Should You Leave the TV on Standby?

So you bought a new TV and you’re wondering if it’s better to leave it on standby or if you should turn it off completely after every use.

Maybe you heard arguments for either side, you’re not sure who is correct, and you don’t want to risk damaging your new TV with the wrong advice.

Let’s take a look at the facts and get to the bottom of this issue.

Should You Leave the TV on Standby or Unplug When Not in Use?

You should leave the TV on standby if you use it on a daily basis. Unplugging and plugging a TV multiple times a day puts unnecessary strain on the transformer leading to damage that can reduce the lifetime of your TV. For longer periods, you should unplug the TV from the wall.

Contrary to what most people think, leaving a TV on standby is actually very safe. The main concern people have with leaving their TV on standby mode when not in use is the screen will burn-in. However, that usually stems from confusing standby mode with a screensaver. Standby shuts off the screen and puts the TV in a low power state, while a screensaver keeps it on.

There are also lots of different types of screensavers, some are purposely designed by TV manufacturers to reduce burn-in by using moving images. Nevertheless, I recommend standby mode because it completely shuts the screen off which is much better for prolonging its lifetime.

What is Standby Mode?

The standby mode on a TV is very similar to the sleep feature on a computer. Instead of turning the device off, it keeps it in a lower power state for energy-saving purposes.

Starting a TV from standby mode is generally much faster than starting it from powering it on from scratch because the TVs file are already loaded.

Does My TV have Standby Mode?

Chances are your TV does have standby mode but it’s a little difficult to figure out when it’s on. The easiest way to tell if a TV is actually off or simply on standby is to look for an LED indicator, red is the most common, on the front of the TV. If the light is on, it’s probably on standby. In some cases, there’s a standby button on your TV’s remote.

Auto Standby in Settings

Most modern smart TVs will also have an auto-standby mode enabled which will put the TV into standby mode if no inputs are detected after a timer.

Since a TV can’t tell when someone is watching it, you might want to manually change those timer settings or your screen might turn off in the middle of a movie. To avoid that problem, the default timer is usually set to 24 hours or more.

Some people like to watch TV to fall asleep, and that’s where the auto standby mode can be useful. The auto standby mode is often called “No Signal Power Off” which puts the TV into standby when no signal is detected. You can adjust the timer in the settings.

Does Pressing the Power Button on my Remote Turn Off the TV?

Most modern TVs don’t actually turn off when you press the power button on the remote, it puts the TV on standby. It might come as a shock because the button is labelled as power but it doesn’t 100% shut down the TV.

If you’re not sure if the TV is on or off, look for the red light on the front or completely unplug it from the wall. You could also try pressing the power button on the panel of the TV.

What If You’re Gone for Weeks or Months or on Holidays?

Standby mode is clearly safe to use, and it’s so safe that TV manufacturers use the power button on the remote to place the TV on standby. However, there are some downsides to leaving a TV in a lower power state for extended periods of time.

The main risks are power surges. While most TVs have power supplies that can handle small power surges, large ones can still damage the components, especially when it’s in standby mode. For that reason, if you’re not planning to use your TV for a while, it’s a good idea to unplug it from the wall, to make sure it’s completely shut down.

A power surge can occur when your home and the TV is on too. While TVs are usually designed to handle power surges, some can still damage the components.

If your TV is damaged from a surge, you might need to reset it to default settings. The steps for that vary depending on the model. One common method is to simply unplug the TV, leave it off for 60 seconds, and then plug it back in.

Another downside to leaving a TV on standby is it still uses electricity, not much, but it can reflect on your energy bill.

How Much Electricity Does a TV Use on Standby?

The amount of electricity a TV uses on standby is usually 2% to 5% of its typical power consumption. A TV that uses 145 Watts will use about 2.9 to 7.25 Watts in standby mode.

Does Turning Off the TV at the Wall Damage It?

No. Turning off the TV at the wall will only damage it if you do that on a daily basis over the course of a long period of time. Most TV sets are quite durable and can handle random shutdowns but it’s not something that you want to do often.

Will Leaving the TV on Overnight Burn it Out?

Leaving a TV on overnight will not burn it out but it will reduce the lifespan quicker and the screen will become dimmer. Most TVs, whether they’re plasma or LCD, usually have a lifespan of about 60,000 hours, and the more you use them, the closer you get to that limit. I suggest either turning TVs off at night or using the auto standby feature so they turn off after a few hours.



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About S. Santos

👋 I'm a technology columnist and blogger with over 10 years of experience, currently serving as Blue Cine Tech's AV Editor. Specialising in gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology, my work has been featured in top technology blogs. I'm dedicated to breaking down the complexities of the latest tech trends, from explaining the intricacies of Dolby Vision to optimising your streaming experience. This blog serves as a platform for my ongoing exploration of the ever-evolving tech landscape. If you see me at industry events like CES or IFA, feel free to say hello.

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