I got a new Furman Elite-15 PFi Power Conditioner - Should I connect the coaxial connection from my DirecTV receiver? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-04-2014, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I just acquired a Furman Elite-15 PFi power conditioner to protect my gear. I haven't run it too long but I certainly notice improvement in audio clarity. I was wondering if you think it is a good idea to connect my DirecTV receiver through the coaxial protection circuit on the Furman unit? I have tried to connect it but I am a little perplexed as to what I am seeing. I am not primarily looking for video quality improvement though that would be a bonus. I would do it just for the protection.

But I have noticed that the picture looks substantially different when routed through the Furman. Not necessarily better either. While some menus might look sharper, some video looks more pixelated and with less contrast. It seems to have a detrimental effect on picture quality, but I'm not sure why that would be the case.

Have you all connected your satellite service through coaxial protection on power conditioners or power strips? Is this advisable or not?

Also I am wondering where exactly I should connect it to the Furman? I have a coaxial cable that comes through the wall into a small box, then another coaxial cable that then goes into a small rectangular box with blinking lights. And from there a third coaxial cable connects that box to the receiver. I'm not sure if I should connect the coaxial cable that comes out of the wall to the Furman, then to the small box, then to the rectangular box and then to the receiver? Or should it be routed through the Furman last right before it goes to the receiver? I'd have to verify but I believe that there are picture quality differences based on where it is connected.

It really appears to me that there are detrimental picture quality changes to using the coaxial connections on the Furman. But this is kind of strange since I would assume that a power conditioner of this quality would be designed to work well with satellite coaxial connections and at least not degrade the picture.


What do you think? Any advice would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-06-2014, 08:04 PM
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1) Please don't bump threads.

2) I'm not familiar with the Furman, but it's inadvisable to route DirecTV lines through something like that without knowing its effect on upstream current. Your receiver powers the dish's lnb and the combination of voltages and tones (depending on the type of setup you have) may also be used to select satellites and transponder sets. Anything that could strip that voltage or attenuate it could affect the performance of your setup. But you might want to ask in the catch-all DirecTV thread that's in the Programming section. DirecTV is digital. It's an all-or-nothing scenario. You'll either get a picture or you won't. Lots of pixellation or freeze-ups indicate a lack of signal strength. The quality of a stable picture won't display any minute PQ differences as you suggest.

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post #3 of 15 Old 06-06-2014, 10:01 PM
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I recommend AGAINST using the Coax Surge Suppressor built into some Power Strips.....if a high voltage spike enters through the Coax cable, the last place I would want to dissipate that energy in in the vicinity of expensive electronic equipment. Ditto in the reverse direction if high voltage spike enters via the Power System.....which is readily capable of dissipating voltage spikes, whereas whatever energy that might crossover to the Tuner Inputs are NOT.

Also note that the commonly used MOV devices are DESIGNED to operate by burning up the internal crystals....which WILL degrade TV signals as more and more spikes are internally dissipated. See my earlier post on this subject:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/381623/the-official-avs-antenna-and-related-hardware-topic/5550#post_8591196
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-12-2014, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrodefeld View Post
Hi everyone,

I just acquired a Furman Elite-15 PFi power conditioner to protect my gear. I haven't run it too long but I certainly notice improvement in audio clarity. I was wondering if you think it is a good idea to connect my DirecTV receiver through the coaxial protection circuit on the Furman unit? I have tried to connect it but I am a little perplexed as to what I am seeing. I am not primarily looking for video quality improvement though that would be a bonus. I would do it just for the protection.

But I have noticed that the picture looks substantially different when routed through the Furman. Not necessarily better either. While some menus might look sharper, some video looks more pixelated and with less contrast. It seems to have a detrimental effect on picture quality, but I'm not sure why that would be the case.

Have you all connected your satellite service through coaxial protection on power conditioners or power strips? Is this advisable or not?

