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Clean Power

by MrMadCow13 / March 1, 2008 3:24 AM PST

Hey, everyone. I finally joined the HD club and got a great price on a Pioneer PDP-5080 at my local Best Buy. They were willing to haggle since they're trying to get rid of them. I also purchased my HDMI cables, an Optical Audio cable, and a Monster Home Theatre Power Center (the HTS850). The only thing I'm a little uneasy about is the Power Center itself. The associates at Best Buy weren't all the helpful in selecting power filters. Is the model I purchased going to be enough for my TV? I see models online touting "High Definition Video FIlters," however they only have one or two AC outlets (not enough for my two consoles, HD DVR, and Stereo System, etc.) I'm interested not only in improving picture quality, but the lifespan of my television as well. Any advice?

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I hope you didn't get ripped on your cables
by jostenmeat / March 1, 2008 4:01 AM PST
In reply to: Clean Power

I have recently learned that the best way to protect your electronics is to get a UPS. That low voltages can be just as damaging as high voltages. The Smart (not Back) systems from APC have been highly recommended by two resources that I respect very much. Their refurbished models are supposed to be great value. Had I discovered this just a bit earlier, I might have gone this route, but instead I have Belkin Pure AV.

IMO, the Belkin look better than Monster, and I have both. As a UPS, they are a lot heavier, and make more noise. I think the resonance of the metal casing has a lot to do with it.

If you really care, get a UPS.

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Clean power is over rated.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 1, 2008 4:10 AM PST
In reply to: Clean Power

If your power is dirty then tell us about your weekly replacement of bulbs, toasters and more at your home. Today's gear is just fine with the usual from the sockets.

What we have to worry about is the unusual lightning strike and surge since that's far outside the norms. While power companies have done a good job of protecting the network from strikes you are right to add such around the house.

My approach is the whole home gets treatment. With each power bar I get more and more protection in the entire "package." So you can spend a bit for a lot of JOULES at BB or just go online at amazon, and likely pay 1/2 what BB will.

In closing you can never protect your home from the hand of God type direct strike but you can over time build up protection as you go.


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Ok. so I accept that I might not need....
by RustyDallas / March 2, 2008 9:38 AM PST

a UPS but I might want one anyway. I must be missing something, though. The largest models seem to have around 950 watts of capacity, or so. My TV uses about 285 w, computer and LCD about 350, DVR about 120. So far so good but my receiver is 6.5 amps or about 780 w. I know that would only be at full power but even at half power, wouldn't it overwhelm the UPS? One of the things I'm trying to accomplish is line conditioning which only seems to be available on the battery back-up plugs and not the surge protected only plugs. I get some static on my radio when my computer is on and I'd like to get rid of it. There's a Belkin Pure AV model that says it has "two high voltage plugs for power hungry receivers". The thing is, that model doesn't give the watts at all but only that it can handle 7110 joules of surge. Maybe there's no battery bach-up on it? I'd rather go with one of the APC units because, if for no other reason, I'm short on space and could fit a unit that sits vertically instead of horizontally in better. Also, are the Cyberpower units any good?


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by jostenmeat / March 2, 2008 9:52 AM PST

the Belkin are pretty noisy at times. I stuck a cd book between the point of the top which I found to be most resonant, and the shelf above. I can't hear it at all at my listening position.

With my old dlp, lightning took out power soon after I first acquired it which prompted me to get a Monster from Amazon. I should've done UPS from the beginning. Regarding # of watts, or # of hours of back-up...I only have my pj connected to it. I really only care about cool-down of the lamp+unit, and heck, its worth as much as my entire audio rack combined. I guess I also fear when the whole 7.1 is cranking, with literally thousands of watts, I have an overly developed sense of paranoia for the pj as far as battery life. I guess we are supposed to change the battery every once in a while.

Belkin has many models. They are often recommended at the high-end digital pj forums at AVS. Plus, they should do what a Monster power center does, but free UPS, all at the same price.

A thread about UPS, APC, etc:

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Geez Josten
by RustyDallas / March 9, 2008 12:38 AM PST
In reply to: Rusty

I've been looking into UPS's for two weeks (researched, looked at them, priced them, etc). After all of that, I came to the conclusion that the APS Smart's are better for home theater for the money than any other units, as you said. That's including the units that say they are specifically for home theater, many of which don't offer sine waveform output. It's amazing how often my research leads me right back to things you know off the top of your head. The one unit that's bothering me , because they are less money, is the Cyberpowers.
Have you heard anything negative about them?


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I've never heard of them
by jostenmeat / March 9, 2008 8:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Geez Josten

I suggest you ask at AVS and Audioholics for more opinions. Have you tried the search function? I'll try right now in fact... ok found some, you have to log-in to see, since im using "highlight":

There's a lot more, btw...

