Surge Protector for Plasma TV's? Worth the money? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 71 Old 05-03-2010, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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So when I bought my TV the rep at the store said I needed a surge protector for my TV. I thought it was him trying to upsell me. I mean if I lose power I figure I'll just unplug the TV and when the power comes back on I'll plug it back in. What do people think? If I'm spending $1600 bucks on a TV I guess I should protect my investment. But they were going to charge me $100 + dollars for one. If people think I should get one, do they have a place like a Monoprice where you can get good HDMI cables at a good price for the equivlant surge protector?
Thanks
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post #2 of 71 Old 05-03-2010, 02:42 PM
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I have my TV, receiver, and Comcast box plugged into a $35 APC Surge Protector I got off Amazon.

I would have to use a power strip for all the devices, why not get a surge protector that does that same thing for not much more?
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post #3 of 71 Old 05-03-2010, 02:53 PM
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Eh power protection is up to you. I prefer staying on the safe side (I own 3 component Panamax conditioners.)

There's many factors to think about. For example, I'm in the Dallas area and we're on the grid system. Every day when they switch power from residential to business, there's a huge spike in power and vice versa when it goes from business to residential. We even get brown outs when the wind his too strong (happened 3 times yesterday.)

End result is up to you and how much you feel like spending on protection. Some people may say you need to spend $6, some might say you should spend $100. I've personally seen the cheap "surge" protectors burn up though and my recommendation is to at least do something better than that.
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post #4 of 71 Old 05-03-2010, 05:43 PM
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Do you need a power conditioner? Probably not. Do you need a surge protector? Absolutely (although you don't need a $100 one). A power surge could ruin your expensive display. IMO, it's not worth the risk.
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post #5 of 71 Old 05-03-2010, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillP View Post

Do you need a power conditioner? Probably not. Do you need a surge protector? Absolutely (although you don't need a $100 one). A power surge could ruin your expensive display. IMO, it's not worth the risk.

Agreed. You probably need a power strip anyway and a decent surge protector isn't a hell of a lot more than a nice power strip.

Also, I don't know for sure, but I wonder if the actual surge protection circuit in a panamax conditioner isn't too different from that found in a $35 APC unit.
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post #6 of 71 Old 05-03-2010, 08:04 PM
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I found out (the hard way) to make sure everything connected to your tv is protected as well.

Had lightning come in the internet cable. Cable modem to router to PS3 and HDMI to Pioneer Elite. Took out HDMI output on PS3 and HDMI input on tv (as well as computers, router, etc.).

Cost to replace HDMI board on Pioneer Elite was $700!!!!! The tv is 3 years old, so now everything goes via component.
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post #7 of 71 Old 05-03-2010, 08:17 PM
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Aren't power surges the number one killer of these TVs? It's definitely worth to have some kind of a surge protector.
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post #8 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thp427 View Post

I found out (the hard way) to make sure everything connected to your tv is protected as well.

Had lightning come in the internet cable. Cable modem to router to PS3 and HDMI to Pioneer Elite. Took out HDMI output on PS3 and HDMI input on tv (as well as computers, router, etc.).

Cost to replace HDMI board on Pioneer Elite was $700!!!!! The tv is 3 years old, so now everything goes via component.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a coaxial cable more attractive than the ground in an outlet for electricity? I'm almost 100% sure I learned this in EE a few years ago.
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post #9 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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well it sounds like I should get the surge protector, what would people reccomend for the "best bang for the buck" surge protector. Thanks
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post #10 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 07:28 AM
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I am sure it is not worth the money to have a avs 2000 on my system, it was about 1500 bucks. But knowing that if lightning comes down the pike more than likely it will not make it to the components is insurance enough for me.
I have a simple monster HTS on my bedroom plasma. It was about 100 bucks and would be the minimum I would use. I have been to customers homes that have a 20 dollar walmart one and the receiver or other is fried because the strip did not work.

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post #11 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamfordmike View Post

well it sounds like I should get the surge protector, what would people reccomend for the "best bang for the buck" surge protector. Thanks

Depends how much equipment you want to protect ... and how much info display, if any, you need. I've had my Plasma, Cable DVR, 2 DVD players, CD recorder/player, HDD DVD recorder, amp and receiver (now preamp) all running through a Belkin PureAV PF30 console for nearly five years now. Got it free as a bundle with the first plasma. At the time I think it went for $250 or so retail. Now it's less. Have had many brownouts and more than a few blackouts and everything has been well protected with very fast shutdown when needed. It's nothing special as units go. There is much better and more expensive. There is likely less expensive with equal or greater protection. The models above this have display info instead of just indicator bars, which can be nice to have. The point is to have something.

