Sony provides more info on WE5 television

Sony has revealed more details of the eco-friendly WE5 television, which is being touted as the ultimate rainforest-friendly set that doesn't compromise on picture quality.

Sadly, those looking to reduce their carbon emissions are going to have to compromise on another factor. Namely, form - it's a 40-or 46-inch gloss white set, or nothing.

Image quality comes courtesy of the Bravia Engine 3, which cleans and filters image data to reduce picture noise. The "Motionflow" 100Hz with "Image Blur Reduction" doubles the frame rate, for smoother images.

The television itself features a number of environmental tweaks to lower energy consumption, and Sony estimates that the average user will save £35 a year. That’s based on 4 hours use a day, with the remaining 20 hours being on standby.

At £1350, the set is about £150 more than an equivalent less-eco Bravia, which means it will take over 4 years to recoup the initial expense, something that Sony believe their target market is happy to do.

The savings come from a variety of places. There's the Sony-developed "Hot Cathode Fluorescent Lamps", which use about 50% less power to light the screen than traditional bulbs.

There's also the "Presence Sensor". Whilst other TVs in Sony's eco range will switch off if there's no detected activity from the remote after a user-set period of time, this TV will guess whether you’re there to watch it.

It sweeps the room for motion at intervals, and when it detects a protracted period of stillness, it switches the picture off, leaving the sound on. After a further period (5, 15 or 30 minutes) it switches off completely.

It'll take a proper review to work out just how sensitive this presence sensor is, but Sony assure us that it's primed to work with humans rather than pets, so you won't be left with your cat hiking up your energy bills.

There's also a switch on the side, which will turn the TV off completely, as if it's been turned off at the wall socket. This is something various other manufacturers have incorporated before, although it's unclear whether those previous models actually reduced the set to absolute zero energy consumption.

Not content with its own maths, Sony are teaming up with a mysterious independent body to measure and quantify its eco-credentials. It's not a charity, it's not the Energy Saving Trust, but we can expect more on that next week.

As far as the gloss white is concerned, a Sony spokesperson was quick to assure that the type of people to spend more on an environmentally friendly television are also the type to embrace a non-traditional hue. It is, apparently, "a lifestyle decision".

It has proved popular with Sony's Picture Frame range, but should it not take off for the WE5, there's a good chance the features will be rolled out to additional models in the future.


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