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To conserve power, TV broadcasters should shut down

61 Comments

At a press conference on June 8, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda voiced his support for restarting the No. 3 and 4 Oi nuclear reactors, saying the move was needed to "safeguard the people's standard of living."

Businesses in Kansai, which had been facing obligatory power cuts of 15%, promptly breathed a sigh of relief. But the media was critical.

"Frankly, I was surprised," remarked TV Asahi news commentator Ichiro Furutachi on "Hodo Station" the same night of Noda's announcement. "The economy is certainly important. It's the basis of our livelihood. But looking at the Fukushima disaster, I get the strong sense that without peace of mind, the economy is irrelevant."

The same evening, NHK's 9 p.m. news commentator Kensuke Okoshi remarked, "It's said that [the reactors] are safe, but . . . Prime Minister Noda has also made comments to the effect that he would 'give top priority to safety, and not give in to the pressures of supply and demand.' From his latest remarks, he's saying 'we are moving toward safety.' My impression is that he's putting priority on the pressures of supply and demand."

Shukan Shincho (June 28) provides similarly critical remarks from announcers at Fuji and TBS networks.

"If the TV networks are so adamantly opposed to restarting the nuclear reactors, then in order to alleviate power shortages, perhaps they ought to consider other effective measures, such as halting their daytime broadcasts," contends author and commentator Chiaki Aso, adding, "If Mr Furutachi would make remarks to the effect that 'To save power, we are halting our daytime broadcasts, so please turn off the power,' I think that would be truly great."

The time of peak demand for power is between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

"The commercial channels' daytime broadcasts are devoted to re-runs," says Hiroyoshi Usui, professor of media studies at Sophia University. "They have to show something, so they show mostly re-runs of dramas or infomercials. Stations with reserve strengths might run programs about daily living, but most of them are pretty trivial. And if you want to watch news, the evening broadcasts should be enough."

"There's no mistaking that halting daytime broadcasts would save power," Usui added.

Shukan Shincho cited a study by the Nomura Research Institute in April 2011 for promoting household energy conservation. According to the report, in many cases, homes could realize 1.7 times more power savings by turning off TVs as opposed to shutting down air conditioners, based on a calculation that air conditioners consume around 130 watts but a flat-screen TVs consume 220 watts.

"Ordinarily an air conditioner consumes 500 to 600 watts," says a source at an appliance manufacturer. "But those are the maximum figures, and according to studies, within 10 minutes or so after they're turned on and the room cools down, their consumption drops to around 100 watts."

A study by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications estimated that the total power consumption related to broadcasting in 2012 will reach about 15.2 billion kilowatt hours, of which 920 million kilowatt hours -- about 6% of the total -- will be consumed by the broadcasters themselves. Most of the remainder is consumed by home TV sets. In other words, significant power savings can be realized by turning off TVs.

How much savings? Well, the average 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. audience viewing ratio for NHK and the five commercial networks in the Kanto area is about 30%, or roughly 5.5 million households. If consumption of each TV is pegged at 220 watts, then they would require 1.21 million kilowatts per hour -- equivalent to the energy generated by one large nuclear plant -- or three plants if you take the country as a whole.

Sports commentator Masahiko Katsutani goes so far as to suggest that the National High School Baseball Summer Tournament games at Koshien ought to be split between early morning hours and at night. "That would also be better for the young players' health," he notes.

NHK brushed off the notion of halting its broadcasts, telling the magazine it needed to stay on air constantly "to respond to possible emergencies." With characteristic non-Euclidian logic, a spokesperson for the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association asserted that members could not halt their broadcasts. "If, on a very hot day, the possibility of a power shortfall were to arise, we would need to notify TV viewers so as to prevent a major power outage," he explained.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

61 Comments
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The economy is certainly important. It’s the basis of our livelihood.

A clear demonstration of the economically illiterate media. There is NOTHING that is separate from "the economy." All resources are scarce. All needs and wants are infinite. Therefore, in everything humans do, we must "economize," that is, make choices on what we want instead of something else we could get with our time and our resources.

"The Economy," is the collective sum total of all those decisions by all those individuals. Talking about it like it's something that belongs to a certain aspect of society is ridiculous.

As far as the reactors go, they are part of the economy. Without them, people would have to pay a lot more for power, companies would have higher operating costs, products would cost more, and people would have less stuff to buy with their money. It's all connected. It's just a matter of what people are willing to accept in exchange for cheap and risky electricity, and what they are willing to give up for expensive, safe electricity.