Also I am wondering where exactly I should connect it to the Furman? I have a coaxial cable that comes through the wall into a small box, then another coaxial cable that then goes into a small rectangular box with blinking lights. And from there a third coaxial cable connects that box to the receiver. I'm not sure if I should connect the coaxial cable that comes out of the wall to the Furman, then to the small box, then to the rectangular box and then to the receiver? Or should it be routed through the Furman last right before it goes to the receiver? I'd have to verify but I believe that there are picture quality differences based on where it is connected.

It really appears to me that there are detrimental picture quality changes to using the coaxial connections on the Furman. But this is kind of strange since I would assume that a power conditioner of this quality would be designed to work well with satellite coaxial connections and at least not degrade the picture.


What do you think? Any advice would be appreciated.
Congratulations. I think you are experiencing what is commonly called the 'Placebo' effect. The satellite RF signal is carrying 100% digital information and would be affected in an 'all or nothing' way. No shades of gray in picture (or audio) quality with digital.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-12-2014, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post
Congratulations. I think you are experiencing what is commonly called the 'Placebo' effect. The satellite RF signal is carrying 100% digital information and would be affected in an 'all or nothing' way. No shades of gray in picture (or audio) quality with digital.
I don't think so. I am not immune to the placebo effect obviously, but it is clear that the DirecTV picture looks worse when run through the coaxial protection circuit on the Furman. I've compared similar content when connected to the Furman and when not connected. No big deal as i can just connect it directly to the receiver. I'm just curious as to why that is happening?

I've read other places that some have had weird experiences using the Coaxial connections on power conditioners and surge protectors. I can't explain why but I don't have to use those circuits.

As for the quality of the Furman power conditioner itself, I can assure you that sound from my speakers and receiver has improved significantly since I plugged it into the Furman. I understand some are skeptical of quality improvements to be gained from power conditioners but the effect is reproducible and significant. Less hiss from the speakers and more dynamic range in the sound can easily be appreciated.

Some of this might have to do with the quality of the power being outputted in your neighborhood, but I think the sonic benefits of good power conditioning are fairly well known.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-15-2015, 07:25 AM
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I got a new Furman Elite-15 PFi Power Conditioner - Should I connect the coax...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrodefeld View Post
.. it is clear that the DirecTV picture looks worse when run through the coaxial protection circuit on the Furman. I've compared similar content when connected to the Furman and when not connected. No big deal as i can just connect it directly to the receiver. I'm just curious as to why that is happening?



I've read other places that some have had weird experiences using the Coaxial connections on power conditioners and surge protectors. I can't explain why but I don't have to use those circuits.


You should contact Furman to get the coax module repaired or maybe they can ship you a replacement part. They state that due to the type of protection used on these RF circuits they may degrade over time and need replacing when a power surge occurs (unlike their other series mode circuits which are supposed to last forever). Since your unit is new it may be simply defective from the factory.



edited: the reason for the coax protection circuit is a voltage spike could hit the coax or enter via another system connected to the same coax line and then enter the system you are trying to protect. All points of entry to the system you are trying to protect need to go thru the Furman for complete protection and eligibility for any equipment guarantee.

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Last edited by AVfile; 10-15-2015 at 08:53 PM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-15-2015, 04:30 PM
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Sorry, but that advice is just wrong. You should never pass the satellite signal through any type of surge protector, because many of them degrade the signal and interfere with the control signals and power passing back to the LNB at the dish.
Second, the Furman (or any similar unit) will not protect your equipment against a lightning strike. Have you ever seen a house that is struck by lightning? If you get a strike on the house (or even close to it) the voltages and power involved will overload (and even burn out ) any surge protection. The only way to survive a direct/close lightning strike is to set up a whole house lightning protection system with lightning rods, and the dish within the protection cone. These systems have become more common here in TX but are several thousand dollars. Add a protection device at the service entrance to the house and maybe you have a chance, at least your house might not burn down..
http://stormhighway.com/surge_protec...ction_myth.php
This quote from a lightning protection article
"Surge protectors help protect equipment from power spikes (and distant lightning strikes that hit the electrical grid). But nearby lightning is so powerful it can jump through surge protectors. It’s been known to jump across an entire room (called side-flashing). When this happens, anything — or anyone — in its path could be in danger."
Note the mention of "distance". Your dish is not at a distance, it is close to or on the house structure.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-15-2015, 04:58 PM
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As I said in Post #3 above, I do NOT recommend running Coax thru a Multi-Purpose Power Strip/Suppressor/Filter.....if there IS a voltage spike coming in on the Coax (whether SAT, OTA or CATV) the VERY LAST place you want to dissipate all that Energy is in the vicinity of your Power Protection System and all of the expensive Electronics attached to it.

