I have an unusual question. The scenario is onboard computing / entertainment for a live aboard boat with a very tight energy budget. I'm trying to figure out what is the most energy efficient display technology that is capable or pretty high resolutions?

Is it LCD or perhaps pico projectors are starting to get into the HD arena? Do 1080p pico projectors exist yet?

I'm considering the possibility of a pico projector because there's usually not very much light below deck.

  • 1
    What's the available voltage on the boat? 12V DC? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 23 '11 at 16:06
  • Yes, if possible I'd like to avoid having to use an inverter which is usually pretty inefficient. many picos run directly off USB, perhaps this can be converted efficiently – barrymac Nov 23 '11 at 16:30
  • What's your power budget and desired screen size? Both will drastically effect your range of choices. – MBraedley Nov 23 '11 at 18:06

Based on your interest in "decent resolution", I suggest you avoid pico projectors. Their actual image quality is fairly poor, and probably will remain so until the technology matures.

What you need to do is pick a specific power target, say, <= 100 watts at 120v, and then begin looking.

That said, an LED backlit television will probably be the best mix of power efficiency, space efficiency, and picture quality. The Vizio VF551XVT is a 55" display which, when calibrated for low power usage, can use just under 100W.

LED backlighting is much more efficient with power than CCFL (the most common backlighting), but even then the brightness and backlight intensity can make up to a 100% difference in the power consumption of the set.

The Sony KDL-46EX700 can get down to about 65W if 100W is over the limit.

Unfortunately the best displays in terms of power efficiency, such as OLED, have never been successfully marketed as a real-world television display.

  • 2
    LED PC monitors with HDMI might also fit your needs, many are <30W. – Lamar B Nov 23 '11 at 16:07
  • I'm afraid 100w is way off, didn't know that 30w panels were achievable though, that's impressive and brings them back into the competition. – barrymac Nov 23 '11 at 16:32

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