Of course, this whole system gets all mucked up when the government steps in and starts making decisions for everybody. Then you get guys saying idiotic things like:

If, on a very hot day, the possibility of a power shortfall were to arise, we would need to notify TV viewers so as to prevent a major power outage

Would this fool even have a job if NHK didn't extort money from people to pay his salary?

1 ( +3 / -3 )

Concur

Shut them all down, along with the Pachinko parlors and intrusive security cameras.

5 ( +6 / -2 )

significant power savings can be realized by turning off TVs.

Then who would baby sit the kids?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Would this fool even have a job if NHK didn't extort money from people to pay his salary?

gaijinfo@that comment came from a spokesman for the association of commercial networks, not NHK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The TV network needs to stay on air if for nothing more in case of disasters and warning which is an important part of the system.

Kansai electric said with the Oi reactors and additional overnight pumped hydro, the power shortage in July will be about 7.5% and in August 6.5%.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I think daytime TV brodcast breaks are best. Daytime TV can be BORING!

The BBC did it a long time ago.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The TV network needs to stay on air if for nothing more in case of disasters and warning which is an important part of the system.

They have radio, dude!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

NHK brushed off the notion of halting its broadcasts, telling the magazine it needed to stay on air constantly “to respond to possible emergencies.”

Ok but is it REALLY all that necessary for NHK to have 5 or 6 different channels all running at the same time? Give me a break!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Pass it around! Save Energy; SHUT OFF YOUR TV's!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What would happen if the late-night broadcasts were cut off? Especially the anime?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The new modern digital TV's use less power than the old ones. My TV is never on in the day time unless there is something happening. Last month, May, we reduced our power bill by 20% and will do this until Sept.

There are 5.5 million vending machines which use about 20 Twh/yr. I vending machine uses about 3,500 kWh/yr.

Recharging an iPad everyday uses about 24 kWh/yr, which costs about ¥14.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Could the writers of such articles please learn to use the units correctly?

1.21 million kilowatts per hour

makes no sense at all!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, shutdown news outlets so the government can do as they like and no one reports it...

Shut down pachinko, soaplands, brand boutiques... long before you get rid of broadcasting stations...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Besides, what would the housewives do during the day if there was no TV to watch?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I find quite silly that Tokyo Tower is lite up at 4am

10 ( +11 / -1 )

This is a fantastic idea, shut down the propaganda... I mean the TV networks, they are useless.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Stopping the TV broadcasts wont save money. Nothing on TV ? Lets go to Tsutaya and rent some DVD. Now we have TV and DVD player consuming power. The only plus is Tsutaya`s profits will rocket.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As an outsider looking in I would like to ask a question. Do many home in Japan have cable or satellite TV? If so then it seems to me that people will just switch to other sources of video entertainment and the only electric saved would be from the on-air transmitters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just stop making inane sensless tv programs where everyone tries to shout each other down all at once and the screaming of Oiishi anytime anyone gets with 1 meter of a piece of food. Laughing falling on the floor yelling at the top of their voices all about absolutely nothing, hitting the person next to you with a plastic hammer all trying to be more outlandish than the next mug. Producing this rubbish must waste miillions of kilowats of the denki with cameras lights etc all running at capacity to catch all the dopey looks and the sensless comments.

If the programs they produced were informative or educational where someone could actually learn something or enjoy the program it would be different.

Cut that rubbish out and then we wouldnt need power cuts I mean come on does anyone actually watch that cr@p and think its any good?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

As a point of interest, after powercuts in the UK after flooding places like Gloucestershire and Bournmouth experienced a surge in the birthrate 9 months later. So cutting the power will kill two birds with one stone.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Hate, good point. I do wonder though if the rate of DV went up as well though.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Just stop making inane sensless tv programs where everyone tries to shout each other down all at once and the screaming of Oiishi anytime anyone gets with 1 meter of a piece of food. Laughing falling on the floor yelling at the top of their voices all about absolutely nothing, hitting the person next to you with a plastic hammer all trying to be more outlandish than the next mug. Producing this rubbish must waste miillions of kilowats of the denki with cameras lights etc all running at capacity to catch all the dopey looks and the sensless comments.

ROFLMAO.....You know export you must be watching plenty of TV to know that this is what it's all about!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I think it's a great idea. It would serve the dual purpose of saving power, and angering homemakers to the point where they scream at the government -- some of them, anyway.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I would love to see all the housewives get ticked off at the government. It's them who hold the purse strings!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Perhaps JapanToday should also turn off their servers to conserve energy. They likely will get rid of 10kW that way, the same as two dozen air conditioning units!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Yubaru

ROFLMAO.....You know export you must be watching plenty of TV to know that this is what it's all about!

