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We all know 4K TV is pretty great – but it could come with hidden costs

4K TV, otherwise known as Ultra HD, is becoming increasingly popular, and looks set to become even bigger in 2017 as prices come down and more consumers start to upgrade their sets.

But British Gas has a word of warning for all those looking to get in on the Ultra HD action, as an upcoming report suggests the cost of running a 4K set could be significantly higher than for Full HD TVs.

Preliminary figures from the British Gas Home Energy report with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), seem to show that Ultra HD TVs use up to a third more energy than HD sets.

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The report is set to be released in January 2017, and claims that an extra 11 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity was required for 4K TVs in 2014, when compared to HD models.

That means about £1.8 million of extra cost overall, but that looks set to rise 4,264% by 2019, resulting in 480 GWh of extra electricity and £82 million of extra cost.


The report also claims the average cost of powering a TV in 2001 was £14 per year, which rose to £20 by 2008, before declining again to £18 a year over the next seven years.

That decline was largely down to improvements in energy efficiency, but it seems the rise of 4K could start to push the cost of running a TV back up, and result in the first increase in energy consumption by TVs for five years.

Related: What is 4K?

Daniel Colford, Smart Energy Expert at British Gas said: “With living rooms now awash with technology and entertainment gadgets, many of which routinely use power even if on standby, we recommend taking a closer look at each device to see how its energy use can be reduced and getting smart meters installed to monitor overall household energy consumption.”

Around two million homes are expected to have a 4K set by the end of this year, and by 2019, Ultra HD TVs are expected to be in nine million homes.

British Gas advises saving money by not leaving the TV in standby mode, and ensuring the set you buy has a good energy rating.

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Let us know what you think of the report in the comments.