In the fol post, I discussed various Voltage Suppressors which could be attached to the (hopefully existing) Coax Ground Block, located where the cable(s) initially enter the building [the above link got clobbered]:
The Official AVS Antenna and Related Hardware Topic!
Since MOV devices are designed to degrade as they are try to absorb numerous Voltage Spikes, I do NOT recommend using them on ANY Coax connection....although they might not actually FAIL (right away), the degrading crystals can cause VSWR Reflections on the cable...which might degrade some channels and not others...

The above describes the BEST approach to dissipating Static Electric Buildup (due to high winds blowing across the Antenna). And about all you can do with a DIRECT Lightning Strike is to provide a path OUTDOORS to Ground....allowing MOST (not all) of the current to hop across the Coax Ground Block (until it turns to metallic dust)....and perhaps employ a SECOND Voltage Suppressor (NOT MOV type) located perhaps in the Garage with a fairly short path to the AC Ground at the Circuit Breaker Panel. But the latter is obviously overkill....

Dish Receivers and LNB's are obviously designed to accommodate a "normal" range of Static Electricity Buildup with just the NEC Mandated Coax Ground Block.....so unless you KNOW you have a Voltage Spike problem....or perhaps if your Dish Antenna is mounted close to the roof's high point (most are much lower on the eaves), it's unlikely to attract Lightning in the first place.....

Last edited by holl_ands; 10-15-2015 at 05:12 PM.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-15-2015, 08:45 PM
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I got a new Furman Elite-15 PFi Power Conditioner - Should I connect the coax...

Good point, I did not mean to imply that the equipment would survive a direct lightning hit. However it is supposed to protect against a certain level of power spike or surge, and for any equipment guarantee to apply all devices including coax must be connected to the surge protector. If you do not connect the coax thru it they will argue that you just invalidated the guarantee.

Also I hope you guys are not advising against the fellow getting his Furman repaired and at least functioning as designed before drawing any conclusions. If it's not working with his cable or sat he should find out why and take the responsible installer or manufacturer to task. It may not be perfect but it's better than nothing.

Obviously there is a market for much more elaborate lightning protection systems in Texas but I'm not interested in them right now.

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Last edited by AVfile; 10-15-2015 at 08:56 PM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-16-2015, 01:31 AM
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Illogical...Illogical....Illogical....
Surely there is no REQUIREMENT to connect to a Power Surge Protectors's COAX Voltage Spike Suppressor to "validate" the so-called "warranty".....it's entirely OPTIONAL....
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post #11 of 15 Old 10-16-2015, 01:44 AM
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Just to add to the comments about picture quality. DirecTV uses digital modulation and digital video compression. There is absolutely no way anything introduced to the coax signal path can have any impact on picture quality assuming you get an error free signal. None. If you get an error free signal you will be getting a bit-for-bit replica of the output of the encoders used at the uplink. The transport stream DirecTV produce will be exactly the transport stream fed to the MPEG2/MPEG4 decoder in your receiver, where it will be decoded to digital video and output via HDMI.

As others have stated, digital signals are close to all-or-nothing. You can be in a situation where you are close to the 'digital cliff edge' where everything stop working, but not quite over it. In these situations you don't get an error free signal, and the forward error correction can't correct for the received errors and you will get corruption, which manifests itself as picture break up (not the same as over compression artefacts) into blocks (usually you see blocks from a previous frame retained). This is similar to what happens in very heavy rain or snow, where signals get pushed into error territory.

