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HDTV... Absolutely Necessary To Ground? Alternatives?

Old 11-05-05, 06:36 PM
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HDTV... Absolutely Necessary To Ground? Alternatives?

So I'm getting a 42" Sony LCD Rear Projection television on Wednesday. My outlets in this house, are all two prong outlets, no grounding. I had seen there was a topic for grounding already in a home but my question was much more specific. At Best Buy I purchased a monster power strip to protect slight surges from the television, but returned it because it's three prongs. And I figured there's no point in converting it to two prongs because then it's not going to offer protection because it's not properly grounded.

The guy at Best Buy said I should absolutely NOT plug in this TV without plugging into something that's properly grounded. He says it can reduce the tv's lifespan of viewing by half with the slight surges because it's sensitive. The TV itself has two prongs though, so they wouldn't make a TV that couldn't handle being plugged into just a two plug outlet, would they? Am I able to just use a power strip (a regular one), can I just plug it into the wall?

I'm just wondering how important this actually may be, or if there's an alternative to actually replacing the wall outlet. I mean, that power strip that want me to have is $150, and I figure ya never know, there may be a good alternative but they just kinda want to make the sale, ya know?
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Old 11-06-05, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mzupeman2
The guy at Best Buy said I should absolutely NOT plug in this TV without plugging into something that's properly grounded. He says it can reduce the tv's lifespan of viewing by half with the slight surges because it's sensitive. The TV itself has two prongs though, so they wouldn't make a TV that couldn't handle being plugged into just a two plug outlet, would they? Am I able to just use a power strip (a regular one), can I just plug it into the wall?
This droid has no idea how houses are wired. He gained all his knowledge from the Monster rep's monthly training session. If you are really worried, call the manufacturer.
Originally Posted by mzupeman2
I'm just wondering how important this actually may be, or if there's an alternative to actually replacing the wall outlet. I mean, that power strip that want me to have is $150, and I figure ya never know, there may be a good alternative but they just kinda want to make the sale, ya know?
He's trying to sell you a high-margin power strip. Tell him to stick it back on the shelf with the $100 speaker cables. A decent surge protector from Walmart will probably work just as well and cost much less.
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Old 11-06-05, 12:49 AM
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I used to work at BB. The home theater associates will sell you any crap that has high margin, whether you need it or not. I hope you didn't get the PSP
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Old 11-06-05, 04:09 AM
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IMHO skip the ground/surge protection thing and go straight to the UPS.
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Old 11-06-05, 09:23 AM
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UPS, are you speaking about the power supply from the wall?

So, really when it boils down to it, you think I should just get a two pronged surge protector and save the money, and not worry about replacing my two pronged outlet with a grounded one?


I worded my first post there where you were laughing wrong. What I mean is, the TV I'm recieving only has a two pronged plug. And the reason why I'm really here asking all of you if any of this 'grounding' stuff is even worth it, is because it makes no sense to me that SONY would make a two pronged TV and not MEAN it to be just for a two pronged outlet. To me, makes sense that it's not necessary to have the TV grounded. I mean, the TV was MADE with just a two pronged plug, why would they make a two pronged plug if they really wanted to have the TV grounded.... if SONY truly intended for the product to be grounded they would have included a third prong for the grounding, right?

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Old 11-06-05, 10:20 AM
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grounding is mereley a safety precaution

obviously you don't have to ground your tv or the plug would have had a ground on it

ups's have a 3 prong plug, so it would be useless to you because of your house outlets

it still wouldn't hurt to buy a $25 belkin surge supressor or maybe a power conditioner
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Old 11-06-05, 11:12 AM
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The idea behind grounding is to protect the people who use metal-encased appliances from electric shock. The casing is connected directly to the ground prong.
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question110.htm


