Home audio & video forum: $180 Power Conditioner vs. $2 Radio Shack surge protector

by: sws1967 January 8, 2009 10:55 AM PST

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$180 Power Conditioner vs. $2 Radio Shack surge protector

by sws1967 - 1/8/09 10:55 AM

I would like to know from Samsung what, if any, neccessity exits to use a power conditioner, such as the Monster HTS1000, over a cheap surge protector?

Here is my experience and observation to date:
First, my house was built in 1973; power is not perfect, but better than a home from 40s/50s. That said, we do experience brown-outs from the A/C (transient). With 3 people watching the same passage from "Planet Earth" in HD, I swapped the Samsung (LN52a750) power cord back and forth from the Monster MKIII1000 power conditioner to a Radio Shack $2 surge protector...none of my "test subjects" could tell a difference and neither could I. I also switched on the microwave and A/C at the same time and the line voltage stayed above 116.

What I'm interested in is why a "power conditioner" would be expected to have an effect anyway? My guess is the TV has its own built-in transformer and filter set - after all, Samsung doesn't require their set to be run on a conditioner, so they must have engineered for "dirty AC"? Most of the reviews where people have mentioned this gadget works are when they where running their cable line through a conditioner and then into the cable box...yes a cheap box can disrupt that signal, but that doesn't mean that buying this unit automatically makes that signal better vs running straight into the box. I've seen other people talk about how their audio and video sounds/looks better when filtered by this unit, but this unit doesn't filter those signals, it just "conditions" the power supply which is then transformed anyway inside your gear.

Anyway, I, and several other electrical engineers have been debating the merits of this gadget, and unless you have an existing problem to fix, I think this unit is unneccesary and expensive. I'm watching the LN52a750 right now through the $2 Radio Shack strip, and it looks AWESOME.

First, I would love to hear what Samsung has to say about why their TVs DO/DON'T need these condtioners? Second, can someone explain why/if this gadget has a REAL benefit over a surge protector? (note: I'm not debating the need for surge protection, just the need for the expensive "filtering").

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