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The EU’s 8K TV ban is turning into a startup nightmare

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If you’re planning a new conference room in your coworking space or startup office, you better get that big screen TV soon. From March 1, 2023, the EU set to ban all 8K TVs and some 4K models from the European market. That sucks when you’ve turned booking the boardroom to play Minecraft under the pretense of a meeting into an art form.

What’s behind the ban?

EU law on energy labeling aims to remove the least efficient products from the market. Since September 1, 2021, each television and screen label has included electricity consumption in kWh for 1,000 hours in High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode with its energy efficiency category (from A to G).

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From March 2023, the European Commission could expand this with a new EEI (Energy Efficiency Index) scale. This introduces a maximum energy consumption that cannot be exceeded.

Previously, 8k and microLED TVs enjoyed an exemption.

High-end TVs offer brighter screens, resulting in higher power consumption and more intensive image processing required.

Currently, no 8K TVs meet EU energy efficiency levels. Yes, NO. And only a few 4K models fall within the limits.

What happens now?

In addition to lobbying by branch organisations, we may see a rush of TV sales before the ban goes into effect. Companies will make an effort to recoup some of the R&D costs of their top models. You can make a decent savings on your business expenses when the Christmas sale comes.

But it could also motivate TV creators to update their software to be more sustainable, especially given that they typically already offer Eco mode. Do it better folks!

It’s also worth considering the flow-on effect for startups working in digital advertising, animation, film, gaming and design that rely on 8K resolution for optimal presentations. Let’s face it, like it or not; everything looks better on the big screen. Crowding around a small screen is a miserable experience – trust me, I grew up in the ’80s. It’s a damn shame it can’t be greener, and hopefully this will encourage the industry to do better.

Just the beginning

We can expect this to be the start of energy savings. Germany has passed in recent weeks a new law banning the lighting of landmarks. Spain set a curfew for shop and monument lighting, and Paris is dimming the lights an hour earlier at the Eiffel Tower. (I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll see plenty of energy-guzzling Christmas lights).

And if nothing else, trade shows like IFA and CES won’t be the same without the splendor of giant conference floors packed with huge screens — even if they cost more than a room full of laptops. But hey, they might be cheaper soon.

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