ac high def power conditioners

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by JeffTimmerman, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. JeffTimmerman

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    hello,

    I was wondering if these items are actually a necessity for hdtv or if this is another attempt of an advertising gimic. Monster touts these items as a must for htdv, plasma, or lcd's. I have ac surge protectors w/filters, etc. but now I see things like these that are supposed to improve video. Any info on this would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    jeff
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  3. JeffTimmerman

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    Thanks john for the info, however it still leaves me wanting to know more about it. The article was good at explaining about surge protectors, but unfortunitely didn't tell me a thing about hdtv line conditioners. I was just wondering if anyone has one of these or uses a line conditioner and see's a difference in thier hdtv video.

    Thanks,
    jeff
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I don't think there's a one answer fits all here. Generally, most people's AC power is fairly decent and generally, most people's display devices have properly functioning circuitry designed to cope with normal amounts of noise that's present on one's AC line.

    There are sensible things you can do to minimize or eliminate potential sources of interference.

    Keep dimmers, halogens, etc. off the line going to your HT.
    Make sure you've got good connections. Sometimes a bit of contact cleaner does wonders.
    Don't abuse your cables. People who tie them in knots, step on them, yank on them, can introduce problems such as poor connections, separation of the shielding, etc.

    I think the kind of products you're thinking about have EMI/RFI isolation between each pair of adjacent outlets. The idea here is quite simply to provide a means for any EMI that might be generated by the equipment, say an SACD player, from propogating back down the AC line. Now the Monster products are pricey. An alternative are Belkin's AV Isolators which essentially do the same thing. If you go that route, I'd make sure I could return the product if it didn't do anything positive for me. Belkin's A/V line is about $100 and provides means for the coax or satellite to be connected through it. Conversely, they've got Home Office type Isolators that are around $40 and work on the same principle but don't provide means for the coax to go into it. You could always try that seeing as they're often found in places like Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, etc.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    A magazine took 3 of the units ranging from $500-$1200 and had two different reviewers test them in their home audio systems.

    One reviewer heard little/no difference

    Another reviewer heard a dramatic difference

    One of the reviewers lived in an apartment in a major city, the other was out in the rural/country area. There was a large difference in the quality of the AC power to the 2 systems.

    AC power is rated to drive 3-phase motors, not sensitive analog equipment. It IS 120 volts, but +/- about 10% at any given time. I have even seen the AC power have a slow, rolling wave on the voltage that cycled every 5 seconds or so.

    This is in addition to noise, spikes, dips, etc., that happen as everyone in your building/block turns on/off appliances.

    And the quality of power changes from business hours to commute hours to evening hours. Testing the AC power at 3 pm on a Saturday may show very different results than 8 pm on a weekday.

    My advice: find a local dealer for a Power Conditioner. Arrange to borrow it (or buy it with a 30 day return policy) and bring it home. Watch your system for a bit, then power down, install the conditioner, bring it back up and see if you notice any difference.

    Note: be sure to test at times you would normally use your system.
     
  6. JeffTimmerman

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. I think I will "borrow" one from a local store and if i like it then i'll keep it.

    Thanks,
    jeff
     

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