If you want to kill the standby power consumption of the TV’s in your home then using an E.ON TV PowerDown plug is one way to do it.
They are free to E.ON Energy customers and you can purchase them from their online shop for only 3 quid each. They are very easy to setup with your TV’s original remote control and the setup instructions can be found here, they are however not so easy to setup for use in conjunction with a Logitech Harmony universal remote control.
Some blurb from their website:
“Eliminating standby use in our homes is not always easy. That little red light on your television and home entertainment additions such as surround sound amplifiers, DVD Players and games consoles are needlessly costing you money every hour.
Our TV PowerDown automatically switches these TV peripherals on and off when you turn your TV on and off. It learns to recognise the signal from your television remote control. This enables it to activate your television automatically into standby mode whenever you are ready to use it. And when you have finished using your television you switch it off in the normal way using your remote control and the TV PowerDown does the rest!”
Basically you plug in your TV in to the master socket on the E.ON TV PowerDown plug and then use the slave socket to plug in any peripherals such as a DVD player or what ever, I am not using the peripheral socket however as my HDTV’s are wall mounted so just plugging in the TV to the master socket. When your TV goes in to standby mode the E.ON TV PowerDown plug detects this and then totally kills the power to the TV and peripherals if you have any connected so you have now eliminated standby power consumption. I recommend you don’t use this with DVR’s like Windows Media Center , Sky + and Virgin Media boxes they need to be left in standby so they can wake up and record stuff!
Now the first time I tried to set one of these up with my Harmony I couldn’t get it working and eventually gave up. However I had another go yesterday and I now have it working! What I did was to add the E.ON TV PowerDown plug in to the Logitech Harmony database as a new device. Ideally to follow this guide you will need two Harmony remotes capable of learning IR commands (If you only have one remote don’t panic) and also you will need an old remote control you are not using for anything or another remote control from another room in the house.
1. The first thing you need to do is obviously plug your TV in to the master socket on the E.ON TV PowerDown plug and then plug the E.ON plug in to the mains socket on the wall and position the IR sensor thingy.
2. The next thing you need to do is program the E.ON plug with a remote control command which will turn it on and therefore TV standby will be resumed from the totally off power state. This is where you need your old remote control from any device that you are not using or grab a remote control that is from a different room in the house. I was setting up this E.ON plug for the TV in my lounge, I couldn’t find an old unused remote so I used the remote from my Cambridge Audio amp in the bedroom. You can pick any button off the remote to teach to the E.ON plug I used the eject button on my Cambridge amp remote, but it could be any button. Follow the instructions here to teach the E.ON plug the remote control button command. Once you have done this and when pressing the button you chose on the remote turns on the E.ON plug OK then you can move to the next step.
3. Login to your Logitech Harmony software, go to the device tab and click the Add Device button
From the drop down list select Home Automation –> Home Appliance
Now I could not see a manufacturer called E.ON in the list so I just selected Not Listed
Enter E.ON in to the text box and click Save
For the model enter TVA106EON then click the Next button
Click Next again
Select No you do not have a remote and click Next
It will then say it can’t find your device in the database, click Next.
For now just select There are no power buttons…….
On this page select Done
Our new device is then listed with the others as Home Appliance, click the Settings button
Select rename this device and click the Next button
Rename the device E.ON TV PowerDown and click the Save button.
4. Now we need to teach the E.ON TV PowerDown device / your Harmony remote control the button command from your other remote you used in step 2.
Select Learn IR Commands then click the Next button.
Scroll down and tick PowerOn then click the Learn button.
Connect the Harmony remote for the room to your PC via the USB cable, grab your other remote that use used to teach the E.ON plug in step 2 and press the same button again and teach the Harmony that particular button command. In my case it was the eject button on my Cambridge amp remote.
It should then say Key Detected and return you to the page with all the IR commands listed on it, click the Done button.
5. Now select Adjust power settings and click the Next button
Select I want to turn off this device when it’s not in use
Select One button on the remote for turning it both On and Off
Select I don’t have the original remote, but I know the command that is used:
Select PowerOn and then click the Next button and then Done button
6. If your Harmony has an LCD screen you may want to make sure a custom button will be shown. Select Customize Buttons and click Next.
For some reason it set the Channel Up hard button to the PowerOn command? Just blank this out
Click the Additional Buttons tab, on page 1 slot 1 type the name PowerOn and select the PowerOn command from the drop down menu, then click the Done button.
Update your Harmony remote now to add the new E.ON device to the remote control.
Now at this point as a test I added the E.ON TV PowerDown device in to my Watch TV activity. However I found that when I started the activity the command to turn on the E.ON plug was sent OK but my TV was not being powered on. So this meant the TV went back in to standby mode from the totally powered off state but then did not come out of standby mode and actually turn on. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening so to get round this problem I needed to teach the E.ON TV PowerDown device in the Harmony software the actual PowerOn command of my TV. So it would sent two commands one to turn on the E.ON plug and one to then turn on the TV out of standby.
Now you could use your TV’s original remote control to do this but its likely that you only have a Power Toggle button on that remote (One button that turns on and off the TV). So if you have two Logitech Harmony remotes that can learn IR it is probably better to do what I did, so I could learn the discrete PowerOn command for the TV. If you don’t have two Harmony’s you will just have to use the PowerToggle button on your TV’s original remote control.
Harmony remote control #1 is the remote we have just been programming for the lounge.
Harmony remote control #2 is another Harmony from my bedroom.
As I don’t have the same TV in each room what I did was temporarily add the TV in my lounge an LG 42LE4500 to the Harmony #2 controller from the bedroom and updated the remote.
I could then teach the Harmony #1 / E.ON device with the discrete PowerOn command of the TV in the lounge, from the Harmony #2 remote. Confused?
7. Teach the E.ON TV PowerDown device the discrete PowerOn command of your TV.
Select Learn IR on the E.ON TV PowerDown device scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter “TV PowerOn” in the Learn a New Command section.
Click the Learn New Command button
Ensure you connect the Harmony #1 remote to your PC via USB.
Then using the Harmony #2 remote with the temporarily added TV2 device press the PowerOn button from the LCD screen to teach the Harmony #1 remote the command.
Click the Done button.
On the Devices tab, click the Settings button on the E.ON TV PowerDown device
Select Customize Buttons and click Next
Click the Additional Buttons tab, you can see I now have two buttons / commands on the E.ON TV PowerDown device. PowerOn to power on the E.ON plug and TV PowerOn to power on the TV from standby. Click Done.
If you update the Harmony #1 remote again now you will be able to manually test if both of these commands work? Ensure your TV is currently in the totally powered off state i.e. the standby light is out. Then on the Harmony remote click the devices button, select the E.ON TV PowerDown device, press the PowerOn button from the LCD screen and the TV should go in to standby. Then press the TV PowerOn button and the TV should then turn on.
8. Adding the E.ON TV PowerDown device in to your activities.
Now we have added the E.ON TV PowerDown device to our remote and both our power on commands are working you just need to add in the E.ON TV PowerDown device to your activities that use the TV.
Go to the Activities tab and select Settings on your first activity that requires the TV.
Select Review the settings for this activity
Select Yes, but I want to add more control of options and devices for this activity
Now Add the E.ON TV PowerDown device in to the activity, then click Save.
Run through the rest of the wizard clicking next and leaving the settings as you had them. On the page shown below you need to insert an extra TV PowerOn command for the E.ON TV PowerDown device.
Select – Send this IR command: TV PowerOn
This is a pretty basic Watch TV activity, however if you have lots of commands going on in your activity you should use the up arrows to move the E.ON TV PowerDown – TV PowerOn command to the top of the list.
Click Save at the end and then select Yes these settings are correct, click Next and Done.
Select Review the order in which devices are powered on, click Next.
Select the E.ON TV PowerDown device and click the up arrow to move it to the first device to be powered on.
Repeat this process for all your activities that require the TV. Update your Harmony remote again. Then test each of your activities and that everything is working as normal and the TV is turning on from the totally powered off state.
Finally don’t forget to remove the temporarily added TV2 on your other Harmony remote and update that one.
You may sleep a little easier now you know your TV’s are totally powered off during the night and when not in use and your doing your little bit to save the planet. Now if only I could do something about that power sucking Windows Home Server beast that lives under the stairs.