If the wiring is that old that it does not have grounding prong, I would not take chances. I would still get a surge protector, how much you spend is up to you.
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Old 11-06-05, 11:38 AM
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Well that's been about informative enough. I do want to protect the TV, and I'll buy something that's not quite as pricey as the monster power. I am going to get somebody to come to the house and get me a grounded power outlet so I can properly ground the protector or conditioner I purchase.
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Old 11-06-05, 08:53 PM
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Um, even though I generally always agree with Brian, if none of your components has a 3 wire plug, there is no need to worry about the 2 wire outlets. Even if you got a power strip, none of them would be grounded to the 3rd wire. If you have one that does (probably a sub or a high end product if you have any) have a 3 wire plug, you should definitely find a way to ground it.

Your house almost surely has a house ground (that's the 3rd wire) and the metal boxes inside the outlet are probably grounded to it. So it shouldn't be too tough for a qualified person to install a proper 3 wire outlet. But rely on the electrician to decide all that.
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Old 11-06-05, 09:40 PM
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Well I know it's possible. My computer room was done over sometime after three prong outlets became more 'the thing', and it has all three prong plugs. Our kitchen and bathroom does too. So, yeah, it shouldn't be too bad for somebody to do it. We got a friend of the family who won't charge us much to do it either. If this person can't do it before the TV arrives, I'll be using the line conditioner I'm going to purchase with a 3 to a 2 prong converter, so at least even though it's not grounded and not protecting against surges, it should be doing its job of controlling the power being fed to the TV, I think. Worst comes to worst, I'll be going a week tops with the TV that way until the outlet is changed. If I only wanted to worry about the line conditioner doing just that, then I wouldn't worry much at all. But, I do get lightning by the house here during storms since I'm in a elevated area, and do want to protect myself with the grounded surge protector as well so, I'll be protecting myself for the future.
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Old 11-07-05, 09:32 AM
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Best bet, get a friend who works at Best Buy and get him/her to buy one for you on their employee discount. I hear they get those Power dilly thingys for DIRT CHEAP......

I lost a great stereo system to a power surge once. I didn't know any better at the time and i had it plugged right into the wall with no protection at all. Not even a simple power strip. Well during the LA Riots, the fires a couple blocks away caused power lines to melt and arc causing a power surge in surrounding areas. Sure enough my Marantz got fried big time. Now i never plug anything in unless they go through some kind of Power Strip or something that will protect it.

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Old 11-07-05, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
Um, even though I generally always agree with Brian, if none of your components has a 3 wire plug, there is no need to worry about the 2 wire outlets. Even if you got a power strip, none of them would be grounded to the 3rd wire. If you have one that does (probably a sub or a high end product if you have any) have a 3 wire plug, you should definitely find a way to ground it.

Your house almost surely has a house ground (that's the 3rd wire) and the metal boxes inside the outlet are probably grounded to it. So it shouldn't be too tough for a qualified person to install a proper 3 wire outlet. But rely on the electrician to decide all that.
I agree on the grounding issue. My only point to the surge protector is that the tv is expensive enough and it would be a shame to have no ground or surge supression. Even normal voltage changes could wreak havoc on this tv.
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Old 11-07-05, 04:12 PM
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Well, temporarily until I can actually get an outlet installed with the three prong outlets on it... will a line conditioner still at least even out the power coming in?
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Old 11-08-05, 11:19 AM
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A line conditioner, yes. That will be several hundred dollars. Monster's is supposed to be nice, $1500. A surge suppressor can help in some ways, but it does not alter the power unless it surges. Whatever voltage level it clamps down at is probably well outside the normal fluctuations you see.

For temporary, I'd get whatever price level protector you want to afford and just use a 3-2 prong adapter until you get your outlet changed. When I bought my house, this was one of the things I looked at. I didn't want to have to change every single outlet to 3 wire. And I knew I'd have to with my weird personality.

I use the Monster HTS2000, a $200 protector. I just got the new Mark II as a warranty replacement, which has a display that shows what the voltage is. I've been happy to note that it is always locked on 120v.

