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3,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, part of my Popcorn Hour A100 review was to compare the power consumption, and ensuing cost of operation, for the A100 vs a HTPC. So, I got my hands on a Kill-A-Watt and this is what I found...

(Item: Power Draw in watts)
Popcorn Hour (Standby/Off): 5
Popcorn Hour (Playing 1080p off network): 6
Popcorn Hour (Playing 1080p off Hard Drive): 15

HTPC (Idle): 86
HTPC (100% CPU): 105

While I was at it, I measured the rest of my Home Theater...

51" CRT RPTV (Movie Playing): 142
DVD Player (Movie Playing): 10
AVR (Movie Playing): 60
Sub (Movie Playing): 12
BFD (ON): 4

So, I took my average cost-per-kilowatt (what it would cost to run a 1000 watt device for an hour), including all taxes and delivery charges, and this is what I came up with...

My average cost over last year per kilowatt: 16.3 Cents


Running an HTPC 24/7 versus running the Popcorn Hour 24/7 per year: $122.80 vs $7.14

To leave my BFD plugged in and on 24/7 costs me per year: $5.71

Watching a 2 hour movie on my HT system, in the dark, using the DVD player: $0.07
Watching Sweeny Todd in a Portland theater with 3 other people at 4pm on a Saturday: $40.00

Hey, this is fun. I will add more items as I measure them.

Equipment that still use power when "Off"
Subwoofer on "standby": 8
DVD "Off"/Standby: 4
Powered Speakers (Audioengine A2, no input): 3

Other items...

10' strand of Rope Lights: 72

Computer clocked at 1.2GHz
Idle: 86
100% CPU: 105

Same Computer Clocked at 2.7GHz
Idle: 89
100% CPU: 129

22" LCD Monitor (Light Blue Background): 36
Cable Modem: 7
Router: 4

Toaster Oven: 1190
Cost to pop a bag of Popcorn (3 minutes in 1350W microwave): 1 Cent

To figure out your yearly cost, multiply (the wattage) x (Cents per KWH) x (
0.0876) = Cost in Dollars
To figure out your hourly cost, multiply (the wattage) x (Cents per KWH) x (
0.001) = Cost in cents

Other Devices:
42" LCD = 120w

3,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You probably should leave your sub on, it seems to use more power when its off :)


Fixed it, should have been 12, not two.

I think another way to look at all of this is, let's say you'd like to buy a new power strip with sequenced switching versus keeping your BFD, SUB, and DVD player on all the time. You could probably save $10 a year on electricity. Not a whole lot, but figure you're going to have that power strip for 5 or 10 years, and all of a sudden, you just saved $100. It's enough to make you want to go out a buy a new power strip.

I like this one: http://www.tripplite.com/products/product.cfm?productID=3500 :)

3,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I put the movie on a scene with lots of sound coming out of all the speakers, set the level to normal listening, and averaged the wattage of all the equipment. The TV also fluctuated from light to dark scenes, so once again, I just averaged it.

Admittedly, my setup probably isn't running as high as others. I have pretty basic equipment, and, thanks to shared walls, am running far below 85db, so your results, if you're really cooking, might be double mine.

The biggest thing is to find those pieces of equipment that use energy even when they're "off".
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