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Power Protection for Lower-end HD System

Last response: in Home Theatre
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December 30, 2006 8:01:14 AM

(Note: Do not smack me, for I have searched these forums on this issue.... it only answered some of my questions... moving on.)

Alright. So here's the deal. My mother, as much as I told her to wait for the technology war to settle, bought a 42" Vizo HDTV (LCD) for about $1300. There's a receiver and two main speakers we haven't hooked up yet.

That's it. Pretty budget-lined as far as entertainment centers if you ask me. Now....

To start off, we're located in Madera, California (which is just north of Fresno, California. Power goes out.... five times a year, about, and we get maybe 1-2 brownouts a year. Power isn't very "clean" of course, so I have my PC running on a surge and UPS.

Of course, you need protection. Now before we get into the whole "grounding and protection at the breaker" (which I read in the last post), talking at the system level... do I need something as expensive as a Monster Power Center HTS 1000 MKII ? Which, to remind you, street it costs about $180.

Or is that a pretty decent deal, for an adequete amount of protection? And if not, two questions come to mind: 1.) How much is a reasonable amount of money to afford protection for a $1300 TV at the system level, and 2.) What system would you recommend?

Next... this house my parents live in is pretty... old... remodelled, mind you, but the base house is old. I doubt the contractors messed with the power much, so what would be recommended at the breaker level, and how much would I be spending? Reminding you again, this is a country house, not a city house.

I'm no electrical engineer, so I'm asking those available here, who are either more experienced, or more trained than I am. I appreciate any help given.

Feel free to drop links at me also, if you don't feel like going into lengthy explanations :p 

Thanks again!
December 30, 2006 6:06:33 PM

Monster Power Center HTS 1000 MKII: is not a bad product but it’s not enough protection in my opinion. – Cons: When the power shut down. Your TV is dead right-away.

UPS (UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER SUPPLY) is what you need. It’s what I used and what I recommend.

It gives you both protections up to a point.

More power, longer duration. so you can go with larger battery capacity if you want.

More info here.
December 30, 2006 9:19:08 PM

Excellent, thanks for the quick reply. Now, listening more to what they told my mom at the store when they got her to buy this... I first referred her to get a UPS as I did with my PC, but they steered her away from going with a UPS and towards the Monster PowerCenter, because they were talking about it giving "clearer audio and video", along with cleaner power and sin waves than the UPS would.

Now... am I to assume... as usual... that they pulled the usual salesperson bullshitting to try to sell their Monster PowerCenters, or is there truth to this?

Also, I'm assuming in your opinion that $180 is a good investment for surge protection/suppression/etc?

And... any more opinions from everyone else out there would be much appreciated.... I believe she has 30 days to return it :p 
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January 1, 2007 7:36:17 PM

Honestly, I never try Monster Power Centers before and cannot make opinion on what their capable of, but judging on the design and what I saw from their display at best buy. I would assume that their some truth of what their claim. Also from what I saw from my UPS the difference maybe minimal, that is if there anything at all. If theirs any interference occurs on your installation is that there maybe a ground loop or anything like too much wires coil together behind or around your unit.

One way to avoid these is to move the audio and video signal away from ac power line. As I witness first hand the effect of such matter. On time is that the manager at use to be radio shack and now The Source by circuit city tried to tell me that my equipment may be the cause of the interference since his 5 of 15 LCD and Plasma TVs are all using Monster Power Units and distribution system. I showed him that it’s obvious that his distribution system is the problem and not my security equipment and to call his installer for service call.

I never make a comparison or test between the two but if there are any reviews about it, it’ll be interesting to know as well.

I use to be an assistant manager at a retail store and one thing is for sure is to sell, sell, sell the more expensive product or one with most profit. We all know how that works.

Make sure to know more about their warranties and policies if you ever decide to get any of these products. Good Luck!

and Happy New Year...
January 2, 2007 12:10:54 AM

Thanks again Rexter! Really appreciate the input. Any other opinions from others who are just getting back from the holiday vacations? :p 
January 2, 2007 1:35:27 AM

There are only a few appliances in your mother's house that might cause her a really noticeable disruption of video quality due to power line noise: the vacuum, the microwave, the hair dryer, the washer/dryer, the dishwasher, and if she has one in that older house of hers, the in-window air conditioner. If any of these are on the same circuit (the wires from the wall to the circuit-breaker board) as the TV, she might benefit from a power conditioner because the motors and m-wave transducer can cause a lot of variance in the socket voltage on a given circuit. Power conditioners can help smoothe that out. That's particularly important if she uses over-the-air reception.

Those devices aside, nearly all electronic equipment (especially sensitive equipment such as TVs) have built in transformers and voltage regulators designed to deal with small variations in wall power voltage.

If your mother suffers frequent brown-outs and black-outs as you noted, then the UPS is probably a better bet than the power conditioner because it will get her through those inconveniences. The most important thing, however, is spike protection. It's much cheaper to replace a $10 surge-protector than to repair a $1300 TV.
January 3, 2007 5:53:13 PM

Right, so I'm going through everything... one thing I notice is that the claim of protection in Joules is wide between the Monster's Line Conditioner/Surge Protector and all of APC's Products... as the model of Monster's "Power Center HTS 1000 MKII" I mentioned (and linked in my first post) claims it protects against 2775 joules of surge protection, while all of APCs products (From Surge Protectors to UPSs) claim between 350 and 450 joules, on average... Ah, just checked... EXCEPT... for APCs Home Theatre section, which has joules and joules of surge protection (usually 3-5k joules).

I'm curious as to why this difference exists... is it because there is more power running through entertainment systems (which usually has a large-screen TV, speaker system, etc.) than your usual PCs, and thus you need more protection because of the higher surge potential? or....?

I'm a bit confused now, as I notice this difference.

And so, my question is... do I need the extra joules for a 42" LCD HDTV (Which lists its power consumption at 280 {With No unit listing}), and a reciever with two standing speakers? or will the UPS with 510 Joules of protection suffice?
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