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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: March 10, 2009 @ 3:57 pm

    More green tech for the eco-bandwagon

    Ciara O'Brien

    Call me a cynic, but when I see another company boasting of its “eco friendly” products, I can’t help but smile.
    Environmentally friendly technology is a growing business these days. With consumers seeking to cut bills and politicians pushing the carbon emissions agenda, everyone wants in.

    So you’ll have to excuse me if I think that the “green tech” label that most companies are slapping on every product they can at the moment is less about saving the planet and more about shifting their products.

    But cynicism aside, I suppose whatever the reason, the more environmentally friendly products that are on the market, the better. One small step and all that.

    Sony’s latest Bravia TVs, the WE5 range, are being touted as their most environmentally friendly to date.

    Despite their size – 40 and 46 inches – the TVs have what Sony says are energy efficient “eco technologies”. These include a micro-tubular Hot Cathode Fluorescent Lamp backlight which cuts power consumption in half, and a “Smart Presence Sensor”, which sounds a bit…Big Brother-ish. The sensor detects body heat and movement within normal range of the screen, so should you escape during the ad break to make a quick cup of tea or answer the door, the TV will automatically switch the picture off. The sound will stay on though, so you can hear what you’re missing. And if there is no movement detected for 30 minutes, it will automatically put the TV into standby. Great if you fall asleep in fron tof the box, not so great if you are just enjoying a film and have to wave an arm or leg in the direction of the screen once ever half an hour to stop it switching off at a crucial moment.

    You don’t even have to unplug the TV. Apparently the Bravia WE5 has an “Energy Saving Switch” which, when flipped, cuts power consumption completely and is far more convenient than crawling around under the TV trying to get to the plug.