As for stuff off the top of my head, Im just a master at regurgitating what others know... hehe

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A couple of points:
by NM_Bill / March 19, 2008 7:13 AM PDT

I have a Monster Home Theater Power Power Center HTS 3500 & have seen no noise issues from resonance, but then maybe jostenmeats is on a metal shelf - mine rests on sturdy wood.

Heed our moderator's advice on redundancy of protection.

Don't dwell on your power usage as the receiver, especially number reflects rather uncommon transient peak loads.

I've only heard good refferals about APS>

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Ditto to what Bob says!!!!!!
by jcrobso / March 3, 2008 12:04 AM PST

A UPS is a good thing if you have RP set the has a lamp. If you suddenly lose power the UPS will supply power long enough so you can turn the set off and the fan will keep running to cool the lamp. John

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Power Conditioning
by jasondtx / March 18, 2008 2:57 AM PDT

I agree a UPS is a good thing with a rear projection set. I would still get a good power conditioner. They filter out any noise in the system. If you have a good one (and Monsters are not very good) you should notice a pretty big difference. You should see a better picture from your tv, nicer colors, more detail, less noise, and from the audio system you should hear more detail, better imaging, and better dynamics because you are getting rid of any low level noise. Monster and a lot of other brands filter out known problem frequencies which can take away from the performance and also notch out certain frequencies that happen to fall on certain digital tv channels. Monster also is useless after one big surge, they are self sacrificing which protects your equipment but makes the unit useless after that. There are many good brands out there, 2 of the best I know of are MIT and Furman. Furman comes from the pro-audio world and makes nice home power conditioners with surge protection and they are used by a lot of recording studios and pro audio companies because of their performance and they never break down.

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I'm still over-analalizing this one.
by RustyDallas / March 19, 2008 10:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Power Conditioning

I've come to the conclusion that the perfect home theater UPS and power conditioner doesn't exist. A true sine wave is ideal but to get one, you need a "double conversion" online UPS to create it. The problem is, then you must have a constantly running fan that generates noise equivelant to a home computer. For me, that's not acceptable. So, then you go to standby battery back-up which apparently solves that problem but you lose the pure sine wave when your power source is functioning normally. These units just pass through the wall current and try to clean the rough edges off off the wave with AVR and other methods. Some of the better ones like the APC Smart give you pure sine when you go to battery back-up but only then. Since home theater equipment can function with a "stepped sine wave" during a failure, this wouldn't seem to be worth much. I mean at that point, it's not about picture and sound quality but protection anyway. So, a pure sine wave from an online UPS would give you that clean signal you want but only if you can tolerate a lot of fan noise.

That lead me to conclude that I wanted a unit that does the best job of line conditioning through AVR, etc. It occurred to me that maybe the way to go is to use an inexpensive UPS like one of the Cyberpowers but in conjunction with a high quality line conditioner like the Belkin Pure AV PF60. Maybe, but when I called Belkin tech support to ask that question, I ended up in India with a guy who didn't know what a UPS was. For what it's worth, he read through the things he was told to say and his answer was that it wouldn't work. If he's wrong, this might be the most cost effective solution.

I'm also looking at the Belkin AP51300FC-10-BLK hybrid which would be an all in one solution but I can't tell it would do more than the above solution would do for a lot less. Besides, now that I've used their customer service, I hate Belkin. The APC J15BLK is another possbility along these lines.

All I know is that I don't think the perfect solution exists and I am concentrating on line conditioning and maximum joule protection and de-emphasizing the quality of the sine wave during failure.

Thoughts besides "get a life"?


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Over analysing will drive you nuts. I'm not sure I
by NM_Bill / March 19, 2008 12:03 PM PDT

understand the concentration on havng a pure sine wave. I have a Monster HT power conditioner used to be $400 list price, now discounted deeply & it contains HUGE capacitors. In that price range, I feel APS & Belkin units would have similar quality.

Yes it infuriating to talk to Mujibar who claims he is Dave Smith. Sorry to be politically incorrect as the folks there surely only want decent jobs too.

I think the joules protection is more important than desire for pure sine wave power.

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by jasondtx / March 20, 2008 2:24 AM PDT

I think both protection and clean power are equally important. I have a unit from Furman at our store that lets you A-B power conditioning with the push of a switch. You can turn conditioning on and off without unplugging things and having to wait. While you are watching tv or listening to music you can notice big differences between a conditioned signal and non conditioned. Dynamics are better, imaging is more focused, more detail in picture and sound. And from the same unit you get surge protection with unlimited joule ratings so you don't have to worry about how big of a surge would come in, your unit would protect the equipment or they would replace your system that was damaged.

