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The great line conditioner debate

Old 07-30-02, 09:29 AM
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The great line conditioner debate

Its been a while since the last debate on whether these are anything more than a glorified power strip. I was at the local high end elctronics store and he told me I was crazy if I didn't have one, especially in NYC.

Does anybody have any experience with ine conditioners and do they really clean up the video picture, as well? If they are worth while, I was looking at either the Panamax 4300 or the monster HTS 1100.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-30-02, 11:36 AM
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Living in Florida, I wouldn't plug any piece of electronic equipment I value into the wall without some kind of protection. That being said, I wouldn't trust the $5 surge protector I use for my alarm clock for $10,000+ worth of HT gear. YMMV.
I firmly believe you get what you pay for, and while there may be a 'bargain' out there, I'm not on the hunt for a good deal- I want something that I can trust to protect my gear.
I happen to use 2 Monster Power HTS-2500 units and have never had any complaints.
I primarily bought the units for surge protection and consider any line conditioning capabilities a bonus.
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Old 07-30-02, 11:52 AM
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Does anybody have any experience with ine conditioners and do they really clean up the video picture, as well? If they are worth while, I was looking at either the Panamax 4300 or the monster HTS 1100
Personally I would not run a video signal through one of these. I prefer to run video straight from the source to the monitor.

As far as power/line conditioning so far this summer the power has gone on and off in my house at least once a day. I have an older Panamax unit that I have been very pleased with.
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Old 07-30-02, 12:21 PM
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Line conditioners are good but you really need a voltage stablizer to make a big impact. Something that outputs a constant 120V with a input range of 80V - 140V. That will provide the best sound and picture for your system. A simple line conditioner will not do that...and although there may be some improvement with a line conditioner, it wont be big.
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Old 07-30-02, 12:48 PM
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One thing to consider in using a line conditioner or surge protector is that these (at least all of the ones I am familiar with) must be plugged into a grounded outlet. In some older buildings the outlets are not grounded even though they sport 3 prong outlets.
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Old 07-30-02, 01:17 PM
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I was actually having this conversation about the Monster HTS850 with a friend of mine earlier today. I figure I might as well just paste my side of the discussion here, in case anyone is interested:


Generally I'm skeptical about rubbish marketing claims of magically improving picture and sound quality by simply adding a new cable or a super power strip. I wouldn't have even considered such a thing a few months ago, but I wound up buying this one out of desperation.

During the last heat wave a few weeks back, our building was having constant power dips each and every night due to everyone turning on their air conditioners at the same time. It made TV watching impossible. The TV picture would get nasty static-y distortion every couple of minutes (not good for it, I'm sure) and my A/V receiver kept losing sync with the audio signal and turning itself off.

So I went out and bought this fancy surge protector in the blind hope that it might alleviate some of the problem. Of course, by the time I got it home and hooked up, the heat wave broke and we stopped having the power dips! So I really don't know whether it does what it claims to do or not.

I would have thought that using a new power strip, even one with line conditioning, really shouldn't have much effect on picture quality during times of 'good' power flow. Ideally, it should simply maintain a consistent picture when the power fluctuates, right? Well, this one did make a difference, a pretty big and noticeable one, in fact. Whether it is for the good or bad I can't tell. Basically, once I plugged this thing in my picture became *much* darker and all of my color settings were off. I was horrified. I had to go in and recalibrate everything, which was annoying. I also think the thing may have needed a breaking-in period, because over the next week or so the picture would still be off in weird ways from day to day and I did some constant tweaking. It's settled down now and I think I've gotten everything aligned to where it is going to stay (which is still nowhere near where it was before the power strip). I think that, with the adjustments, the picture quality is pretty much the same as I originally started with, no better and no worse, but it takes different settings to get there.



These symptoms may be specific to my particular experience. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 07-30-02, 02:53 PM
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nice post Josh, thanks!

I think for high power systems it could make a marginal improvement for audio, but video I just dont no.
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