Really, if all you want to protect is 2-3 items, just get a well rated surge protector strip. Pay more for the better protection specs. It's just insurance.



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post #12 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 07:51 AM
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I've been using a battery backup on my rear projection HDTV so that in the event of a power outage I could turn it off and it would still be able to go through it's proper cool down procedure with the bulb. Will I need a battery backup for my new PN63C8000 plasma?
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post #13 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 07:53 AM
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Monster surge protectors are some of the best out there, they're worth it. Get the green energy one it works great.

Their cables are ridiculous but the surge protectors are nice.
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post #14 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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my setup is simple, Panny 54 G25, Cablevision box with DVR. No blue ray, no gaming system, no stero. I've heard bad things about Monster on the cable front, but surge protectors are ok. I also live in Conntecticut so brownouts aren't an issue.

also what do you mean by "power conditioner" what is that and what is a "panamax conditioner"
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post #15 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 08:38 AM
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.. some suggest 'conditioner's' are not effective; though, i own a Panamax that provides it. don't know (?) good bang for buck: probably Belkin mentioned above & TrippLite Isobar (check amazon/and/feedbak).
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post #16 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamfordmike View Post

my setup is simple, Panny 54 G25, Cablevision box with DVR. No blue ray, no gaming system, no stero. I've heard bad things about Monster on the cable front, but surge protectors are ok. I also live in Conntecticut so brownouts aren't an issue.

also what do you mean by "power conditioner" what is that and what is a "panamax conditioner"

A good conditioner buffers the spikes that we all get from our local electrical grid. It's a debate, on one side, there are those that believe your gear is designed to withstand that fluctuation and thus, conditioning is not needed. On the other side, of which I am one, believe it's just good peace of mind to run the cleanest power possible. Will it make your gear work better..?? Probably not. Is it better than a regular surge protector..?? I believe so but will probably get some disagreement PDQ on your thread. I can feel it coming now.

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post #17 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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What do people think of this one? It's a Tripp Lite TLP604 and it's only $9 bucks

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16812120314

or this one is a little more expensive, $11 bucks a Fellowes 6 Outlet Surge Protector

http://www.pricespider.com/compare-r...07-216117.html
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post #18 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 09:42 AM
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^^ .. yikes, you're not that 'cheap', are you!!

"If I'm spending $1600 bucks on a TV I guess I should protect my investment"

suggest something more substantial than a cheapie surge protector; neither one you mention has coaxial/tele protection. also, need to keep in mind manufacturer's who would support you if warranty is needed.

add: check Tripp Lite TLP810NET at amazon; also, check out "What other customers are looking at"

(or) belkin bp112230-08 (amazon/free shipping)
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post #19 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Indeed I am, I waited 10 months to pull the trigger on a plasma TV and pushed PC Richards to the brink to get a great price. Those that I listed were lying around at my work's supply room so I thought I could get away with it.
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post #20 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 10:37 AM
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Generally I recommend Panamax with the Automatic Voltage Monitoring (disconnects when power is not between 90v-140v). The feature starts on the M8-AV model which retails for $100 although I'm sure you can find it cheaper. Personally at home I have a MX-5102 and M5300 on my main system and then another M5300 in my bedroom.
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post #21 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pantheman75 View Post

I've been using a battery backup on my rear projection HDTV so that in the event of a power outage I could turn it off and it would still be able to go through it's proper cool down procedure with the bulb. Will I need a battery backup for my new PN63C8000 plasma?

I wouldn't worry about a battery backup. They're great for front/rear projection but flat panels should be fine. The only reason I have one is for my hptc. Helps that there are two outlets since my hr22 takes forever to start up again if it loses power.
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post #22 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 12:27 PM
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If you're that worried about power spike protection, you're short changing yourself if you don't have one of these installed....a whole house surge protector:




The unit I have covers power, cable, and phone. I did the install myself and it wasn't that hard other than having to be a little creative with my wiring due to a separate line I use for my DSL modem along with new POTS added during a renovation, and a home security system. Using a whole house surge protector along with point of use surge protectors is the only proper way to do things.
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post #23 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 12:44 PM
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What's the cutoff point though? Aren't most whole house protectors usually meant for large surges 160+? If so, couldn't power between 130-160 still damage your equipment? What about the bottom end? Do they cover just surges or underpowered lines too?
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post #24 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 01:18 PM
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I don't have the stats of my unit on hand. But it's universally recommended to use point of use surge protectors in conjunction with a whole house unit. The manufacturer of my unit, SquareD, says you can use it alone but strongly recommends supplemental surge protection at the point of use. Their warranty coverage follows this recommendation where they will cover half of any monetary damages if you do not use point of use/supplemental surge protectors.

