You have spent a lot of time in researching the best television set and the audio equipments which would provide you with the best television viewing experience or you may also be in possession of your dream home theater system. Unfortunately, electrical equipments are quite vulnerable to power surges which might occur unexpectedly because of a fault in the power line connected to your house or during a lightning strike due to a storm that has hit your area. A power surge will cause major damage to your home theater equipment that you have spent so much time to research and money to buy. It is always a wise idea to invest in a power center and connect your home theater equipment to it, so that if there is an electrical power surge, the power center will take the brunt and spare your home theater equipment. After much searching, the top pick for the best home theater power center was chosen to be Monster Home Theatre Reference HTS 3600 MKII PowerCenter.
The Monster HTS 3600 has the Monster Clean Power Stage 3 version 2.1 circuitry filter which has the ability to drastically reduce the electrical noise that can otherwise ruin your experience of using your home theater system. The system also has a feature called T2 which can protect your home theater system by automatically disconnecting and reconnecting when necessary.
If you want to spend some more money in buying protection equipment for your home theater system, you can buy the Panamax MR5100 11-Outlet Home Theater Power Management.
All of the 11 outlets in the Panamax MR5100 are protected and filtered having the Automatic Voltage Monitoring (AVM) feature, Protect or Disconnect Technology and Panamax Level 4 noise filtration. This helps the system to guard against damaging power spikes and current fluctuations that can be detrimental to your home theater system, and if there is any damage caused to an equipment that is connected to a Panamax MR5100 then the manufacturer will cover the damage to your equipment for up to $5,000,000.
If you do not want to spend that much money but still want a good level of protection for your home theater system, you can buy the Monster Cable HTS 800 Home Theater PowerCenter. The Monster Cable HTS 800 has the Stage 1 version 2.0 filter which will provide noise-free power to the electrical equipment connected to the power center. The power center outlets are color-coded and the matching labels on the electrical cord and the outlets makes it very easy to hook up the system. The power cable connected to the power center has a length of 8 feet and the right angle plug provides flexibility during installation.
Table of Contents
- Why power protection is necessary
- Types of power protection
- The top pick
- The runner up
- The other picks
Why power protection is necessary
According to Schneider Electric company, lightning is the single biggest cause of the destruction of and damages incurred to electrical equipments in industrial facilities as well as in commercial and residential buildings. This fact can easily be seen in statistics that is published by insurance companies throughout the world and telecom operators like France Telecom. Even the best power supply that is available in the market today cannot function properly without the supply of a steady and reliable AC power. So if you just plug in your electrical equipment into the wall outlet and hope that everything will go as it is going at the moment, then be ready to lament the loss of your electrical equipment sooner or later.
So what is present in the electrical power that you receive which would need you to install extra protection for your electrical equipment? According to an answer to an user’s question spikes and surges are the primary reasons that anyone would think about before buying extra power protection for their electrical equipment. Spikes and surges are terms that are used to describe a dramatic but brief amount of increased voltage. The difference between spikes and surges reside in the time that the increased voltage lasts, a spike lasts a very brief amount of time, on the order of one nanosecond or as long as one microsecond. A surge lasts a somewhat longer time period from a microsecond to a few milliseconds. The voltage values that can occur due to a spike or a surge can range from a few hundred volts to several thousand. The causes of such a phenomenon can be anything from a lightning strike or an electric pole that is blown to as benign as an electrical equipment that uses a large amount of electricity, like a power tool, being turned on inside your house. Since weather has an important effect to play in the quality of the power that you receive, the place that you live in has an important part to play in the decision of whether you need heavy-duty protection for the electrical equipment in your house. If you live in a place like the Midwestern region in the United States where lightning storms are pretty common then it is definitely a very smart idea to invest in some considerable amount of protection for your power equipment. On the other hand, if you live in an area where power outages are pretty rare occurrences, then you can probably do away with some basic amount of protection.
