The Big Picture: Ultra High-Definition Televisions Could Add $1 Billion to Viewers' Annual Electric Bills

With an estimated 300 million installed televisions in the United States—almost one per person—it is clear that Americans love their televisions, and many of them are constantly seeking bigger and better models. The newest variety quickly entering the market is known as ultra high-definition (UHD) due to its superior picture quality, with 8 million or more pixels; sometimes these are called 4K TVs because the images are about 4,000 pixels wide, with four times as many pixels as a high-definition (HD) television. Unfortunately, our analysis shows current UHD models use on average about 30 percent more energy than HD models of the same size. As the shift to UHD televisions is now in its early stages, there is still time for manufacturers to incorporate more efficient designs and components into all new models and prevent much of this potential additional electricity use and resultant pollution.