Do I need a UPS/Surge Protector AND a Power Conditioner?

Kenneth English

Second Unit
Sep 29, 1999
I'm going to be getting a new TV soon (Samsung 61" HL-S6188W RP HDTV) and my brother's telling me that, in addition to the surge protector/UPS I already have my stuff hooked to (Monster UPS 500), I should invest in a power conditioner. Now, I understand what the purpose of such a device is but I'm uncertain of the necessity. I don't have a super-spectacular setup -- just the coming TV, my Toshiba HD-A1, and a Panasonic SC-HT40 "Theater in a Box" sound system.

Any thoughts/opinions on the this? I'm willing to spend the money if it'll give me some tangible benefit but I don't know much about such things. Thanks.

Mort Corey

Supporting Actor
Nov 21, 2003
Unless there are some extremely bad problems with your electrical (ie, house built before electricity was available or a shoddy power company that uses squirrels running in cages to produce juice) your present unit will provide more than enough protection IMO



Stunt Coordinator
Mar 26, 2006
Without a unit being able to either store large amounts of energy and or produce its own, you wont CONDITION the power.
Basic surge protectors are more than enough of whats needed unless you live in the boonies or as Mort Corey stated, would you need anything beyond that.
Just more gimmicks the industry offers, similar to MIRACLE cables to take your hard earned dollars away.
To protect against a direct lighting strike, severe brownouts and etc would take alot more than $1500+ to protect against.


Apr 9, 2000
Portland, OR
Real Name
IMO you don't "need" any of it unless there is an obvious problem. Modern electronics should be built with decent power supplies that filter dirty power (take a look at how AC->DC power supplies are designed). However, some electronics (like my Dish receiver) are built with embarrassingly bad PSUs that cause freak crashes at the slightest provocation. In these cases I'd suggest a UPS with automatic voltage regulation. A standard UPS only turns to battery power when the voltage dips below ~70V (causing some delicate systems to fail). Automatic voltage regulation holds the voltage at a constant level, regardless of the incoming voltage. APC sells AVR-UPSes for under $100. (Cost ramps up with capacity)

IMO, the only thing that needs UPS or voltage regulation is computer-esque components (projectors needing to cool down, HTPCs, game systems, satellite and DVR systems, etc.).

For surge protection I feel whole house protection is the best performing and most economical solution. Parts cost should run ~$200 and an electrician can do the work in under an hour.

Leo Kerr

May 10, 1999
And, when you get down to it, there's a lot of "bad power" that won't really cause any troubles. At work, our annual RMS voltage is 128VAC. The lowest average I've seen in six years has been 125VAC, the highest daily average I've seen was 132VAC.

We routinely have a fair amount of dips and spikes.

The worst we usually have is light bulbs just don't last as long as they claim they should. (On the other hand, they do make a nice, bright, white light...)

When we get a chance, we do generally install cheap (

Dave H

Senior HTF Member
Aug 13, 2000
I have a similar situation. I lose my power every couple of months (usually for 4-5 seconds, then it comes back).

I'm using a Monster HTS 1000 surge protector/conditioner.

My display is a CRT RPTV, DVD player, receiver, and cable tv cord going into it.

Should I get a UPS for further protection? When my power went out the other day, it came back on faster than I could turn off my surge or turn off my TV before the power "kicked" back in. This kind of concerns me. Should I be concerned? I want my display and everything protected.

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