy Star rated: The U.S. government’s Energy Star program offers a labeling system to help consumers compare the energy use of various products. Be sure to look for this if you are concerned about your TV’s energy consumption and want to know how much it will cost you in the long run.
If possible, plug your TV into a smart power strip so that you can easily turn it off when you aren’t using it (and its standby energy consumption is being measured). If your TV has power saving features, use them! To get the most out of this device, unplug other devices when you shut down your TV (since they’ll still be consuming power).
There are also ways to reduce power consumption by minimizing screen brightness.
For example, 40-Watt televisions are generally considered to be Energy Star certified (among other certifications). In contrast, a short 47-inch television with no energy saving features would peak at approximately 250 W. Most generator manufacturers recommend that you use a minimum of 72 watts when running devices like TVs and computers off of a generator.
- Extension cords and/or surge protectors: If you are using extensions or surge protectors, make sure that they are of good quality. Electrical problems can be dangerous and should always be approached with care.
Most brands of TVs have an energy usage guide available online or in the manual for their models. If you can find one, look here to see how much electricity does a TV use while it is on (standby) and when it is in use. This will help you decide if your generator will be sufficient to run your set-top box or gaming console.
Can you power a TV with a solar battery generator?
If your main goal is to power your TV, then you should look into solar battery generators. Solar battery power generators are a great option for powering sensitive electronics such as computers and televisions and are much more portable than traditional generators. You will likely need a 500-watt battery generator to power your TV.
The best solar battery generators also have a built-in fan or cooling system to keep components from overheating (although the temperature of these devices can vary depending on the manufacturer). It is also advisable to have a surge protector installed so that your equipment does not get fried from bad input surges. This is especially important if any electronic devices are plugged in directly into the unit without an extension cord. If you are using an extension cord, be sure that it is long enough to reach all of your electronic equipment.
Another advantage of solar battery generators is that they can easily be used in areas with no access to electricity.
Difference between Starting Watts and Running Watts
When you are shopping for a generator, be sure to check the running wattage or total wattage of your set-top box, gaming console or home entertainment system. This will give you an idea of how much electricity your equipment will actually require.
Watts is an AMPCO measure that measures output power and is not the same as a kilowatt hour (kW). Kilowatt hours (kWh) is simply the amount of energy that can be used in one hour. While most people usually go by kW, it can be confusing when it comes to batteries and generators since they have different units of measurement.
For example, a 1000 watt generator can deliver 1000 watts of energy when it is first turned on. But after 30 minutes, it can only sustain 500 watts. This is why you need a generator that has a higher running wattage than starting wattage.
Starting Wattage – Most generators have a starting capacity of 1000 watts. But once they are up to temperature and the motor has reached its peak RPM then the running capacity will be much lower – around 500 watts. This means that if you connected a set-top box to an inverter and used all 1000 watts, the device will overload and stop working after about half an hour due to low power delivery from the generator.
Running Wattage – This refers to the maximum wattage that is needed to be used for a particular load such as a TV.
AC Inverter Power Ratings
When looking for an inverter to buy, it is important to note its power ratings. These ratings are expressed in kilowatts or kilowatt-hours and vary depending on the devices you need to run.
For example, if you are looking to run a 50-inch plasma TV with a built-in ATSC tuner through an inverter, then you will need to ensure that it is rated at 1.9 kW or greater. An inverter will be specified by the size of its inverter and how many watts it can produce when it is turned on (at a given load).
It’s important that you know the wattage of your electronics because they can drain your battery very quickly. If you have a TV that draws 600 watts of power and has an inverter that produces 1400 watts, the power produced won’t be enough to power your set-top box correctly (that’s a lot of wasted energy).
Portable Gas Inverter Generators to Power a TV
Gas generators are very popular for home use and many of them have enough power to run televisions. I recommend at least 1,500 watts if you intend to power an LCD TV, although most generators these days have at least 2,000 watts of starting power.