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Calculating the Carbon Footprint of Streaming Media: Beyond the Myth of Efficiency findings

* 90% of the energy used for a device is spent in producing it i.e. before you touch it
* 1 hour netflix is equiv. to burning 200g coal
* or driving ~2km (1.4-1.8)
* 0.8kWh in energy use per (video) stream seems to be a useful metric to measure against
* energy use for a laptop is roughly 30x less demanding than a desktop pc?! incl. manufacturing energy

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@cblgh interesting, where did you find the data?

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@cblgh aah, great! Just what I was looking for, thanks a million 👍

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@cblgh is 200g of coal a commonly understood unit of power? i have no sense at all of whether that is a lot or not

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@aeva dunno, but next time i watch netflix i'll imagine sitting there with a little coal buddy burnin up 🪨

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@cblgh now i'm wondering how netflix is powered. i'd be surprised if it's actually coal

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@cblgh first of all, this was fascinating reading! The one part which I’m having trouble understanding is the data for “unused energy”. In the conclusion they state “We also showed that there is a large portion of unused energy (on average 755 kWh) for big data centers”. Is the unused energy they refer to on a per-stream level (in which case that’s horrifying), or a total of all wasted energy over the period of... a day?

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@flbr so the way one of the authors described it during the conf was if a data center has capacity for 50k concurrent streams, but only 10k streams are happening then the spare capacity (40k) is the unused energy bit, but i don't recall the specifics of the numbers you are quoting rn tho

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@cblgh ah, okay, I think I understand. That does seem pretty difficult to calculate for a simple “n hours of netflix is x kWh”, because I guess you’d need to know the average data center stream capacity? Still, those’d be interesting data to have...

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