Types of power protection
If you are in the market looking for equipment that can be used to protect your home theater, chances are you have come across the inexpensive power strips that claim that it will provide your electrical equipment protection from electrical surges. But according to a power protection buying guidethe inexpensive surge protectors offer little to no protection. The genuine surge protectors will include some durable parts that will have the ability to either suck in or reduce any excess voltage that it might be subjected to. The extent that a surge protector can provide protection to your electrical equipment is measured in joules, the higher the number the more protection you can expect from the surge protector. To get the best results out of your audio and video equipment, you should look for power protection equipment that not only has the ability to deal with harmful surges and spikes, but also can also clean up dirty power to provide you with voltage that will not fluctuate too much. A power line conditioner will override the Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) which originates from household appliances like blenders, vacuum cleaners and washing machines and adds a low hum to your sound and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) which originates from radio stations, microwave towers and cell phones and can be heard as clicks and pops. When the output from the line conditioner is voltage regulated, the voltage that is being sent to the electrical equipment connected to that particular power source is a stable voltage which helps the electrical equipment to give their best performance. When you are planning to buy some protection for your electrical equipment, the first thing you need to do is count the number of components in your home theater system that you intend to protect. The average system has a TV, a cable or satellite box, blu-ray player, receiver, game console, CD player or other audio equipment, powered subwoofer and a streaming media box. For this system, you would have to look for a power protection unit that has at least eight outlets. It is a good idea to buy a unit that has more outlets just in case you decide to add more components to your home theater system. Since power surges can travel through the cable or satellite lines or your home network cables, you need to look for a surge protector that has protected inputs for these types of connections. Make sure you have extra Ethernet and coaxial cables necessary to complete this hookup.
The top pick
Monster Home Theatre Reference HTS 3600 MKII PowerCenter
The Monster HTS 3600 MKII PowerCenter has ten AC outlets to provide your home theater system with clean power. The Clean Power Stage 3 version 2.1 circuitry has discrete filter sections for Analog Audio, Analog Video, High-Current Audio and Digital components. The unit has the capability to provide a surge protection of up to 6500 joules. The voltmeter/ampmeter option that you can toggle between and which will provide you with the information about the current voltage that is coming into your equipment on the LED display that is present on the front of the unit. There is also an audible alarm in the unit to alert you if anything goes wrong. The HTS 3600 also has T2 circuitry which os microprocessor controlled which continuously monitors the power conditions to not only block surges and spikes but also to disconnect the PowerCenter and all the equipment connected to it. Even after the unit has been disconnected, the T2 circuitry continues to monitor the power and will automatically connect the PowerCenter when the power condition improves. The Clean Power Circuitry will provide you with a more vivid picture on your TV screen and more natural sound on your audio equipment by utilizing the filters to reduce the electrical noise that are present in your AC power line. The cords are color-coded and labeled to make it easier for you to identify which equipment is connected to which outlet. The PowerCenter has three sets of coaxial connections for cable and satellite TV and RJ-11 phone input/output with splitter for DVR phone line and Internet connection.
The Stage 3 filter circuit has three isolated filters for analog audio, video and digital sources in addition to an ultra-high current filter to provide the maximum current to high power components which provides a high level of protection for the AV components. This makes the HTS 3600 MKII ideal for high performance audio, video and digital sources that use high power receivers and amplifiers. There have been complaints, however, about the customer service that is offered by Monster. There have also been complaints about the actual quality of Monster products, with complaints being made about the filter not being as effective in removing electronic noise as they claim to be.
The runner up
Panamax MR5100 11-Outlet Home Theater Power Management
The Panamax MR5100 have 11 outlets that can absorb an energy of up to 2025 joules in the event of an electrical surge. The patented Automated Voltage Monitoring (AVM) technology constantly monitors the power that comes in through the unit for incoming surges and brownouts. When such events are detected, the unit automatically shuts off electricity to the equipments. The power is restored when the voltage reaches a safe level. The Protect or Disconnect technology adds another layer of protection for your devices. When there is a catastrophic event, such as a lightning strike, the Panamax MR5100 will permanently disconnect power to your devices. The universal ultra-low-loss coaxial protection prevents the signal lines from carrying power surges while maintaining high-definition and high speed. The unit offers Linear Level four noise filtration and has three isolated banks and a four-outlet dedicated high-current outlet bank. The Panamax MR5100 also offers power sequencing with one always-on bank, one switched bank and one delayed high-current bank.
Customer service seems to be the Achilles’ heel for Panamax much like Monster. However make sure that you are fully aware that you will not receive any warranty for your Panamax MR5100. Panamax will only honor the warranty if the equipment in question is purchased from an authorized retailer, and Amazon does not count as one. So if that is a potential deal-breaker for you, then you can spend a little more money and buy the MR5100 from an actual retailer. This will give you a 3-year warranty plus $5,000,000 Lifetime Limited Connected Equipment Protection Policy.
