ENERGY STAR Symbol

ENERGY STAR®
Qualifying Criteria for
Cable, Satellite, and Telecom Service Providers

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Products imported into and sold in Canada must meet all Canadian regulatory and safety requirements.

Eligible equipment must be qualified by the U.S. ENERGY STAR Program at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This technical specification is the same as the product specification published on the U.S. ENERGY STAR Web site and is provided as information only. Administered by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency, the ENERGY STAR Program in Canada uses the term Participant to designate companies, organizations and other stakeholders that promote the use of the ENERGY STAR mark on products or in promotional and marketing material and activities. This technical specification was modified to include this change. The use of the term Participant is similar in scope to that of Partner, which is used by the U.S. ENERGY STAR Program.

In order to promote ENERGY STAR qualified set top boxes (STBs) in Canada, cable, satellite and telecom service providers are required to sign a Participant Administrative Arrangement with Natural Resources Canada and can take advantage of promotional and communications opportunities provided by the program.

1) Definitions

STB Types
All STB types can come as stand-alone tuners or as part of a larger device with other tuners and/or secondary functions such as, but not limited to, DVR and DVD playback/recording.

  • A. Cable STB
    A STB whose principal function is to receive television signals from a broadband, hybrid fiber/coaxial, community cable distribution system and deliver them to a consumer display and/or recording device.
    Source: CSA C380-08 modified.

  • B. Internet Protocol (IP) STB
    A STB whose principal function is to receive television/video signals encapsulated in IP packets and deliver them to a consumer display and/or recording device.
    Source: CSA C380-08.

  • C. Satellite STB
    A STB whose principal function is to receive television signals from satellites and deliver them to a consumer display and/or recording device.
    Source: CSA C380-08.

  • D. Terrestrial STB
    Any STB whose principal function is to receive television signals over the air (OTA) and deliver them to a consumer display and/or recording device.
    Source: CSA C380-08.

  • E. Thin-Client/Remote
    A STB that is designed to interface between a Multi-Room STB and a TV (or other output device) that has no ability to interface with the Service Provider directly and relies solely on a Multi-Room box for content. Any STB that meets the definition of Cable, Satellite, IP or Terrestrial STB is not a Thin-Client/Remote STB.

Components

  • F. Conditional Access
    The encryption, decryption, and authorization techniques employed to protect content from unauthorized viewing. CableCARD and Downloadable Conditional Access (DCAS) are examples of this technology.

  • G. Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS)
    An international suite of standards that define interface requirements for cable modems involved in high-speed data and video/audio content distribution over cable television systems.

Functionalities

  • H. Base Functionality
    For purposes of this specification, the primary functionality that defines the criteria that apply to a STB. The Base Functionality is one of the following: Cable, Satellite, IP, Terrestrial or Thin-Client/Remote. (See the ENERGY STAR Technical Specifications for Set-top Boxes, Version 2.0 for additional details.)

  • I. Additional Functionalities
    Additional Functionalities consist of one or more of the following: Additional Tuners, Additional Tuners – OTA/IP, Advanced Video Processing, DVR, High Definition Resolution (does not apply to terrestrial), Removable Media Player, Removable Media Player/Recorder, Multi-Room, and CableCARD.

Additional Functionalities

  • J. Additional Tuners
    An additional tuner provides a second source of media content either from a physically separate A/V input or from the primary input (used concurrently); they need not be for the same source media type. Out-Of-Band tuners built in compliance with standards ANSI/SCTE 55-1 2002 and ANSI/SCTE 55-2 2002 and other similar types of technologies are not considered additional tuners for the purposes of this specification. For example, a device with additional tuners has the ability to tune into two or more separate streams of video simultaneously and place those on separate outputs (outputs being either physical outputs, picture-in-picture, or recording mechanisms). Note that network-based outputs are not covered under the additional tuners definition but are covered under the definition of a Multi-Room device.

  • K. Additional Tuners – Terrestrial/IP
    An Additional Tuner of Terrestrial or IP type.

  • L. Advanced Home Network Interface
    An advanced network interface such as Wi-Fi, MOCA, etc. that allows a STB to interface with external devices through a network. This allowance can be applied only to devices that are NOT Multi-Room or thin client devices (as the network capability of those devices is already accounted for in their allowances).

