Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Australia subject to Carbon Tax. Unnecessary?

Well the Australian Labor Government's 'Carbon Package' was voted in favor this morning. I have mixed feelings about the whole situation.

One thing this decision has done is prompted me to finally make a blog entry I've wanted to do for quite awhile, but it never happened before due to various reasons (mostly laziness :P), until now.

I am a firm believer that technology is steering "us" towards more sustainable living as it is...without taxing people. If you've read my blog for awhile you'll have seen entries about energy efficiency and use of resources.

Today I will post some amateur, independent...and well rushed research I have conducted - The difference in energy demand between VHS/VCR and DVD technology. Enjoy, and if you know people that would be interested, could learn something or need something like this for homework by all means feel free to share :)

Okay here it is...

Aim:      To determine the differences between VHS/VCR and DVD technology in terms of energy

Method: Play 'The Big Lebowski in both VHS and DVD formats on compatible playback devices whilst
             gathering data on energy consumption from a power meter device (as found in stores)

The DVD set-up: DVD Player connected to power through a power meter

DVD playback maintained a power consumption rate of 5 Watts, skipping chapters did not result in an increase of energy demand.

 The VCR set-up: DVD Player connected to power through a power meter

The VHS tape (ex-rental)  reaches this classification screen at 13m:18s in...

 The power consumed during Fast Forwarding (and Rewinding for that matter) runs at 9-10 Watts. 
Note: I did not time how long it took to Fast Forward to this point

VHS playback maintained a power consumption rate of 8 Watts

Conclusion: To play a DVD (in this instance...variation would presumably exist between difference
                    brands/models) requires 3 Watts LESS than it takes to play the VHS format.
                    The VHS tape requires rewinding after it has been watched for re-viewing

Further notes:

1. The Big Lebowski has a running time of 119 minutes
2. The tape length of a 'E-120' VHS cassette is 173.7 metres (570ft) - 18.8m of tape is involved to reach the 13 minute mark (to the classification screen, as above).

I hope you have enjoyed this


  1. I miss the days when you could just fastfoward through piracy warnings and classifications. I think you just wanted to watch Big Lebowski twice lol, but I will commend you for doing this too. It was a smart, practical idea, and you have managed to prove that DVD's use less power than VHS, which surprised me as I always thought it was more.

  2. The whole thing seems a bit silly to me. The Australian government is an odd one, probably one of the strangest in the world in my opinion.

  3. Some dinosaurs need incentive to die. They see the benefit of accelerating obsolete technologies as a net benefit and are willing to piss some people off in the process. That said I don't believe that there is a process to recycle the polymer wafers known as dvd's, so the net benefit may be a wash.

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