From March 2023, 8K and MicroLED televisions could become unsaleable in Europe. What’s happening

With the new energy labels coming into force in 2021, the European Union has launched a new directive for the eco-design of household appliances, which, among other things, introduces maximum consumption limits. For televisions according to the regulation currently in force From March 1, 2023, an adjustment will automatically come into effect that will further reduce the maximum consumption for TV models sold within the European Union. Not only that, some categories that were exempt from the consumption restrictions, in particular, televisions with a resolution higher than 4K and televisions in MicroLED technology will be subject to the same roofs at the maximum absorbed power of all other products. This poses a serious problem, especially for 8K resolution TVs, given that today’s models also consume more than double the new limits.

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Living in Europe is difficult for the 8K

The alert comes from the 8K Association, whose members include brands such as Amazon, Google, Panasonic, TCL and Samsung. In a lengthy post, the association explains how the drafting of the legislation did not take sufficient account of the technical aspects surrounding 8K screens and emerging technologies such as MicroLEDs, and these categories were subject to limitations due to established technologies on the market drafting the regulation, mainly with 4K -Resolution. Due to the higher pixel density of 8K screens, the power requirements for driving the panels (both LCD and OLED for other reasons) and for the more powerful processors that are required for the higher resolution are increasing.

The full text of the Ecodesign legislation for TVs can be found here.

More specifically, from March 1, 2023, the maximum limit of the energy efficiency index, the data used to calculate the energy class to which the device belongs, will be lowered. The maximum index ranges from the current value of 1.1 for displays with a resolution of up to 4K to 0.9 for all display categories, also for screens with a higher resolution than 4K and regardless of the display technology. The energy efficiency index used to calculate the energy class is a function of the surface area of ​​the television screen and the power consumed when playing non-HDR content, measured according to a specific method using the television’s factory settings, if available, until the television is switched on for the first time .

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The maximum permitted power before and after the adjustment of the energy efficiency index from March 2023 depending on the screen diagonal. There is an additional margin of 10% for TVs with an ambient light sensor and automatic brightness adjustment.

Applying the new limit of 0.9 for the IEE, the maximum power consumption of a 65-inch TV must be 116 watts under the terms of the energy certification. If we take an 8K television like the 65-inch Samsung Neo QLED QN800BT, the energy label shows a reference output of 248 watts: With all the improvements that are possible from year to year, Thinking more than halving consumption is pure utopia. Another example: LG’s 77-inch 8K OLED Z2 series has a stated consumption of 248 watts – the 151 watt cap applies in March.

Europe has until Christmas to make corrections

The EU Commission Regulation 2019/2021 provides for the possibility of the European Commission reviewing the the light of technological advances“. The deadline for revising the law is December 25, 2022. The first point of verification concerns the verification of the “need to update the definitions or the scope of the regulation“, which could offer a loophole, especially for categories that were actually exempt from the maximum consumption limit. However, according to the 8K Association, the revision of the Ecodesign Regulation is not on the Commission’s agenda at the moment. European.

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However, not only 8K televisions are at riskwhich still represent a niche in the market today, or MicroLEDs, which are still a long way from that, but are limited in several televisions today, but which will be above the critical threshold from next year. MiniLEDs in particular will have problems with the new limit values. A TV like TCL’s top-of-the-range 75-inch MiniLED C935 series, drawing 170 watts, would already be out (it should be drawing 145). The same would apply to the Samsung Q95B series 4K TV with 93 watts on the label for the 55-inch cutout (the new limit is 88 watts). When the new limits come into effect The only loophole for businesses is to tweak the default settings very aggressively to keep consumption to a minimum, with the result that home users find TVs much dimmer than expected unless they go out and change the default picture settings (which most consumers don’t). Because that is exactly the purpose of the European Union legislation, which aims to reduce the consumption of European televisions by 39 terawatt hours per year by 2030.

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