Time Warner DVR uses 40 watts while off!

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  #1  
Old 03-29-11, 08:16 PM
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Time Warner DVR uses 40 watts while off!

Just plugged my kill a watt into my dvr and noticed that the dvr uses 40 watts while off. It only goes up to 45 watts while on. Does that seem realistic? My tv, stereo and dvd all use 0 watts while off.
 
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Old 03-29-11, 08:42 PM
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A DVR is never really "off". The hard drive still needs to keep spinning to record.
 
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Old 03-30-11, 12:23 AM
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The hard drive on a DVR should not be spinning except when in playback or record mode. Yes, it will be spinning while actually recording a program (even if the unit is ostensibly "off") but when in standby mode the power consumption should only be a few watts. If this is a leased unit I suggest that you call the provider.
 
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Old 03-30-11, 03:54 AM
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That's not true. Not counting a true Tivo brand standalone unit (which does not have a tuner built in), the hard drives never spin down on a provider-issued DVR when you power it off. All that happens when you hit the power button is it turns off the lights/display in front and blanks the outputs. If there is no activity (including upcoming timers, software upgrades, etc) for a set number of hours (usually 3-4) while the DVR is in Standby (what you would call "off"), then the drive will sleep until a preset time (usually 45 minutes to 1 hour) before the next timer is set to activate. This is to ensure the channel buffer is full before the timer starts recording. I have two Directv DVRs and I keep them so busy they never have a chance to spin down.
 
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Old 03-30-11, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by JerseyMatt View Post
That's not true. Not counting a true Tivo brand standalone unit (which does not have a tuner built in), the hard drives never spin down on a provider-issued DVR when you power it off. All that happens when you hit the power button is it turns off the lights/display in front and blanks the outputs. If there is no activity (including upcoming timers, software upgrades, etc) for a set number of hours (usually 3-4) while the DVR is in Standby (what you would call "off"), then the drive will sleep until a preset time (usually 45 minutes to 1 hour) before the next timer is set to activate. This is to ensure the channel buffer is full before the timer starts recording. I have two Directv DVRs and I keep them so busy they never have a chance to spin down.
I was a little concerned when I heard the hum sound the moment that I plugged it in. Maybe you're right and this is the way they work. Does that mean that if I flip the strip switch on and off each time I watch tv, the dvr will wear out faster?

The reason I got this kill a watt unit was to find out why I was paying so much in electricity in the middle of winter with all gas appliances (minus the fridge of course). I think 40 watts 24/7 is like $4 per month alone.
 
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Old 03-30-11, 08:33 AM
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Don't feel bad, my Dish DVR uses 62 watts even when off. :/

Theres no real reason these companies cant make these devices more efficient. Hard drive can be spun down, processors put in low power states, etc. Sure it needs to come back up at full power in time to record, but there is no reason for it to keep buffering live tv to the hard drive after I press the "power" button. </rant>
 
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Old 03-30-11, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by kevin13 View Post
I think 40 watts 24/7 is like $4 per month alone.
That's about right.

The DVR won't wear out if you unplug it when not in use, but that defeats the whole purpose of having a DVR to record programs when you aren't there. If you don't want that feature, then talk to your provider about getting a standard receiver instead of a DVR.

Theres no real reason these companies cant make these devices more efficient.
Dish can't even make a functional UI, how could they possibly do something like spin down drives?
 
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Old 03-31-11, 10:16 AM
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Our Time Warner DVR box does keep it's drive spinning when it's "off". And the reasoning behind not unplugging it, is that it takes anywhere from 2-10 minutes to fully boot up when plugged back in.
 
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Old 03-31-11, 12:34 PM
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I knew there were reasons other than cost why I refuse to partake of the "leased DVR" scam. My Panasonic units will even shut down the hard drive after a fairly short period of inactivity. The only downside to my units is that they have only analog tuners but that isn't really a problem for me since I subscribe to the lowest cost (analog only) service I can get from Comcast. I can't receive the digital signals over the air because I live in a hollow and the signals pass right over.
 
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Old 03-31-11, 02:39 PM
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My leased directv dvr uses 60W when off, just when i first was starting to beleive phantom power was just a lie. I still do t know why our electric bill is so high.
 
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Old 03-31-11, 02:50 PM
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The DVR really can't be counted as phantom power in that sense. When they say phantom or vampire power they are talking about the miniscule amount that is used by cell phone chargers, TV's, and other things. The DVR isn't really turning 'off' at all. It has to stay running to offer all of its promised features (like a rewind buffer that is full when you turn it 'on').
 
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Old 03-31-11, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
My leased directv dvr uses 60W when off, just when i first was starting to beleive phantom power was just a lie. I still do t know why our electric bill is so high.
Might be tv or computer. My tv was running 225 watts and computer (idling) 325 watts when I test them yesterday. That's what I get for making an overclocked gamer pc.
 
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