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Set-top boxes

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Buy or request ENERGY STAR® to save you money!

ENERGY STAR certified set-top boxes use up to 25% less energy, on average, than standard models. If your TV service provider provides you with a box, make sure to request an ENERGY STAR certified model. If you’re shopping for a set-top box yourself, make sure to buy ENERGY STAR. Saving energy saves money and reduces your carbon footprint.

Set-top boxes (traditionally located on top of your TV) decode signals from cable, satellite or Internet service providers. Most models offer digital video recording (DVR/PVR) and high-definition resolution display. Thin-client set-top boxes receive content over a home network from another set top-box, but cannot interface directly with your service provider.

Consumers receive set-top boxes from their service providers most of the time, instead of purchasing them at retail stores. So, when you are deciding on a cable or satellite service, be sure to ask the service provider for an ENERGY STAR certified set-top box.

If you currently have cable or satellite service, check with your service provider to find out what, if any, upgrade options are available. ENERGY STAR Canada communications service providers may be able to provide newly certified boxes as part of your service.

Set-top boxes

Start your research using the ENERGY STAR Product Finder tool to find and compare certified set-top boxes. (NOTE: you will be redirected to the US ENERGY STAR website.)

Helpful tips

  • You only need one higher energy-using set-top box that interfaces with an external source. Use thin-client set-top boxes for additional televisions in your home to increase your energy savings even more. 
  • Ask your TV service provider to turn on power-saving features such as “light-sleep” or “deep-sleep” that put the box into lower power modes during periods of inactivity.
  • Give your energy bill a vacation! If you’re going on vacation, take a few minutes before you leave to unplug your set-top box(es) to prevent unnecessary power loss.
  • Use an advanced power strip or "smart" power bar. Plug the TV into the master receptacle and plug other devices such as your set-top box into the “slave” receptacles. Turning off the TV cuts power to the other devices too, automatically saving energy and reducing your electricity costs.

Common energy saving questions

Will turning off the set-top box cause the device to lose its programming?
No. Programming comes from the service provider’s servers and is not stored locally on the set-top box. However, check with your service provider to ensure you can turn off the box for extended periods without suspension of your service.

Will the set-top box take a long time to reboot?
Rebooting generally takes two to five minutes. Consider reconnecting the power a few minutes before watching television, or use a timer on the power bar so the system can reboot before you want to watch. If left for a longer time (such as your vacation), it may be necessary to take a few minutes to re-initialize the set-top box.


All ENERGY STAR certified products are tested to meet strict efficiency specifications and are certified by an independent third party. They perform the same as or better than standard products without compromising performance in any way.

Regulations set the energy efficiency minimum

Digital television adapters (which allow you to receive over-the-air digital signals and convert them to watch on your analogue TV) are subject to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations, which set a minimum performance standard for their energy efficiency. Find details in the Guide to the Regulations.

The ENERGY STAR name and symbol are trademarks registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada.

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