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Can/Should I Take my Home Theater from the US to Europe?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I'll be moving from here in the US to Germany soon, and as I find nothing but 110v/60hz labels on my home theater devices, I'm getting more and more concerned. I understand I might be able to use a transformer to convert it, but I hear there might still be issues with 50hz power?

I'm currently powering everything through a cheap Belkin conditioner, and I was hoping I could purchase one quality transformer to plug that in to, though that's probably not the most energy efficient method. My main concern is that my equipment to works as it does now without glitches or artifacts, and in a safe manner without reducing its operational lifespan. I'd really prefer not to sell everything and start over, but I'm open for opinions to find the best solution. What's the deal?

Equipment list/thread: Build Thread
  • Sharp Aquos 60" LED TV
  • Pioneer VSX-1021-K Receiver
  • Boston Acoustics A360 Towers for Front
  • Boston Acoustics A225C Center
  • Boston Acoustics A26 Bookshelf for Surround
  • (2) Velodyne MiniVee 10 Subs
  • Aperion Zona Wireless Bookshelf for Zone 2
  • Apple TV 2
  • Cisco e4200 router
  • Linksys WET160N wireless bridge
  • Linksys SE2500 ethernet switch
  • iPhone 4 32Gb(iOS 5)
  • iPad 2 64Gb(iOS 5)
  • 27" iMac (2011 model)
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkofHart View Post

Hello all. I'll be moving from here in the US to Germany soon, and as I find nothing but 110v/60hz labels on my home theater devices, I'm getting more and more concerned. I understand I might be able to use a transformer to convert it, but I hear there might still be issues with 50hz power?

I'm currently powering everything through a cheap Belkin conditioner, and I was hoping I could purchase one quality transformer to plug that in to, though that's probably not the most energy efficient method. My main concern is that my equipment to works as it does now without glitches or artifacts, and in a safe manner without reducing its operational lifespan. I'd really prefer not to sell everything and start over, but I'm open for opinions to find the best solution. What's the deal?

Equipment list/thread: Build Thread
  • Sharp Aquos 60" LED TV
  • Pioneer VSX-1021-K Receiver
  • Boston Acoustics A360 Towers for Front
  • Boston Acoustics A225C Center
  • Boston Acoustics A26 Bookshelf for Surround
  • (2) Velodyne MiniVee 10 Subs
  • Aperion Zona Wireless Bookshelf for Zone 2
  • Apple TV 2
  • Cisco e4200 router
  • Linksys WET160N wireless bridge
  • Linksys SE2500 ethernet switch
  • iPhone 4 32Gb(iOS 5)
  • iPad 2 64Gb(iOS 5)
  • 27" iMac (2011 model)

Your thread caught my eye mostly as I'm in the logistics business. Who's paying for the packing and transport? Keep in mind some electronics don't travel well but the better your packing the better your chances of good condition on arrival; paying attention to transport arrangements is in order, too. Are you coming back or is this permanent? I couldn't tell you about the other basic electrical system difference issues but your manuals should be of some help as to how your particular model can cope with different electrical systems.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Transport is already taken care of. As I stated in my initial post, most of the larger electronics are not dual voltage capable, which is the reason I started this thread. I'm looking for insight into the pros/cons of using a transformer to power the entire setup so I can decide whether to sell or hold on to my stuff.
post #4 of 6
If you power all your 110V stuff with multiple transformers most will work. The question I have for you is this: What source material are you going to use?

European TV and radio broadcast standards are not compatible with US devices. Your TV will not receive German programming. Wireless networking equipment will work but if it interferes with frequencies in Germany you can expect trouble from the local governments. If your iPhone is able to be used in Europe, what plan will you have? Check with your carrier.
Where will you be living?


The primary concern with 50 versus 60 HZ power is heat. 50HZ power will cause more heat to be generated in transformers and will lower their life expectancy.

Unless you going to be carrying a lot of source material with you there is very little material for English speaking folks. Maybe you should rethink taking everything with you and storing stuff here instead.
post #5 of 6
The TV signal in Germany is compatible with the U.S.? OK fine.

The 50hz is a non-issue. The line voltage frequency was used to synchronize the TV's frame rate but this was like 20 years ago. Modern video equipment do not rely on the line frequency for this task.

So u need a 220-to-110 converter, with enough capacity, say 10 amps, depending how hard you typically push your equipment. This item used to be a hefty transformer, the last time I looked for one, I dunno know what's available lately, you have to google. One would hope they have built this item with some of that digital switching technology to make it less bulky and more efficient. But I dunno, you have to look.

And that's all. Perhaps the answer is already readily available in the organization you belong because surely you are not the first one to do this move. This forum, we are more into sonic/video quality/feature than knowing anything about international compatibility.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas821 View Post

If you power all your 110V stuff with multiple transformers most will work. The question I have for you is this: What source material are you going to use?
European TV and radio broadcast standards are not compatible with US devices. Your TV will not receive German programming. Wireless networking equipment will work but if it interferes with frequencies in Germany you can expect trouble from the local governments. If your iPhone is able to be used in Europe, what plan will you have? Check with your carrier.
Where will you be living?
The primary concern with 50 versus 60 HZ power is heat. 50HZ power will cause more heat to be generated in transformers and will lower their life expectancy.
Unless you going to be carrying a lot of source material with you there is very little material for English speaking folks. Maybe you should rethink taking everything with you and storing stuff here instead.

Thanks for the replies. Source material will be 90% Blu-Ray and Netflix, just like I use now, and my job will provide a satellite system to access American programming if I request it. I already have a general understanding of the native language, and their game shows are hilarious, so I might miss their programming a just a little.

Wireless frequencies might be governed by a different agency than our FCC, but the standards are the same. My iPhones were purchased unlocked, so I'll likely get service with Vodafone or O2.

I don't mind if the transformer needs to be replaced occasionally, I'm just concerned about the equipment connected to it. I'll be there for at least four years, so definitely plan to have a home theater setup. All good points to consider though. Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

The TV signal in Germany is compatible with the U.S.? OK fine.
The 50hz is a non-issue. The line voltage frequency was used to synchronize the TV's frame rate but this was like 20 years ago. Modern video equipment do not rely on the line frequency for this task.
So u need a 220-to-110 converter, with enough capacity, say 10 amps, depending how hard you typically push your equipment. This item used to be a hefty transformer, the last time I looked for one, I dunno know what's available lately, you have to google. One would hope they have built this item with some of that digital switching technology to make it less bulky and more efficient. But I dunno, you have to look.
And that's all. Perhaps the answer is already readily available in the organization you belong because surely you are not the first one to do this move. This forum, we are more into sonic/video quality/feature than knowing anything about international compatibility.

I have an in-line power monitor hooked up to the power conditioner that I use now. For general movie watching or streaming audio, the whole setup uses from 230-280watts but I've seen as much as 680watts usage at extreme sound levels. The subs alone could theoretically consume over 2,000watts instantaneously. I've never seen a reading that high, but I don't know what the sampling frequency is for the power monitor, so the reading could be dampened a bit.

I guess my primary focus should be researching a single transformer that can support the power requirements, without being an eye-sore or introducing unwanted noise and heat.
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