The ComplianTV research group, funded by the European Union, claims that Samsung is rigging their TVs to fool energy efficiency tests, as independent lab tests have revealed that some of the company's TVs in Europe are using less energy while in official testing conditions but are using more energy in real-world usage.
Samsung is strongly denying that it is doing such a thing, which closely resembles the scandal that German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen is currently embroiled in. Volkswagen installed software in vehicles to pass regulatory emissions tests in the United States, when in fact their vehicles were releasing over 40 times nitrogen oxide compared to allowed levels.
The cheating is reportedly connected to the "motion lighting" feature found in certain Samsung TVs, which is able to reduce the brightness of the TV's screen when the picture is moving. According to ComplianTV, the TVs decreased brightness, along with power consumption, while undergoing testing by the International Electrotechnical Commission.
The research has not yet been fully released, with a lot of details still unknown, but according to The Guardian, the European Commission has received similar complaints regarding tests carried out on TVs from other members of the European Union. For example, the Swedish Energy Agency said that there are some TVs that are able to detect the standard footage being used for TV tests and then adjusts accordingly. However, the company that manufactured these TVs were not specified.
Samsung vehemently denied being involved in such wrongdoing in a post on the company's official blog. The company said that the motion lighting feature is not one that only activates during testing, as it is a default setting that works within both lab conditions and in the home to deliver energy savings and to reduce the environmental impact of the TV.
The company added that the feature, which was introduced back in 2011, could be turned off as users change display settings or switch to another viewing mode. This gives the viewer a choice of prioritizing energy efficiency or display performance in their Samsung TV.
Despite Samsung's denial, the European Commission will still launch an investigation into the allegations, and will also tighten the regulations to prevent the usage of so-called defeat devices in consumer devices and products.
Photo: Lali Masriera | Flickr