HT Surge Protectors--just hype?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Stephen Gladwin, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. Stephen Gladwin

    Stephen Gladwin Stunt Coordinator

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    Lately I've been looking on the monstercable website at their "Home Theater Power Center" surge protectors. They seem to not just protect from surges, but to also clean the AC current so as to provide an interference/distortion free sound and image for all your audio/video components. They also offer coaxial hookup so as to provide a better cable TV signal.

    Now, I'm looking at the HTS 2000 MKII and HTS 1000 MKII models specifically and was wondering: would these provide a significant upgrade over my generic (and cheap, around $20) surge strip? Would it do a better job of preventing damaging surges? I have about $1200 worth of HT equipment, and if these things did a far better job of protecting my equipment, I think it would be a worthwhile investment. Now, it would be even BETTER if they also cleaned up the audio/video quality too. For example, some stations on my cable TV (not digital cable or anything, just regular) have tons of noise--it's sometimes like watching TV through a cheesecloth. Would these models clean that up?

    Thanks!
     
  2. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    There used to be a "sticky" post on this forum that addressed surge suppressors in some detail, but it seems to be gone. Here's the summary:

    1. Unless you have known power problems, exotic surge suppressors and the like won't do you a bit of good. Nearly all modern A/V gear uses computer type switching power supplies which will output the exact same type of power no matter what you throw at them. When your incoming power is "out of range" they will simply shut down.

    2. The best way to protect your equipment is two-fold. First, a surge arrestor that's actually installed in your breaker panel. This will protect your whole home. Second, a normal, non-exotic surge strip at the equipment.

    As for your cable TV reception problem, no surge protection device will fix that. You should probably call your cable company, as they should be required to give you a decent signal.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    The link in question can be found here.
    The problems with your display sound like a bad cable connection. If the cables were provided by your cable company then have them come out and check things. Otherwise, you can probably just cut off the F-connectors and reterminate them.
     
  4. Gary.S

    Gary.S Extra

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    The two concerns I have about the quality of the AC is
    --the effect it has on audio/video performance
    --the effect it has on the life of the components
    Noise on the AC line comes from outside the house, and of course big surges are a concern, but noise also gets generated from within the house. E.g., we have a treadmill in the basement, and it created audible noise in both the stereo in the basement and a radio upstairs. I wired an electrical line filter into the powercord of the treadmill, and noise gone.

    An example regarding the life of electrical components themselves: I also put a line filter on my refrigerator. I didn't hear any audible difference in radio/stereo/home theater performance, but the refrigerator itself now runs quieter and more smoothly. (My wife's slightly sarcastic but good-humored comment when she heard how much smoother the refrigerator sounded: "Oh great, now we'll never a new refrigerator.")

    I have seen/heard differences in AV equipment with surge protection/line filtering: My DVD/CD player does sound better when it's plugged into my HTS 2000 than when it's plugged right into the wall outlet. And my LCD TV has better video when it's plugged into its own line filter, which in turn is plugged into the HTS 2000.

    So yeah, overall I've gotten noticeably positive results using line filtering . But even if I couldn't hear/see an obvious difference, I'd still use it. The kind of protection given by an HTS 2000 or 1000 is relatively inexpensive, and I have a lot invested in electrical hardware. I'd rather err on the side of spending a few more $ than necessary to protect it.

    BTW, there's nothing exotic about the line filters I'm using. The can be found on eBay and elsewhere, and they're essentially little metal boxes with input terminal and output terminals. AC goes in, and cleaner AC comes out. Inside the box is a network of coils and capacitors. I assume an HTS 2000 works similarly, except it's internal components don't offer as much filtering per outlet as does a single dedicated line filter, and the HTS 2000 also has surge protection devices.
     
  5. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    Gary--
    I would say that your treadmill situation falls into the "known electrical problems" where it does make sense to invest in additional protection. Most probably, it was dumping EMI back onto the line and that was being picked up by your interconnects.

    Your fridge is a bit different in that it does not have the cool little switching power supply that your A/V gear does. A better power source will help to some degree in those circumstances, and if you could hear a difference, than I would say it was well worth it.

    FYI, your right about line filters being non-exotic. They are also far, far cheaper than the monster unit.
     
  6. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Cartoon

    Can't help myself. Its just too good a spoof to waste [​IMG]
     
  7. Gary.S

    Gary.S Extra

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    Chris,
    One of the things I do like about the line filters I'm using is that there's no secret as to what they contain. The circuit diagram, with component values, is right on the filter itself... You know what you're paying for.
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    With all these problems that you seem to have, maybe it's a good idea to call your local utility company to see if the problem is on their end.
     

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