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Thanks for mentioning the Furman brand.
by NM_Bill / March 20, 2008 4:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Both

It looks interesting.

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I think the whole thing about picture and sound...
by RustyDallas / March 20, 2008 4:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Both

improvement depends on how good the source power is. I'm sure that some people in some places are getting a pretty clean wave right out of the wall where others are not. You can't knock the rough edges off of a wave if there aren't any there to begin with. I think that's why some people see a differance and some do not. When you demo your Furmans, you readily see a differance but when they reviewed one in Audioholics, they did not (see link below). In fairness, that made it exactly equal to other brands they reviewed with regard to that feature. I'll bet you anything the differance between your experience and theirs is the quality of their incoming power in relation to yours. One day soon, I'm going to roll the dice, buy one and see for myself. I need more protection anyway and I'm curious.


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Power conditioners
by jasondtx / March 20, 2008 5:16 AM PDT

I understand, it does depend on the quality of the power in the first place. They are a nice investment either way and Furman is a great one to look at in my opinion.

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Ya, Im going to need some electrical work anyways
by jostenmeat / March 20, 2008 5:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Power conditioners

So I think I might as well get a dedicated circuit for the HT + 2-ch.

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dedicated circuit
by jasondtx / March 20, 2008 6:01 AM PDT

good idea

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Though I am a user of a line conditioner it is understood
by NM_Bill / March 20, 2008 8:36 AM PDT

that makers load the dice when they demostrate their products. Like they send a signal done the line which is far worse & rough than that typically provided over the electric grid.

Good thinking is one thing. How much should I spend for that type protection/service? High end audio has always exhibited plenty of voodoo claims of engineering thinking. I have long been one to whom audio is pretty much of an addiction. But the field is hard to determine as to diminishing returns. That law will get you every time.

Not that it is important, but I was ridiculed a couple years ago when I explained my use of line conditioners. I was called thinking in voodoo logic & just imagining improvements because my feeble mind so strongly wanted to have such abortitions.

Unlike some here who have taught electric theory & practice for years, I am not the one to explain ground loops, etc. & certainly not more complex propositions. There are many sources of one's set ehibiting pixilating & breaking up of the audio signal. Cable company employees have posted acknowledging the cable boxes theyr employer are providing now are not yet up to the job.

Mm cable mans demo couldn't have been any more simple or straight forward. I had unthinkingly put a perfectly good Belkin surge protector strip inline. He took that out of the circuit & the difference was not even subtle. It was obvious the general purpose surge strip was introducing the static or problem.

Low in the progressive route you might care to pursue is that surge strip type things need to be bought with regard to them being specifically labeled for A/V use. Yes, it involves spending a bit more money, but not all that much. And I am a believer in surge strips as one did its sacrificial thing of purposeful meltdown several years back when electric company workers replacing the old pole transformer wired it backwards. That cost the electric company some liability for replacement goods, but that could not adequately compensate the office next door who was not using any protection & had a total meltdown of several computers & years worth of applied data entry worth some vague figure, but surely up in tghe several thousands of bucks. Yes, I thank my generic 20 buck surge protector for sparing the computer.

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about two years ago we had big string of posts on this.
by jcrobso / March 21, 2008 1:56 AM PDT

I did an experement: I uesed an oscilloscpe and scoped the AC line, I saw a nice clean sine wave trace on the scope. Then I pluged in a BIG drill and turned it on while watching the scope the trace on the scope did not change, I still had the nice clean sine wave.
If you has RP HDTV that has a lamp then a UPS is a very good thing to have. You can never have to many surge protectors. John

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You can never have to many surge protectors. John
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 21, 2008 2:09 AM PDT

If you ever looked around our home you would find surge protection in every power bar in the house. I've taken to adding it all over to build up the total joules to something I can't imagine. Bob

PS. Yes, I agree.

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by Riverledge / March 20, 2008 11:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Clean Power


you to a fancy overpowered A/V/Receiver you'll never get your monies worth out of!


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by jasondtx / March 21, 2008 1:23 AM PDT

Once again, if you haven't been able to demo it with the push of a switch then stop saying it's a marketing ploy. I sell this type of equipment everyday and yes it makes a noticeable improvement. We have had the head engineer from Furman at our store giving demos and I have personally seen and heard a difference in audio and video, plus every one of our customers agrees that they make a big difference. Maybe it's the particular brand you're using that isn't performing as well and no we don't have terrible power here in our city but it is noisy just like everywhere else. There are many devices in homes that introduce noise into systems, refridgerators, vaccuums, bad grounding from cable companies, lighting, etc. Try one out sometime, they are worth it.

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