Power Consumption

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by flyingscott, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. flyingscott macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2007
    In case you were wondering... I hooked up my "KILL A WATT" to my Apple TV to measure the actual power usage. It's not as bad as I thought, although, they should allow you to power it off.

    Anyhow... in standby mode (if you hold the play button down), it only draws 17watts of power. When its on, it fluctuates between 18 and 22 watts, but never more than 22 watts.

    Here is an image:

  2. PaulMoore macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2007
    That's fascinating- and scary that it uses almost as much power off as it does on.

    Is 17W a lot? How does that compare to other devices you own? My wife always wants me to power down our iMac (which I tend not to do). I dread to think how much power that's sucking away all night.
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    So in standby mode it uses 94-77% of the power it does when it is on and that quite a lot if you ask me.
  4. flyingscott thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2007
    Well, it's not a lot in comparison to other things... but certainly worth unplugging if you don't use it everyday. I have a 25 watt light bulb in a tiny lamp and I wouldn't leave that on all the time, so it's all relative I guess.

    I just got that device to see where I am blowing the most power. I have only checked a few things:

    50" Plasama = 150watts - 475 watts (depending on content being shown... yes, a bright white scene of a snow field draws more power than a dark scene)
    Sump pump = 770watts
    Apple TV = 17-22watts

    Things I plan on testing:

    Cable Box
    30" Apple Display
    MacPro (Quad Xeons)
    Laptop (plugged in of course)

    A lot of items need to be tested for a period of time because you may not have it on all day. It records usage for however long its plugged in. You can then run some numbers and get accurate costs and power usage.

    It's a novelty item for sure... but interesting none the less.
  5. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    Bump. Did you have the time to test the other devices? I'm curious how they stack up.
  6. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    If I left it on for 30 days straight, my Apple TV would cost about $1 in electricity.

    (Yes, I did the math.)
  7. supercooled macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    Jesus. H. Christ, is that not excessive? I might as well unplug/plug when needed. It's very nominal, NOMINAL between standby and operation mode. I expected it to be around 40-ish when operating but 17watt for standby? More like 1-3watt would have been ideal.

    Thanks for the exercise; I'm going to unplug it now.

    So Scott, hey Scott, where can a chap like myself get one of these killawatt?

  8. flyingscott thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2007
  9. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2007
    Thanks! That's what I was wondering.
  10. macleod199 macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2007
    Our local libraries (Ottawa, ON) let you borrow them... no idea how widespread that is!
  11. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    UK version of Kill a Watt - Just in case anyone is interested!

    You can get a similar device from Maplins.
  12. jkozlow3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2008
    A lot of people complain about not being able to turn off the Apple TV...

    Do most of you not own stereo receivers with switched power outlets on the back? I have mine plugged into the receiver's switched outlet, as there is no point in my Apple TV being on unless my receiver is on anyway. I did this more for hard drive longevity than power consumption though.
  13. Phatpat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
  14. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    Interesting. I think that Apple should provide a way to completely shut it off, like the iPhone. I'd plug it into a switched outlet, but I'd be afraid of inadvertently cutting the power with the HDD spinning.
  15. jkozlow3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2008
    I don't think this is harmful. Cutting power to the ATV with the HDD spinning is no different than unplugging the unit or even shutting off your computer AFAIK. I believe the HDD spins on your PC until the power is cut and the OS shuts down. I don't think this happens any more gracefully in a computer. Yes, the OS cleans itself up so that it can be shut down safely, but I think the HDD spins until the very end when power is cut and it stops spinning - just like unplugging it.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  16. ansalmo macrumors regular

    May 23, 2005
    Here are some figures I posted on a thread a few months ago, which put :apple:tv's power consumption into perspective. The figures were sourced from a media player comparison somewhere online, I think using the same Kill-A-Watt meter, and show the power utilisation when playing a movie (the PS3 and Xbox were playing DVDs directly):

    :apple:tv - 20W
    Xbox360 - 125W
    PS3 - 175W

    As I said at the time, save the planet and buy an :apple:tv :D
  17. trule macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2007
    standby mode === disk in sleep mode (and turning of the front LED;) )

    not particularly impressive effort on apples behalf, however as pointed out elsewhere the electricty cost is around $1 (well for me its 2.8€).

    Easier to save power by turning the 2nd/3rd fridge off (400 watt fridge/freezer uses 60€ per month). Or only doing full loads in the dish washer. Etc...
  18. mac2thefuture macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2007
    Lancashire, North West, UK
    Can I ask a question, does the item still generate heat when in standby mode?
  19. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2003

    It stays quite hot whenever it's plugged in.
  20. Phatpat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    It's still "on" in standby mode, so it can download new content and all of that. From Apple:

    What happens to Apple TV in "standby" mode:

    * The hard drive spins down when not syncing content.
    * Video will display black even though video output remains active.
    * Audio will not play.
    * Download of any content (rented or purchased) from the iTunes Store will continue uninterrupted.
    * Apple TV will continue to appear in the iTunes Devices list allowing you to view synced content.
    * Network connections will remain active and Apple TV will continue to appear in the iTunes devices list allowing you to sync content.
    * The fan continues to operate.

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