The world’s first solar-powered television aims to bring the joys of watching TV to people in developing countries without regular electricity access.
The device, developed by British firm Cello Electronics, features a detachable solar panel that can be positioned in a sun-exposed location, as well as a smart antenna allowing reception of high-definition broadcasts.
The device has energy storage capacity to run for ten hours without direct exposure of the solar panel to the sun's rays and can be used as a charging hub for other devices such as smartphones or battery-powered lights.
This could represent a major asset by the estimated 1.2 billion people around the world who currently live without access to a reliable electricity supply.
“I love Africa and have visited many times, so when I heard about Lighting Africa plus the fact that many areas had become digital TV enabled, it got me thinking - could we make a TV that was capable of working off-grid?” said Brian Palmer, Cello Electronics CEO, referring to the project supporting the development of solar-powered lamps for the African market.
Palmer stumbled on the idea while holidaying in Africa.
The 22-inch solar-powered TV will sell for $300. Aware that the price tag might be too high for the potential buyers in the developing countries, Cello Electronics has come up with a pay-as-you-go scheme, where the consumer only pays for the amount of TV that they watch by purchasing a code entered via the remote control handset.
The firm also hopes the device will attract camper van and boat owners closer to home in the UK who frequently travel to places with no electricity.
The device is equipped with a built-in satellite tuner, which broadens the choice of channels. This means that in remote parts of the world where there is no terrestrial TV signal, viewers should be able to receive satellite channels.