Keeping AV power consumption acceptable

After the first night with Network control enabled on my new Onkyo, it was clear that something had happened to the power usage; it was much too high compared to the usual power usage during the night. I didn’t want to postpone the power measurements any longer, cause the power usage increase was too much; I had to know where this was coming from. So I did some tests today regarding power usage of my new Onky TX-NR709… well, it was worth it! Here are some numbers:

  • Receiver on, watching TV: 42-43 W
  • Receiver on, listening to the Tuner: 43-44 W

Ok, I can live with that. Now let’s see what the power consumption is when I switch the receiver to standby: 38W. WHAT? WATT?? Yep, thirty-eight. This is ridiculous, this can’t be true. Standby usage as stated in the manual is 0.3W; but as I already mentioned earlier, the term “slightly” with regard to power consumption of a device capable of consuming 730W doesn’t say a thing. Apparently, the guys at Onkyo think that an increase of 5% of 730W can be called slightly; yeah right, think again. It’s a lot!

So, what can be done to fix this? Cause this is not acceptable of course. I’m not going to accept a new device which will add 38W to my power consumption 24/7, no way! There are a few things to explore; I changed the factory settings at some points of which I knew they would “slightly” increase standby power consumption (the word “slightly” is getting a whole new meaning for me now, thanks Onkyo …), so I decided to rollback those changes and see what the effects would be.

The changes I made of which I knew they would influence standby power consumption were HDMI Through mode and Network Control.

HDMI Through mode enables (regardless of  the AV receiver being on or in standby mode) to pass both audio and video stream from a HDMI input through to the TV. In other words: you can pass your cable STB output through to the TV, even when the Receiver is in standby mode.

Network Control mode enables or disables control over the network (duh).

Being an optimist by nature, my first thoughts were that this HDMI Through function was the biggest contributor to this huge standby power consumption, so I switched it off again. No change.. Standby power usage  was still 38W. So I switched off Network Control as well. Bingo! 0.0W, that’s the way I want it. Turning back on the HDMI Through function made the power consumption increase to the unacceptable level of 38W again.

So, what’s the real benefit of Network Control over RS-232? Nothing, zero, nada; or better, it makes the receiver perform worse in my opinion, the effect on standby power consumption is ridiculously high. Let’s assume the  receiver will be used 8 hours per day, this standby power consumption of 38W would mean 38x16x365= 222 kWh per year … that’s about the same amount our washing machine uses during a year ! Need I say more?

I think Onkyo should do a Search&Replace on the text of their manuals and replace the word “slightly” with “considerably” or “unacceptable” or something similar…

In the mean time, I’m preparing a switch to RS-232 control!

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4 Responses to Keeping AV power consumption acceptable

  1. Phil Merrin says:

    Excelent testing. 38w in standby omg. With that level of power consumption you might think Onkyo would create an auto switch which senses when a hdmi signal is actually being passed through and switches on basic upscaling etc and let the user have the benefit of that for only ~ 6w more power usage!!!! At least that way users can get something of value for the energy being wasted.

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  3. Daz says:

    This is an old thread so sorry to necro, but I have an SR605 receiver with the same issue. You mentioned network control off sorted out the power issue but that HDMI through being switched back on also caused the 38W – so which is the issue, HDMI through or network control?

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