Monday, March 08, 2010

How the SageTV Extender Practically Paid For Itself

I was reading through the SageTV forums today and one particular post caught my eye.  A long-time SageTV user starts off the forum post like this:

“How my HD100's have Practically Paid for themselves

This is one of the key reasons extenders matter.  It’s also one of the reasons I use extenders at most TV’s in my home instead of a dedicated HTPC for each TV.  Lower power consumption, lower initial cost and ease of use all go into the equation as I explained when I made the case for extenders over computers.

Paul goes on to explain how the energy savings he has experienced by using two HD100 extenders (predecessor to the HD200) has been practically $175 per machine over the past two years.  Here’s an excerpt from his forum post:

“I bought 2 HD100's back in February/March of 2008. I didn't get in on the first batch, but I did get in on the second. Last night I was wondering how much money I have saved in energy costs using them rather than a full PC.
I have a computer that used to be my main desktop rig that I built originally to be an HTPC, but then decided to instead make it my desktop. Specs as follows:

  • AMD Athlon X2 4850e
  • Gigabyte 780G MicroATX Motherboard
  • 6GB of DDR2800 RAM (originally 2GB)
  • 320GB SATA Hard Drive
  • DVDRW Optical Drive
  • AMD/ATI Radeon 4670 Video Card (replaced onboard video for better 1080i playback)

The system above draws about 130 Watt/hr when idle and around 170 Watt/hr at full load (roughly).

In comparison, the HD100 uses around 7-8 watt/hr at all times - even if we use the 130 Watt/hr idle draw, that means that the full HTPC is using 122 watt/hr more than the HD100. Using 8 cents a kw/hr that I pay here that works out to:

  • 122 w/hr x 24 hours = 2928 (roughly 3 KW/hr per day then)
  • 3 Kw/hr x .08 = $ 0.24 per day or 0.24 x 365 = $87.60 per year of savings.

Since the HD100's are now 2 years old, this means that I have seen an energy savings of about $175 each in the 2 years I have had them!!   That makes their current net cost to me about $37 each ($200 for the unit + 12 for shipping - $175 in energy savings)!“

Kill-A-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

The SageTV HD Theater (HD200) uses a slightly higher 8 – 10 Watts compared to the 7-8 watts/hr of the older HD100.  Either way, it’s a considerable amount of energy savings compared to a full-blown HTPC in multi-TV setups.  Last year I began checking power usage of electronics in the house with a Kill-a-Watt and it’s definitely an eye opener.  I’ll do another article to show off the results in my home.

P3 International P4460 Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor