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Samsung accused of rigging energy efficiency tests

Samsung has been accused of faking the energy efficiency tests on its TV sets, and that they only consume less energy while being tested, and not in actual real life situations.

Samsung’s TV sets, allegedly, have a way of recognizing when they’re being tested, and that’s when they use a certain technology designed to reduce power consumption. As soon as the tests are done, the TVs start consuming more energy.

According to a report by The Guardian (opens in new tab), the laboratory tests were done by research group ComplianTV.

Samsung was proud to announce a motion lighting feature which the company claims reduces power consumption by reducing screen brightness when the picture on the screen is in motion. However, tests conducted by ComplianTV, in which Samsung was not named, claimed that no reductions in power consumption were registered in real-life viewing conditions.

“The laboratories observed different TV behaviours during the measurements and this raised the possibility of the TV’s detecting a test procedure and adapting their power consumption accordingly. Such phenomenon was not proven within the ComplianTV tests, but some tested TVs gave the impression that they detected a test situation,” the report stated.

Samsung is having none of it.

“There is no comparison [between motion lighting and VW defeat devices]. This is not a setting that only activates during compliance testing,” a company’s spokesperson said.

"On the contrary, it is an ‘out of the box’ setting, which reduces power whenever video motion is detected. Not only that, the content used for testing energy consumption has been designed by the international electrotechnical commission to best model actual average picture level internationally”.

The European Commission has reportedly confirmed it will investigate any cheating allegations, alongside a pledge to outlaw the use of such defeat devices.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.