UPS or Line Conditioner...what's the HT differance?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by GeorgeTW, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. GeorgeTW

    GeorgeTW Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd like to protect my gear with either a ups or power conditioner. I've seen a couple of threads about surge protectors, but nothing else which weighs the advantage of the other 2.

    Some of the electronic retailers really pushed certain products which tout 'filtered' power. Do not both ups and line conditioner have stability built in?

    Which is better for HT? MY power requirement are not high, perhaps under 10 amps most of the time using HT receiver, subwoofer amp, 27" TV, and either SAT or DVD simulatneously. Rarely doesn anything get turned up over 30% of volume. Thank you.
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    UPS's are not recommended for HT gear. While the battery-charging circuits dont bother a computer, it causes noise on the AC power that is audible/causes problems for HT equipment.

    Basic surge-protectors are cheap and almost required.

    Some of the more expensive protectors also have "filters" which MAY help if you have fairly noisy AC power. (Live in a big-city area with light/heavy industrial nearby).

    The true power-conditioners are a lot more expensive (~$500-1000), but they are also in the 'it could help' catagory.

    A magazine took a power conditioner and gave it to 2 different reviewers. One said it made a dramatic difference, the other none. The difference: one lived in the city with lots of AC power issues, the other lived in the remote suburbs with little or no power issues.

    My advice: get a surge-supressor. Find a local store that sells the nicer power-conditioners and has a loaner/30-day return policy and take one home.

    Make sure to test the conditioner during the time of day you normally use your system. (The quality of the AC power varies hour-to-hour and day-do-day). Then decide if a conditioner is good for you.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If your goal is protection then you don't go UPS. The purpose of an UPS is to provide backup power. The protection it offers is small, tossed in literally as an after thought. A power conditioner means different things to different people. For example it might mean reprocessing of the incoming AC. It might mean balanced power. It might mean using isolation transformers. All usually include a bit nominal surge protection and again, nothing to write home about.

    Now if you own your own house, you can have a whole house surge protection scheme installed. Search for this term in the Tweaks area and you'll get additional information. Otherwise you can consider point of use surge protectors like those from Stratitec, Belkin A/V Isolators, etc. Prices here can range from around $20 to around $100. Both the aforementioned also include EMI/RFI filtration but implemented in different ways. The latter has each pair of outlets 'isolated' from each other. The idea is if your equipment was dumping garbage back down the AC line and if a device, say your TV, was suceptible to this noise on the AC line, then keeping your TV on one end and the offending device at the opposite end would yield visual benefits.
     
  4. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    i used to work for one of those stores that really pushes the monter power conditioners... i had never used one and personally felt dirty talking about it because i was bonused and pushed so hard to sell it...

    i quit that job and went to another. in the process i won 2 HTS5100's. i hooked them up, simply wanting to protect my gear, not expecting an ounce of improvement. sure enough, they do clean up the video quite a bit. i have relatively nice gear, but it was an easy difference to see. my audio was also improved too.

    i think its worth it quite frankly. they are expensive, but if you want to squeeze that extra little bit out, its worth it.
     
  5. GeorgeTW

    GeorgeTW Stunt Coordinator

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    THanks for the reply. I hadn't considered the battery charging circuit to be a contributing factor of noise. What would you think of one of those combo units made by companies like APC, that have 6 outlets, 3 with surge suppression, 3 with backup power?
    In that way, my HT reciever could have suppression while my VCR could have its clock protected.
     

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