However this is the only real picture quality issue that the received signal can have. All other picture quality issues are created by the DirecTV encoding (or whoever does the original encoding) or upstream of it, with a potential also for the MPEG2/MPEG4 decoder to have a small effect (though minimal). Bigger issues are likely to come from deinterlacing and scaling quality...

A device in-line with the LNB feed from the dish simply can't make a picture look better with a digital signal unless you are in an error condition. If you are seeing it, it's placebo. Sorry...
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post #12 of 15 Old 10-16-2015, 01:48 AM
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Or is the OP talking about routing a Composite video output from the DirecTV Receiver into his TV? That would be an analogue signal and the Furman could be doing all sorts of analogue things to the signal... (Artificial HF enhancement to 'crispen' the picture etc.)

*** EDIT - but looking at the specs of the device in question - it's an RF connection, so it can't be relevant. ***

Last edited by sneals2000; 10-16-2015 at 01:56 AM.
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post #13 of 15 Old 10-16-2015, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post
Illogical...Illogical....Illogical....
Surely there is no REQUIREMENT to connect to a Power Surge Protectors's COAX Voltage Spike Suppressor to "validate" the so-called "warranty".....it's entirely OPTIONAL....
I edited my first reply to clarify:

edit: the reason for the coax protection circuit is a voltage spike could hit the coax or enter via another system connected to the same coax line and then enter the system you are trying to protect. All points of entry to the system you are trying to protect need to go thru the Furman for complete protection and eligibility for any equipment guarantee.

If you're not using a coax anywhere in your system then of course you don't need to connect one, which is what you may have been thinking.

Note: I am assuming Furman has the same rules as Panamax since Panamax bought Furman, but it's possible they don't have the same type of $50,000 equipment guarantee.

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post #14 of 15 Old 10-16-2015, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
A device in-line with the LNB feed from the dish simply can't make a picture look better with a digital signal unless you are in an error condition. If you are seeing it, it's placebo. Sorry...
The OP's problem was that it made the picture worse. I surmise that the TVSS module in the Furman is defective and needs to be replaced.

From the user manual page 8:

Quote:
our cable and satellite suppressors are DVR
friendly as well as HD digital television ready. Both DC carrier signals as well as high bandwidth signals can pass through our
circuit. In fact the bandwidth is less than 0.1dB loss at 1GHz!

Note: It is not possible to make an in-line cable or satellite protector “maintenance-free” as we have accomplished with the 120
VAC line. This would necessitate limited signal bandwidth that would not allow the signal to pass. Under extreme conditions, it is
possible that the surge suppression in one of these devices could sacrifice itself after a catastrophic event. If the telephone, cable
or satellite signal will no longer pass through our protector, please contact your local service representative, installer or Furman for
servicing. Since these circuits are modular, replacement may be accomplished in seconds with a new TVSS module. To test this, simply
disconnect the incoming and out going cable from the Elite-15 PF i. Connect the incoming connector to the component that formerly
received the out going connector, thus by-passing the in-line protection. If the signal is present (but not when used with the Elite-15 PF
i) then the protection circuit is damaged (assuming it worked properly before a storm or catastrophic event).
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post #15 of 15 Old 10-16-2015, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVfile View Post
Note: I am assuming Furman has the same rules as Panamax since Panamax bought Furman, but it's possible they don't have the same type of $50,000 equipment guarantee.
From the manual:

CONNECTED EQUIPMENT WARRANTY: Furman Sound’s Connected Equipment Warranty covers equipment that is damaged
by transient voltage (an “Occurrence”) while properly connected through the Furman Elite-15 PF i to a properly wired AC
power line with a protective ground in an indoor location. Furman’s Connected Equipment Warranty is limited to the amount
of the deductible on the Purchaser’s personal property insurance policy up to $500.00.
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