Box stays warm when "off"

I noticed that even when the LED on the front is off, the box is quite warm.  I looked at the back and see the optical audio output jack is glowing red.

It seems that when I hit the power button on the remote to turn the unit off that it just turns the LED off and is still sitting there calculating PI to 7 million digits and burning lots of power.  Is there a way to turn the thing off or should I just build a little relay box to cut the power to the wall wart?

Thanks for any secrets.

I wouldn’t exactly call that a lot of power

but here’s a secret

short press on power button = standby/sleep

long press on power button = off

it still of coarse uses some power, have to power that ir sensor

but everything else is powered off

wake up on this option is longer, because it’s actually rebooting

Burning lots of power?

My recollection of  measuring it is that the SMPs required around 4watts when working and more like 2.5 “sleeping” (not off).  Certainly <5 watts.  I have two SMPs running 24/7 because I don’t want to ever wait for them to boot.  That is <10w x 24h  so <240wh per day (i.e., <0.24kWh).  I also changed one 60 w incandescent that we run ~5hours per day to a 12w CFL, saving me  48w x 5h = 240wh.  Problem solved!  There are vast numbers of ways to offset the miniscule energy usage of the SMPs running constantly.  Or you can waste some of your life every time you want to use it.  Your choice.  They may feel “hot” but they are not actually drawing “lots” of power.

I got more or less the same values (only with a network cable connected).

Low power standby: 0.5 Watts

   How I get low power standby: when you turn off, press remote control power button for 5 seconds.

   Description: Unit is shutdown, but you can turn it on with remote control, it will take some time to boot.


Sleeping: 5 Watts

  How: when you turn off, press remote control power button.

  Description: It’s sleeping, power on will be much faster, but still takes some seconds.

Idle in menu: 5 to 6 Watts

   Description: It’s working waiting for menu commmands.


Playing a high bit rate movie: 5 to 7 Watts

If you have USB powered HDDs it can consume more (add the HDDs power).

So we can choose the power/usability profile we want.


My “wattmeter” is a supermarket model it has 0.5 Watt precision.

Thanks for all the answers. .So, it turns out that sleep mode is not much different than active mode.  I tried holding the power button longer and the unit is now cool. 

I still claim it is burning a lot of power.  I’m used to playing with PIC microcontrollers and when I put them to sleep they draw something like 700nA at 3V or 2.1 micro Watts while still being able to wake up on a keypad press.   Super fantastic for battery powered items.  They also have a variety of clock modes that slow down the clock so it can still respond to IR signals but burn just 10s to 100s of micro watts.  When there is work to do, you can crank up the clock under software control.

Even the heavy iron processors for high end servers that I work on for my day job have clock and power management features such that there is a dramatic difference in power when making money and kicking back.  I would be amazed if the processor used in this little box does not have similar features.  My hope is that this is just some missing firmware that one day will be coded up.

I know it is just 3.6 KWH per month per unit but if you thinik about the number of units out there, this is a tremendous amount of energy being wasted due to bad code or processor choice. 

it would be rather difficult to code something like that for this box

it’s MIPS processor

and the binary that controlls nearly everyting is done is assembler language

ncarver wrote:
Or you can waste some of your life every time you want to use it.

I wouldn’t call it waste when I turn on the device and see it having booted up by the time I’ve come back from the john or the kitchen with some snacks.

First of all. any appliance or gadget that emits heat when in standby, is using only but a trickle of electricity, and besides,in winter it justs add to the heat you are trying to use to warm up your house!

Secondly, many gadgets don’t even have an on/off switch anymore, so they can be “instant” on; and they don’t use that much energy to do this.  A Roku doesn’t have a power switch.  My WD and HD radio have standby, again, because they don’t use much energy, and so they can be instant on.  Same goes for most TVs, too.  Bottom line is that anyone who thinks they are saving significant electricity by turning these solid state thiings off completely, is taking energy saving to the ridiculous.  Turning these things off of standby will not save the planet  – the Sun is doing more damage to this planet than your WD player ever will.

