According to an independent research group, Samsung TVs consumed more energy in real life than during tests.
As Volkswagen faces the fallout from revelations that it cheated vehicle emissions tests, another large company is facing a similar controversy. Researchers at ComplianTV claim that Samsung’s “motion lighting” feature could have adjusted power consumption during testing, reports The Guardian.
Does Samsung software let TVs cheat compliance tests?
The EU-funded group says that the feature raises “the possibility of the TVs detecting a test procedure and adapting their power consumption accordingly.” Samsung has denied the claims, and says the feature is included as standard on all its TVs.
“Motion lighting is not a setting that only activates during compliance testing,” said Samsung in a blog post. “On the contrary, it is a default setting which works both in the lab and at home; delivering energy savings and helping us to reduce our environmental impact.”
The Korean company did admit that it is the customer’s choice whether or not to engage the feature. “If the customer chooses to alter their display settings or switch to a different mode then the feature switches off, which gives our customers a simple choice of whether they choose to prioritize power efficiency or performance in their TV,” continued the blog post.
Full ComplianTV report yet to be published
According to the project manager at ComplianTV’s product lab, “Samsung is meeting the letter of the law but not the spirit of the law.” Given the fact that the research paper is not yet published it is difficult to judge the fairness of their methods, but similar methods of cheating have been found before.
The Swedish Energy Agency previously sent a letter to the European Commission, detailing that their tests have found certain TVs which adjust their power output when test films are recognized.
“These displays immediately lower their energy use by adjusting the brightness of the display when the standard film is being run,” said the letter. “This is a way of avoiding the market surveillance authorities and should be addressed by the Commission.”
The European Commission is reportedly looking into the issue.