  • M. Advanced Video Processing/Codecs
    Advanced methods for video encoding, transcoding and decoding. Examples include, but are not limited to, H.264/MPEG 4 and SMPTE 421M.

  • N. CableCARD™
    A plug-in card that complies with the ANSI/SCTE 28 interface that is inserted into a Digital Cable Ready device to enable the decryption of premium services and provide other network control functions. Also know as a “Card” or a “Point of Deployment” (POD module). CableCARD is a registered trademark of CableLabs®.
    Source: CSA C380-08 modified.

  • O. Digital Versatile Disk (DVD)
    An optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies, with high video and sound quality.

  • P. Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
    A device that stores video in a digital format to a rewritable disk drive or other non-volatile storage media local to the unit. The term covers DVR functions integrated in a STB; it does not include software for personal computers that enables video capture and playback to and from the computer’s data storage nor does it include server based DVR capabilities.

  • Q. High Definition Resolution
    Video output with resolutions greater than 480i/p.

  • R. Multi-Room STB
    A STB that meets the definition for Cable, Satellite, IP or Terrestrial STB above and is capable of providing independent content to multiple TVs within a single family dwelling. Products handling gateway services to multi-subscriber scenarios are not covered under this specification.

  • S. Removable Media Player
    A device, such as a DVD player, whose primary purpose is the decoding of digitized video signals on a DVD.

  • T. Removable Media Player/Recorder
    A device, such as a DVD recorder, whose primary purpose is the production or recording of digitized video/audio signals on a DVD.

Operational Modes and Power States

  • U. On/Active
    An operational state in which the STB is actively delivering one or more of its principal functions and some or all of its applicable secondary functions.

  • V. Sleep
    A state in which the STB has less power consumption, capability, and responsiveness than in the On/Active state. The STB may enter a Sleep state from the On/Active state after:

    1. The STB receives a notification from the user to enter a sleep state via a power button press on a remote control or front panel of the unit, or through an electronic signal or data packet received via a digital interface on the STB; or

    2. The STB auto powers down to a Sleep state. The energy consumption after auto power down to Sleep and after a user initiated power down to Sleep may, or may not be, equivalent.

Miscellaneous

  • W. Auto Power Down
    The capability to automatically switch from the On state to a Sleep state after a period of time without user input, generally based on the amount of time the unit has remained “idle” from last active use, i.e., user input such as channel change, volume change, menu access, etc.

  • X. Cable, Satellite, and Telecom Service Provider
    An entity that provides video (and possibly other) content to subscribers with whom it has an ongoing contractual relationship. A Service Provider in the context of ENERGY STAR is one that distributes to end users STBs covered by this specification under an agreement such as a lease or rental arrangement.

  • Y. CSA
    The Canadian Standards Association is a not-for-profit, membership-based association that works in Canada as well as globally to develop standards that affect areas such as public safety and health, quality of life, the environment, and trade.

  • Z. C380-08
    CSA’s test procedure for the measurement of energy consumption of STBs.

  • AA. Digital Television Adapter (DTA)
    Receives terrestrial (over the air) digital signals and converts them to an analog output suitable for analog TVs. DTAs do not provide digital signal output. For the purposes of this specification, the DTA category does not include converters that work with satellite or cable digital signals, nor does it cover devices with multi-functionality such as DVD players with digital to analog conversion capability. Source: ENERGY STAR Digital-to-Analog Converter Box specification.

    DTAs are addressed under the Version 1.1 ENERGY STAR specification for Digital-to-Analog Converter Boxes, and are not included in this STB specification.

  • BB. Game Console
    A stand-alone device whose primary use is to play video games. The primary inputs for game consoles are special hand held controllers rather than a mouse and keyboard used by conventional computers. Game consoles are also equipped with audio-visual outputs for use with televisions as the primary display, rather than an external monitor or integrated display. These devices typically do not use a conventional operating system, but often perform a variety of multimedia functions such as: DVD/CD playback, digital picture viewing, and digital music playback. Source: ENERGY STAR Version 4.0 Computers specification.

    Game consoles are addressed under the Version 4.0 ENERGY STAR specification for Computers, and are not included in this STB specification.