Not at all one only has to watch one tv program ever here to see what its all about as every thing on tv here is the same rubbish usually.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is in response to Tmarie's question as to what would housewives do if tv is shut down....they will go shopping until they drop. Japanese love to shop and shop anyway! So yes, I concur, shut down nuclear plants! Let's cooperate and be one once again, just like when the earthquake struck!!We were all one in spirit and in harmony! All is forgotten, people are back in being aggressive and arrogant and impatient and ungiving.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Frank Vaughn,

TV in Japan arrives by over the air digital (majority) cable, local cable, satellite, and over the internet. I use internet TV, with a fiber optic connection.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not at all one only has to watch one tv program ever here to see what its all about as every thing on tv here is the same rubbish usually.

Yeah right, ok, what ever you say.....watch NHK and you wont be talking about what you did in your previous post.

You have to be watching the programs to know what you are talking about, one does not equal all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why not give tax credits to broadcasters who build alternative energy solutions such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, etc.

Then it'll be win - win. This will help with their energy shortage and the broadcasters will get a tax break and continue broadcasting.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Broadcasting the News should be about News and not one's Views. If Television stations are trying to sway the General puplic for or against Nuclear Power then they are overstepping their bounds. Also, if you do have a talk show you should do as much as possible to present both sides. Media, TV, Radio and Newspapers, are too powerful and over time can influence the way people think. Just give us the news and facts... let us decide from there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

and Faux News, USA reports the news and not their views? Ya!right!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TV broadcasting stations could install Bloom Energy Servers which would provide about 30% of their total power and reduce their carbon foot print. Many of the Fortune 500 companies are installing them. The latest one to announce is eBay which will use them at their DATA center.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

shut down the pachinko parlors first, limit their operating hours from 1700-2200

7 ( +6 / -0 )

Why not just shut down all of the stores, trains, factories, etc. Disable all of the AC units and then offer free funerals for the dead. I love foreigners dictating policy in Japan. Lucky for my relatives all of what you dictate will not happen. Japan needs power to survive and there is only one way in the short term to do it. Bring the atomic plants on line. Then make a plan to replace them. If shutting them down is so good, Germany should shut down all of their plants now. No plan, chronic shortages and no do not replace it with French Atomic power.

-7 ( +5 / -11 )

At first I was on the fence but now i think that Noda is right in that News companies should shut down in the daytime. They can shut down everything excluding emergency services. The problem would be how would that affect the employees. With only emergency services running, they could probably run the station with just a skeleton crew, but that would hurt many employees. Anyway, from what i hear around japan most people get their morning news from the newspaper, Internet, and cell phones. Its mostly Domestic engineers using the tv and they mostly listen to it so radio should be fine.

@Yuri Why are you attacking foreigners about their opinions about this situation. Every one can have an opinion about any situation they want. Anyway, foreigners are not dictating anything in japan. This is a Japanese situation which is being debated on by the Japanese ( including foreign nationals). Foreigners are only commenting. Germany has nothing to do with this. If you want to keep the reactors on then get off of JT and get on the phone and contact these news companies who are against Noda. Its the Japanese media that is trying to dictate in this situation. CNN is not covering this. You always like to talk about how you want other countries to stay out of Japanese affairs but you are the only one bringing up other countries and cultures.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I love foreigners dictating policy in Japan.

First off anyone can voice their opinion, and second it was a Japanese person who first came up with this idea. Of course your entire idea is to blindly fend off anything that is even merely suggested by the "outsiders".

Lucky for my relatives all of what you dictate will not happen.

It may or may not actually happen, but I didn't know that you spoke for Japan.

2 ( +2 / -1 )

If the trick is to silence the TV media not to talk about the scare mongering campaigns around black-outs by nuke electricity companies, then got it wrong. It is better they are kept busy there in studios than for instance if they transfer their energies to viralous social media, which will even be worse. Remember obama did not win elections or fundraise through TV; neither did egyptians depose dictator mubarak through TV. Be warned.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why not just shut down all of the stores, trains, factories, etc. Disable all of the AC units and then offer free funerals for the dead. I love foreigners dictating policy in Japan. Lucky for my relatives all of what you dictate will not happen. Japan needs power to survive and there is only one way in the short term to do it. Bring the atomic plants on line. Then make a plan to replace them. If shutting them down is so good, Germany should shut down all of their plants now. No plan, chronic shortages and no do not replace it with French Atomic power.

yuriotani,

Spoken like a true Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Time for Japan to introduce "summer time" and siestas!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To conserve power, Prime minister Noddy should shut down!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All of them should be shut down except for HBO!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Has Japan done anything to cut down on night time vanity lighting? That was one thing that was frowned upon during the 1970's in the US and again when the US briefly wanted to conserve power in the late 1990's. Tell office buildings to not leave office lights on at night to light up a high rise. Don't run tons of outdoor vanity lighting or only run it during the peak hours people are out at night.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder what air conditioner they have that only uses 100 W when running? An imaginary one perhaps? An electric fan uses something similar to that and doesn't cool anything. My air conditioner is rated at ~2 kW, which is why I am reluctant to use it.

