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More power-savvy products

29 November 2013

More power-savvy products

The energy used by Virgin Media technology in our customers’ homes is our biggest source of scope three carbon emissions. That’s why our sustainability and product design teams are working closely together to improve the energy efficiency and eco-design of our kit to ensure optimal efficiency and minimal impact to the environment. Read on to find out more about all that we’ve been up to over the last year.

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Peter Joyce

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Hi, my name’s Peter Joyce, Head of Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) Architecture here at Virgin Media. I’m responsible for the technology decisions we make for our set-top box and superhub equipment of the future, ensuring that we continue to deliver the very best in cutting edge digital technology for our customers.

A really important part of my job is in understanding customer requirements, market trends and the impact of our products on the environment when planning and designing our kit. Key to these decisions are our regulatory and corporate responsibilities and I’ve been working closely with our sustainability team to understand how we’re meeting our current obligations and to ensure that we are well placed to meet future targets too.

As signatories to the Voluntary Industry Agreement to improve the energy consumption of Complex Set Top Boxes within the EU, Virgin Media are supporting the move towards reducing power consumption of set top boxes, whilst still maintaining a superior customer experience.

As part of this commitment, we’re working with our TiVo products to ensure we meet our target around reducing the rate of power consumption per TiVo PVR by 30% by the end of 2013. This will happened as a result of the recent firmware release and what’s more, we’ve targeted a standby mode so low in power consumption that by the end of 2013 we’ll be meeting regulatory changes only expected to come into force in 2015!

I’m also currently working with Netgear, the manufacturer of our Super Hubs, looking at all aspects of the design of our products – from the choice of materials to the manufacturing processes we use. Our ultimate aim is to design products that use less energy and are more easily reused and recycled at the end of their lives.

In order to help us get even closer to our product story we’ve just completed some really exciting consumer research into set top box and super hub use in the home. This research will help us understand what customers expect from their set top boxes in terms of power consumption and how that relates to the functionality of their kit. Based on our research we’ll be putting together some practical guidance about how to save energy in the home and get the best performance from your Virgin Media equipment - so keep a look out for an update on this early next year.  

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