  • CC. Out-Of-Band Tuners
    Tuners compliant with standards ANSI/SCTE 55-1 2002 and ANSI/SCTE 55-2 2002 and other similar types of technologies used to gain access to data channels outside of the audio/video source signal. These may facilitate two-way communication and allow the box to send diagnostic information back to the Service Provider as well as enabling Pay-Per-View content and other rich media interactive content.

  • DD. TEC
    Total Energy Consumption. TEC is an assessment tool used in this specification that provides flexibility to approach the issue of energy efficiency while retaining a comparable metric to assess performance. In this specification, efficiency criteria are noted in terms of calculated energy use over a year for a typical user (kWh/yr) rather than power (Watts) for On and Sleep states.

  • EE. UUT
    Unit Under Test (UUT) refers to the product being tested.
    Source: CSA C380-08 modified.

 

2) Qualifying Products

In order to qualify as ENERGY STAR under Tier 1 of this specification, STBs must meet the definition for these products in Section 1 and meet the technical requirements in the ENERGY STAR Technical Specifications for Set-top Boxes, Version 2.0. The following devices that fall within the definition of a STB, or provide functions similar to STBs, do not qualify under this Tier 1 specification. EPA envisions that the following excluded products list will likely be modified for the Tier 2 phase of this specification:

Tier 1 Excluded Products:
  • Game Consoles (See definition above)
  • DTAs (See definition above)
  • IP STBs sold or provided outside of a dedicated service or service contract
  • Products that meet the definitions in the ENERGY STAR Technical Specifications for Consumer Audio and DVD Products

 

3) Testing Products for ENERGY STAR

Service Provider participants must ensure that ENERGY STAR qualified STBs continue to meet or exceed ENERGY STAR technical requirements for the duration of their deployment. This is confirmed by testing for ENERGY STAR qualification while the product is connected to the system, either on a live system or at a representative system in a laboratory. Participants must test STBs for ENERGY STAR qualification according to the test procedure specified in the ENERGY STAR Technical Specifications for Set-top Boxes Version 2.0, and CSA 380-08 with ENERGY STAR modifications. If the units have been refurbished, to be considered part of a single model, all units must have undergone the same testing as new ENERGY STAR qualified models newly deployed to subscribers.

When qualifying and reporting STBs for ENERGY STAR, the following procedure shall be used to determine that an appropriate representative sample size has been tested.

  1. Select on a random basis five units of the STB model to be tested. If the units have been refurbished, all units must have undergone the same refurbishment or reconfiguration, and must have received the same new hardware components or new or updated software.

  2. Test three units drawn at random from the pool of five units following the test procedure specified in the ENERGY STAR Technical Specifications for Set-top Boxes – Version 2.0.

    1. If all three units meet the applicable ENERGY STAR criteria, and are not within 10% of the allowance in the specification, then the STB model meets ENERGY STAR requirements and no more testing is needed.

    2. If all three units meet the applicable ENERGY STAR criteria, but any are within 10% of the allowance in the specification, go to step 3.

    3. If any of the three units do not meet the ENERGY STAR criteria, then the STB model does not meet ENERGY STAR requirements and cannot be referred to as ENERGY STAR qualified.

  3. Test the additional two units in the pool. If both units meet the applicable ENERGY STAR criteria, then the STB model meets ENERGY STAR requirements and no more testing is needed. If either of the two units does not meet the applicable ENERGY STAR criteria, then the STB model does not meet ENERGY STAR requirements and cannot be referred to as ENERGY STAR qualified.

 

4) Effective Date

The ENERGY STAR Technical Specifications for Cable, Satellite, and Telecom Service Providers are effective immediately upon publication of the Final Specification. Upon publication, Service Providers may join as an ENERGY STAR Participant and pledge to meet these participation requirements beginning in 2009.

 

5) Future Participation Requirements Revisions

EPA and Natural Resources Canada reserve the right to revise these Participant requirements should technological and/or market changes affect their usefulness to consumers or industry or their impact on the environment. In particular, EPA will re-evaluate the appropriateness of the Purchase and Fleet percentages for 2010 and 2011, when the Tier 2 technical specification becomes effective and there is more information on the likely availability of qualifying products. In keeping with current policy, revisions to the specification will be discussed with stakeholders. In the event of a specification revision, please note that ENERGY STAR qualification is not automatically granted for the life of a product model. To qualify as ENERGY STAR, a product model must meet the ENERGY STAR specification in effect on the model’s date of manufacture.