And why do the hopeless government give out more "Eco Points" when you buy a massive TV that uses far more power than a smaller one? Completely crazy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe Noda is basically saying to the TV companies, "Put your money where your mouth is".

If they so strongly believe that Japanese can continue to live they way they do without making any compromises, they have a nasty surprise in the form of blackouts during peak hours. The existing generators cannot supply enough power without the aid of the Nuclear reactors. So, one of two things has to happen. Either Japan consumes less power during peak hours, or they start some nuclear reactors.

The TV stations are saying that people should accept that there is less power to be had, but are unwilling to give up broadcasting during the day which would certainly reduce a lot of power consumption. Hmmmm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps they should just shut down all the Japanese TV stations, and stick with Satellite Stations. That would do us all a favour. What a waste of money and electricity to broadcast such irrelevant drivel 24 hours a day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yuri: Wow... I guess since you don't live in Japan and there aren't any nuclear plants running in Okinawa, you don't see why people are not too eager to start up the power plants. I live in Shiga, next to Biwa-ko which I am sure you are familiar with. If it were to be contaminated by the Oi power plant, there would be a lot of people without drinking water, food and a means to produce goods. Frankly, a good chunk of Kansai would be screwed.

That is why people are trying to think of REASONABLE ways to reduce power. However, I think shutting down the TV stations won't do much because people will just rent DVDs or play video games. What the need to do is have community areas with big tvs so that everyone could get together in one area, watch one tv and have one (albeit) massive air-con on. Or allow the shopping centers to use a more powerful air con but encourage them to have more events that would keep children and the elderly indoors at peak hours so they don't get heat stroke. Your idea just seems like uneducated, over the top nonsense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Forget energy,

They should shut down those stations to conserve intelligence

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Business... Corporations... There is no such thing as moral business and this is another example.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Greed is the reason to have a business no matter how great.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I wanted to add black outs do not just mean the power going out, they mean machinery operation at peak ratings. And they will cause surges, which in concequence will cause wear and tear to equiptment. In the hundreds of millions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I hate this tit for tat

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just stop making inane sensless tv programs where everyone tries to shout each other down all at once and the screaming of Oiishi anytime anyone gets with 1 meter of a piece of food. Laughing falling on the floor yelling at the top of their voices all about absolutely nothing, hitting the person next to you with a plastic hammer all trying to be more outlandish than the next mug. Producing this rubbish must waste miillions of kilowats of the denki with cameras lights etc all running at capacity to catch all the dopey looks and the sensless comments.

This is the best thing I've read today. Good work!

But unfortunately entire Japanese population is hooked on this rubbish and will go nuts if unplugged...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yippy, please please do. Even better turn it off for 23.5 hrs a day and trun it back on just long enough for a news update. Its not like Japanese tv is worth having on anyway, 99.9% of it is rubbish.

But then watch all the power consumption go up as people illegally download decent tv viewing from overseas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bit torrent

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What was the point of Tokyo Sky Tree then if it is meant to be a broadcasting tower...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Doesn't all the city lights take up more power..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

On the billboards etc, although neon lights does not take that much power, if you do the stats on all prefectures with a lot of lights, it does take up power. Though I love the lights and it would look dull without them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Outlaw pachinko !! Or a least make them go SOLAR!!!!!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Make all the baseball games during the day?????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichiJUN. 24, 2012 - 05:39AM JST TV broadcasting stations could install Bloom Energy Servers which would provide about 30% of their total power and reduce their carbon foot print. Many of the Fortune 500 companies are installing them. The latest one to announce is eBay which will use them at their DATA center.

Bloom Box (which are just natural gas fuel cells) are much less efficient than cogeneration (conventional power station) with natural gas and produce more CO2. Cheaper in the US because of subsidies that's why Fortune 500 companies are installing them.

Shutting down TV stations would save lots of power one transmitter for the BBC is 500KW- I am guessing the total power consumption for a Japanese TV station is in order of 10MW- the absolute peak power usage for the average Japanese household is about 9 kW.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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