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Video entertainment industry still faces barriers to achieving sustainability

Did you know an 8K television uses more than double the electricity of a 4K set?

A new report looking at the energy demands of emerging consumer devices and immersive video experiences has spotlighted the need for more environmentally sustainable choices across the video entertainment industry.

The Sustainable Future of Video Entertainment, a joint study by InterDigital and Futuresource, looks at the energy demands of the video entertainment industry, from the production, delivery, and consumption of feature films, video games, and other video experiences. The findings suggest that sustainability must be integrated into all aspects of the video entertainment industry, from research to manufacturing to supply chain and logistics, to be most effective.

The report highlights several statistics for the video industry’s energy dependence:

  • By 2022, video viewing will account for 82 per cent of all internet traffic, with overall internet traffic accounting for more than 1 per cent of global emissions.
  • An 8K TV uses more than double the electricity as a 4K TV. The report states that, many users are unaware that 8K TVs account for 108gCO2e per hour of emissions, 2.6 times higher than for a 4K set.
  • By 2023, roughly 30 million 8K TVs will consume 50 per cent more energy than the 343 million tablets worldwide. Consumer engagement with sustainability will spur greater scrutiny in device choice.
  • In 2019, televisions consumed an estimated 251Terawatt hours (TWh) of energy, and consumer electronic devices consumed 379 TWh of energy. Conversely, data centres for streaming video consumed 2,460 Gigawatt hours of energy.
  • Data centres are responsible for roughly 3 per cent of global electricity use. The massive impact of data centres on global energy reserves highlights the need for a green transformation of the ICT sector said the report.

“The data in this report highlights the importance of continued technical progress in streaming, networking, compression and device technology, but also the need for individuals to make responsible choices,” said Henry Tirri, CTO of InterDigital.. “For instance, an individual watching an information broadcast on a 4K TV can lessen their energy footprint by almost 40 per cent simply by choosing to watch the content in 720p – and even more by choosing to watch it on a tablet or their smartphone. With the awareness that studies like the InterDigital/Futuresource study will bring, individuals will be empowered to understand and make those choices.”

The full report is available to download here.