Two color televisions were tested for this article; a Toshiba 19" TV from the mid-1980s and a Sharp 27" from the late '90s. The Sharp has a remote control, the Toshiba does not.
The Sharp 27" TV uses three watts when plugged in but turned off. The Toshiba doesn't use any power when doing the same. With most TVs, it is a good idea to plug them into a power strip and turn it off when they aren't in use.
The Sharp brand television consumes 57 watts for a mostly blank (black) screen, 61 for a screen showing "snow", if it is in the energy-saving mode. When receiving a station, power consumption is about 62W average in energy-saving mode, 83W average otherwise. The energy-saving mode cuts power use by about 25 percent. The Sharp TV uses 120W for a second when initially switched on.
The smaller Toshiba uses 47 watts for a blank/black screen or 53 watts showing an average picture. Its electric usage is generally about 15% less than the 27" Sharp TV in energy-saving mode (except when turned off and plugged in; then the Toshiba's wattage is 100% less). It does not have an energy-saving mode, but the video adjustment controls can be used to accomplish the same effect.
To conserve television power consumption, try turning the brightness level down, and be sure to switch off the TV whenever no one is watching it.
We used a wattage meter to test the power consumption of three 5" B/W TVs...
The Bentley 100C is the most efficient of the three tested, using nine watts (AC) regardless of volume or brightness level. It probably uses 8W or less on DC power. It consumes no power when plugged in but switched off. The Songwave SW-3600 TV uses 15-17 watts, +/- one watt depending upon the brightness setting. The Vector StormTracker Elite's TV consumes 17-18 watts.