Should I Leave My TV On Standby At Night?
To un-plug your TV at night, or not to un-plug your TV at night that is the question! To be honest there is more than one right answer to this question. The energy companies and government will tell you that you should do everything within your power to cut your energy usage and your local TV shop or TV engineer will tell you to leave it on. So, what should you do? In this blog I discuss the reasons for turning your TV off at night and reasons not to leave your TV off a night.
Reasons To Leave TV On Standby At Night
There are many reasons to leave your TV on at night and not disconnecting it from it’s power source altogether.
TV’s Perform Software Upgrades at Night
A lot of TV’s will update their software at night when less people are typically watching TV as often you can not do both at the same time. Periodically manufacturers of TV’s and set top boxes will bring out new software. This is usually to improve the user experience but often it is to fix bugs and glitches in the existing software. Admittedly this is becoming less of an issue with modern connected “Smart TV’s” that connect to your internet connection as this with the broadband speeds becoming increasingly quicker is often completed in a minute or two whereas over the air software updates which were completed over satellite or the TV aerial usually took far longer. The problem with switching your equipment off at night is it can miss these vital software upgrades which can seriously impact the performance of your TV/ set top box. This used to be very common with Sky boxes which would develop issues that they otherwise wouldn’t have. This however could be overcome by doing a manual software upgrade on the Sky box.
You Might Throw A Perfectly Good TV Away!
If your TV is consistently missing software updates, it could look as behave as if it was faulty. You may call out a local installer to come look at your TV aerial or satellite dish to ensure that it isn’t that and if proved to not be. You could end up throwing a perfectly good TV away believing it to be faulty when all it needed was the software updated as this isn’t always something that owners of TV’s often think to check. If you navigate into the settings of your TV or AV equipment you can often check to see whether you have the latest software and if you haven’t this should be updated. Like already mentioned this can be done over the internet or over the air. Alternatively, if neither is possible you could find the latest software/firmware on the internet, download it to your computer and upload it to a USB stick to be inserted into the TV or AV equipment via the USB slot. Most AV products have at least one USB slot but older products may not have any! Bare that in mind before you cut the power off at night.
Some TV’s Won’t Allow You To Turn Off Standby
Many manufactures completely remove the ability to switch the power off completely from the TV so that the only way to turn it off completely and off of standby would be to switch off at the power socket or to disconnect from the mains supply altogether. This isn’t always easy as often these are behind the TV cabinet or behind the TV itself on wall mounted TV’s which you may have to remove from its bracket altogether to get to. This is the manufacturer telling you that “we don’t want the TV removed from standby.”
Your Scheduled Recordings Will Fail
If you’re using something like a Sky box to record programmes during the night, these will fail if you switch the equipment off at night. Well not necessarily if you switch the TV off of standby but leave the Sky box on but I’m sure that you will get the point. If the PVR is left on standby it will automatically power up and power down during the scheduled recording.
Reasons To Turn TV Off Standby At Night
Now we have discussed the reasons why a TV should be left on at night, let’s look at why it may be a good idea to turn the TV off from standby at night or to unplug the TV altogether.
It Saves Electricity – Small Amount
Turning a TV off at night completely and removing from standby will save electricity and will save you a small amount of money. When I say a small amount of money, I mean a small amount of money. Probably a few pounds per year, not the £100 pounds a year or so that you local authority will tell you.
Modern TV’s when on standby use barely any electricity at all. These are not the same as old CRT TV’s that had valves, tunes and heaters that did consume a lot of electricity keeping the TV ready so that it would quicker power on when you turned it on via the remote control. In fact some old CRT TV’s used to reach 25,000 volts inside so they weren’t the most energy efficient things. Some TV technologies are more efficient than others. Here are some of the energy usages when on standby.
So, it’s up to whether you think whether unplugging your TV each night to save a small amount of energy and money each year is worth it for you.
It’s Safer – A Little Bit
It actually is safer to unplug your TV at night, but that’snot to say that leaving the TV plugged on and on standby is unsafe. How much safer it is all depends on your set up. Modern electrical circuit boards have RCD’s and MCB’s to protect the electrical circuit and trip out the electrics is something has happened that could become dangerous and cause a fire. The TV itself also has a fuse inside the plug which is designed to fail first before it causes damage to the TV and becomes unsafe.
It’s worth mentioning if you have multiple mains extension strips and cables plugged into single socket then I’m sure that the fire brigade will tell you to unplug this when you can.
Other Items For Consideration – Unplugging The TV Altogether
I have included these in the article, but I wouldn’t necessarily make a case for leaving the TV on standby at night or not but for unplugging the TV altogether.
Should I Unplug TV During Thunderstorms?
This is a scenario where I would advise to not only cut off the TV power but to unplug the TV altogether from the socket. With electrical storms an electrical surge can come down your telephone line or TV aerial and fry your TV together with everything else that is connected. Please don’t panic every time you see a bolt of lightening or the roar of thunder as this is actually not very common. That being said, I have attended repair jobs where lightening has struck the TV aerial and fried everything it came in contact with. The cables, aerial and cables all needed to be replaced. If you see that a particular strong storm is forecast I would recommend disconnecting your TV’s to be on the safe side.
Unplugging TV When Going Away On Holiday
If you’re going away on holiday or are not going to be in the house for a while. Then I would recommend just unplugging your TV equipment to be on the safe side. Just remembering before disconnecting your Sky+, Freesat+ or other type of PVR that you’re recordings are going to fail whilst the equipment is disconnected from the mains supply. Many of today's equipment like Sky and Youview boxes used for BT Vision also have a facility where you can schedule recordings when away from your house via an app. Obviously this function will not work if the box is disconnected.
Conclusion – It’s Up To You – I Wouldn’t Personally
I’m guessing that you can already tell by the points made that I personally wouldn’t unplug your TV at night. But if it helps you sleep a little easier then you should absolutely do it.
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Until next time,
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