The unit will not protect against brown outs. To have something that does that at the whole house level requires big bucks. I priced one out for kicks and the figure was well into the $10-20K range.

The idea of whole house surge protectors is to provide the gross power protection and any spike that gets past this unit will be less of a slam on a supplemental unit to protect against.

I have told my real life experience here before with a power surge. Power surge was caused by a work truck hitting a utility pole which crossed two big power feeds. The circuit so happened to supply my cul de sac. My neighbors got slammed pretty hard. Even devices they had on surge strips got nailed. They both lost thousands in electronics. I was fortunate where I only lost a Monster AV700 surge strip which Monster replaced without any hassles. The spike hit hard enough to trip two of the breakers in my service panel. After this episode, I went out and installed my whole house surge protector.
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post #25 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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Quote:


couldn't power between 130-160 still damage your equipment?

As an EE you must know that 120V RMS peaks at 180V.
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post #26 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Wonhong what part of the country do you live in? i've never heard of these browout issues here in the new england area
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post #27 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 03:53 PM
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.. brownouts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_outage

believe the OP was seeking a rather low-cost power surge/suppression solution; fwiw, my home unit was installed by the local electric Co. for alittle over $300.
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post #28 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 09:39 PM
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A surge protector is a must. Many grids have surges from time to time and a valuable piece of equipment such as a Plasma or LCD can be damaged very easily.
Think of it in another way, Why would you spend thousands of dollars on a HDTV and then skimp on a surge protector???? It doesn't make sense.
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post #29 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamfordmike View Post

What do people think of this one? It's a Tripp Lite TLP604 and it's only $9 bucks

Why does no one post spec numbers? Because none of those protectors - APC, Tripplite, Panamax, etc - claim protection in numeric specs. A majority recommend those products only because that is the popular retail myth. Promoted by the same facts that also proved Saddam had WMDs. Any facility that cannot suffer damage would never install those plug-in products.

For example, your telco's computer is connected to overhead wires all over town. Therefore it suffers more than 100 surges with each storm. How often is your town without phone service for four days while they replace that computer? Never?

Of course. Telcos everywhere in the world earth a 'whole house' protector. Do not waste money on the Tripplite, et al solutions. Then even direct lightning strikes do not cause damage - even to the protector.

Only more responsible companies sell 'whole house' protectors. Names that any 'guy' would recognize including Siemens, Square D, General Electric, Intermatic, or Leviton. For example, the Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. That is less than $1 per protected appliance for a solution that has been well proven for over 100 years.

Appreciate how many recommend protectors that do not even claim protection in their numeric specs. Don't take my word for it. Show us specifications that list each type of surge and protection from those surges? No numbers exist. Those are not for protection. Those are profit centers. Sold on hearsay. Same protector circuit sells in grocery stores for $7.

So let's view those spec numbers. See those hundreds of joules? How does a protector rated at hundreds of joules magically absorb destructive surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules? It doesn't. Notice how many completely ignored those numbers.

All appliances contain significant protection that makes hundreds of joules surges irrelevant. A tiny surge that cannot damage appliances may easily damage a plug-in protector. Since the protector fails, then wild speculation says, "The protector sacrificed itself to save my computer."

Reality. Protection already inside the computer saved the computer. The protector abandoned the computer, as fast as possible, to the surge. But that failure gets the naive to recommend that ineffective protector - a profit center. Why do TV store salesman so encourage that protector sale? They know where profits are highest.

Protection is always about where energy dissipates. One 'whole house' protector (properly earthed) means no energy is inside the building. No appliances damaged. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground - which must be avoided to promote myths and the ineffective (high profit) protector. You don't need the scam. You need a 'whole house' protector with proper earthing.
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post #30 of 71 Old 05-04-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman4 View Post

Why would you spend thousands of dollars on a HDTV and then skimp on a surge protector????

Why would an HDTV manufacturer make expensive electronics without internal protection? Reality. All appliances contain serious protection. How often every day are you replacing dimmer switches and GFCIs? Never? Because even those electronic devices contain serious protection.

Concern is a rare surge that can overwhelm protection inside appliances. An event that occurs typically once every seven years. So that protection inside all appliances is not overwhelmed, earth one 'whole house' protector. Destructive surge energy that does not enter a building then does not overwhelm protection inside any appliances.

Also why the 'whole house' solution was used even 100 years ago. And must always exist in any facility that cannot suffer damage. But that well proven solution does not have a massive profit margins. Therefore so many will only recommend ineffective (high profit) plug-in protectors. Not even know about the well proven solution that makes all surges irrelevant.

A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. That means energy harmlessly dissipates outside the building. Then protection already inside every appliance (including the furnace, stove, clock radios, and smoke detectors) is not overwhelmed.
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