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Greening the Digital TV Transition

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NEW YORK With the digital transition looming large, many consumers are eyeballing new digital TV sets. While this may be good for consumer electronics manufacturers, it will be bad for the environment. The Natural Resources Defense Council, is proposing the following steps for greening the digital transition:

•    Buy LCD over plasma: The NRDC says today's LCD's typically use significantly less power than a similar-sized plasma screen. In some cases, plasma TVs use twice as much electricity.

•    Look for the Energy Star label: They are 30 percent more efficient than others.

•    Buy a digital-cable ready TV: This removes the need for a cable box that draws power all day.

•    Manage the TVs power usage: The NRDC suggests buying a power strip and turning it off when done watching. It also says to select the "home" mode for brightness. The "retail" mode or "vivid" mode uses 10-30 percent more power and is very bright for the typical living room.

•    Donate or recycle old TVs. This helps keep the 4-8 pounds of lead found in older sets, and other toxic materials, out of landfills.