(I'm NOT recommending Monster, btw...they are still overpriced)
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Old 11-08-05, 11:34 AM
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Thank you all, for all of your help. I'm well informed enough now to make a decision.
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Old 11-08-05, 06:50 PM
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Alright, so it seems a miracle hit. We got a friend in the family finally to squeeze me in tomorrow morning in between a couple of his other jobs. So the outlet will be changed with a grounded outlet finally. Best Buy was giving me some shit about the TV delivery tomorrow though. I told them I couldn't be home until after three, and I've been waiting almost a week for delivery. They couldn't get me in past two o'clock tomorrow. It's really awful to wait almost a week, you make arrangement for the day after, and they can't even get you the damn item you PAID to have sent over, the day you were told you'd get it done. You have to wait until the day before your delivery for them to call and work with you to schedule a time... how lame. How can you make any plans at all?
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Old 11-09-05, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
A line conditioner, yes. That will be several hundred dollars. Monster's is supposed to be nice, $1500. A surge suppressor can help in some ways, but it does not alter the power unless it surges. Whatever voltage level it clamps down at is probably well outside the normal fluctuations you see.

For temporary, I'd get whatever price level protector you want to afford and just use a 3-2 prong adapter until you get your outlet changed. When I bought my house, this was one of the things I looked at. I didn't want to have to change every single outlet to 3 wire. And I knew I'd have to with my weird personality.

I use the Monster HTS2000, a $200 protector. I just got the new Mark II as a warranty replacement, which has a display that shows what the voltage is. I've been happy to note that it is always locked on 120v.

(I'm NOT recommending Monster, btw...they are still overpriced)
You can get the HTS2000s off of eBay for around $100 shipped too. Don't pay retail.

I've heard that the "need" for a line conditioner is minimal as your electronics components already do their own line conditioning internally. Supposedly some receivers explicitly say on them that a line conditioner is completely unneeded. Curious about your thoughts on them Spiky.
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Old 11-10-05, 11:07 AM
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Yeah, I think I paid around $120 on Yahoo years back. Discovered the voltage is now at 121-122 after a 2 hour power outage a couple nights back. I hope nothing bad is going to happen, we've had more outages than we deserve the last couple years, last thing I need is another nasty surge.

The internal power supply on a receiver (or whatever) changes the power to whatever the component needs. But it doesn't do what a good Monster or Panamax protector does, which is clamp down on surges. At least not any receivers I've read about. Nor does it help your other machines, and most do not have much of a power supply in them, certainly not any DVD player for less than $1000. So I say they are worth something. I got mine partly for the insurance policy, which I'm in the middle of using. I've got the new strip, still waiting for an answer on my CDR that died. The HTS200 also happens to have 12 outlets, which are usually all filled, so it's just plain convenient for me. If I plug in games, I need another strip in addition.

And an actual line conditioner is a serious piece of electrical equipment since it takes the input and makes sure you have clean 120v steady output, which is what your components' power supplies are expecting. They won't do well if you have nasty fluctuations. Now, if your power is nice and clean, there really is no need for this. Definitely a tweak for those who have nothing better to do with their money. Because if your power is that bad, you ought to be calling the electric company to fix it instead of using expensive HT devices.
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Old 11-10-05, 03:32 PM
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Yeah, I'm not going to debate the efficacy of a surge protector.

I would just guess that a line conditioner is a superfluous addition for pretty much anyone living in a major city with somewhat recent wiring.
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Old 11-10-05, 04:19 PM
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See, me, I live in an old house in a village, heh. I have a lake right behind my house and it's higher up in elevation here than obviously down by where there's more civilization. I drive a half hour to and from work every day... but we get some lightning close by here when there's lightning storms pretty close and it IS an old house so, it's a good idea I buy this conditioner/surge protector and use it as a 'just in case'. Could never hurt, and a hundred bucks is nothing to pay for protection with how much the TV cost.
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