Nevertheless, for anyone wanting to turn their gadgets completely off and not having to reach into some un-accessble place to find the power cord, can go to a Home store and buy a bunch of wall socket plugs with on/off switches.  I have lots of my gadgets plugged into them – not to save minute particles of energy, but to reboot the darn gadget when it freezes or acts-up on me!

mike27oct wrote:> Turning these things off of standby will not save the planet  – the Sun is doing more damage to this planet than your WD player ever will.


No Planet Damaging “Sun” here … those lucky Chinese

Just a little fact about the “Sun”

9. Without the sun’s intense energy there would be no life on Earth.

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Here in the UK we have the luxury of switched wall outlets.

These are very easy to operate and require just a teeny bit of effort :smileyvery-happy:

Have to admit that we knock all our kit off when not in use.

The only things that stay on 24/7 is network, NAS & a Mirage Music server the provides music content for my Sonos (which also gets switched off).

The SMP doesn’t get used every day so is only turned on when needed.



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We also try not to waste resources when possible.

We use the NAS a few hours once a week (any random day), so it’s configured to auto-shutdown every night.

We switch it on with a WOL (wake on lan) command from a  smartphone app.

I don’t mind waiting 1,5 minutes for it to boot.

The generic WOL app, works very well, it gives a WOL command to the NAS and then starts to ping it.

When the NAS finishs booting, the app gets the ping reply and turns the NAS IP/NAME from red to green.

The interface I use is the second screen: Android WOL free app

Techflaws wrote:

ncarver wrote:
Or you can waste some of your life every time you want to use it.

I wouldn’t call it waste when I turn on the device and see it having booted up by the time I’ve come back from the john or the kitchen with some snacks.

I guess you are more organized than me!  We use both of our SMPs virtually every day, and sometimes want to use one “right now.”  If we were using them, say, only on the weekends then I would definitely turn them off at other times.

I have nothing against saving energy, particularly since it means paying less for electricity (though ours is only $.103/KWh).  However, there are many methods for saving energy, and I am going to choose the methods that impact my time/life the least.  If you have even a single incandescent light bulb left in your house but are worrying about the <5watts from the SMP, well, I would consider that rather silly (and you certainly shouldn’t be telling other people to save electricity).  OTOH, maybe for you there is a really good reason why you feel you need to continue using one of the least efficient, most energy wasting technologies ever developed.  :smiley:  


In Europe we can’t buy the old incandescent light bulbs (>60Watts) anymore, it’s some years now that they were banned.

At least in my country, nobody sells them, you can’t find them even if you want.

The other types available consume less, but are much more expensive.

Yes, incandescents are being phased out in the US too.  I think we were down to just 40w and less until this year, although the Repubs keep trying to stop/delay the phaseout, so not absolutely certain of current status.  Don’t care, though, as haven’t bought a traditional incandescent bulb in years now.  Walmart has been having 3-packs of 40 and 60w equivalent CFLs for <$2.  So cheap, and even my wife now accepts the different color spectrum (I have never like the clearly yellow light from most incandescents).  However, we have been shopping for some new light fixtures, and these are interesting times for that.  I keep vetoing all the fixtures that require small, inefficient halogen bulbs, in part because the future availability of such bulbs is questionable.

I am all for saving energy (and money!) and the planet, but I said what I did about the sun doing damage to our planet (e.g. just take a look at Mars – solar radiation eradicated its atmosphere) to bring home the point there are many things one can do to save significant energy, but turning off a WD is not one of them!   I use my WD, Roku, throughout the day for music and video so it, as well as my stereo amp, stays on 24/7. 

Hi I personally don’t see any help in turning off one thing. When large % of people go out in the morning and start up a huge halfton that gets 8 miles to the gallon what is the use. Large companies get a huge discount off electricity example I know a guy that runs a paving plant it uses more power in a day than my whole small town uses. Saving is good but we need to educate the big company’s never mind the guy that uses a 100 watt bulb. 

If only 1M ppl gave me 1 eur :wink: