People have been talking about the evil of “standby buttons” for some time. Even though manufacturers continue to make their products more efficient, they still use energy when on standby, just sitting around the house.
Savasocket has a solution that looks similar to the OneForAll Energy Saver remote we saw a couple of years ago. In this case, however, you can program the Multi-Socket 6 (because you can plug 6 things into it) to be switched off using the power button on an existing remote.
To set this up you simply press and hold the button on the front of the Savasocket, point your remote at the IR eye and it learns it. Then, when you press the corresponding button, it will switch off the power to all your kit, rather than everything being left in standby.
Cleverly, the Multi-Socket 6 is split down the middle. One side features four sockets that will power off and the other two sockets are always on. This means that if you have Sky, Virgin Media or a PVR you can leave it on and know it will record your content. Anything with a clock or alarm, or your router, you probably want permanently connected, whilst your Blu-ray player, your Xbox or your PS3 don’t need to be.
Of course, this does mean that one button press potentially kills your entire AV rig and there are those moments when you only want to turn off the TV and leave your Xbox 360 on, paused in the middle of Medal of Honor to return to after dinner. So it needs to be used with a little caution to make sure you don’t keep powering down when you didn’t intend to.
The other consideration is how you arrange the use of your power buttons. If, for example, you actually want to turn a device on, you might find that you turn on the socket and then when you try to turn on the device using the same button, you turn the socket off again. So it takes a little planning, but fortunately the sensor is on a 2 metre cable, so you do get some flexibility with where you place it. Or you can assign a button you don’t use on the remote, as long as you remember what you’ve done.
Alternatively, you can just press the button on the front of the Multi-Socket 6, but if you’re going to do that, you might as well switch off a 4-gang power strip at the wall socket.
Savasocket predicts it can save you somewhere in the region of £40 a year in otherwise wasted energy, with the device itself drawing just 0.19 watts in standby. It will set you back £19.99, but what price can you put on saving the planet? Available from www.savasocket.com.