The other picks
For an easy hookup: Monster Cable HTS 800 Home Theater PowerCenter
Monster Cable HTS 800 Home Theater PowerCenter
The Monster HTS 800 Home Theater PowerCenter has color-coded outlets with labels that match the labels on the cord which makes hooking up your home theater system a breeze. The unit also has the ability to clean out electrical noise that may be present in your power lines thanks to the electromagnetic interference and radio waves that are generated by electrical power tools, refrigerators, air conditioners, radio transmitters and cell phones. The Clean Power Stage 1 version 2.0 filter helps to clean up the electrical noise, thus delivering a crisp video to your television set and provide a more natural sound with a greater dynamic range and with less noise. The FlatProfile right angle plug will allow you to place your furniture right next to the wall thus saving you space in your room and the color-coded outlets lets you know exactly what equipment has been plugged into which outlet, thus preventing the unplugging of wrong devices. The 8-foot cord ensures that no wall outlet is out of reach of the Monster HTS 800. If by any chance any of your equipment has been damaged even after being connected to the Monster 800, then the manufacturer will replace the equipment that has been destroyed.
The unit that blends in: Monoprice 109290 8 Outlet Home Theater Power Center
Monoprice 109290 8 Outlet Home Theater Power Center
The Monoprice 109290 has been designed with a standard form factor which helps it to easily blend in with your existing furniture. The unit is rated to dissipate an energy of up to 3500 joules when there is an electrical spike or surge on the line. There are eight power outlets on the back of the unit of which four are switched and four are unswitched. In addition to providing protection from spikes and suges in the electrical power line, the Monoprice 109290 provides inline protection for RF coaxial cable and RJ 45 Ethernet cable. The LED display on the front of the unit displays the actual voltage level for the incoming power, while the smaller LED lights below the display indicate power on, protection, grounding and status of the alarm. The microprocessor voltage monitoring mechanism continuously monitors the incoming power so when the power exceeds the rated threshold, the unit will trip the circuit breaker, thus protecting the equipment connected to the Monoprice 109290 from any kind of harm. The heavy-duty 5.5-foot power cord helps to make sure that you can easily reach a wall outlet and the 90-degree type power plug gives the unit a flat profile and helps it to easily go behind furniture if required.
The unit with charging ports: Monster Home Theater HTS 1700 PowerCenter
Monster Home Theater HTS 1700 PowerCenter
The Monster Home Theater HTS 1700 PowerCenter has two USB charging ports on the front panel which you can use to charge your smartphones and MP3 players directly from the unit along with 9 surge-protected AC outlets. The AC outlets are color-coded with matching labels which makes it a breeze when you are hooking up your home theater system with the unit. The unit will offer your equipment protection for up to 5526 joules in the event of a power surge or spike. The exclusive Tri-Mode Power Protection feature constantly monitors the incoming voltage and will automatically disconnect the outlet when a harmful power spike or surge is detected and sounds an alarm to let you know that the power has been disconnected. The exclusive T2 technology will disconnect the whole of the PowerCenter unit and will reconnect only when it detects that the conditions are right for the connection to be established again. The LED display on the front panel shows the power condition. The patented HD Clean Power Stage 2 noise filtration is very effective in removing electrical interference from the signal which will vastly improve the performance of your home theater system and increase the lifetime of your electronic devices by reducing wear on them. On top of that, if your system is damaged by a power spike or surge while being connected to the PowerCenter, the manufacturer will replace up to $350,000 worth of your equipment as part of the $350,000 guarantee.
For a high-level of protection: Monster MP HTS 5100 SS MKII Signature Series Home Theater Reference PowerCenter
Monster MP HTS 5100 SS MKII Signature Series Home Theater Reference PowerCenter
The Monster MP HTS 5100 has an outstanding surge protection capability of 6814 joules which can easily protect the equipment from any type of damage while connected to any one of its ten AC outlets. The unit has the Tri-Mode Protection circuitry continuously detects the power that is coming in, and if it receives an electrical spike or surge than it disconnects your equipment from the main power supply, thus protecting them from any kind of harm. The audible alarm alerts you when such an event occurs. In addition, the T2 protection circuitry will completely disconnect the PowerCenter when there is a big spike or surge, only connecting it back when it detects the power level being normal again.You can easily see the voltage and amperage of the power that is being fed into the unit thanks to the brightly-lit LED display at the front of the PowerCenter. The Clean Power Stage 4 version 2.1 circuit dramatically reduces the electric noise that is present in most electric lines giving you a crystal clear sound and image quality. The unit also features three pairs of ultra low loss, 2.5 GHz protected coaxial connection which have been specifically designed 24K gold contact plug ensures that there is a maximum corrosion resistance and power transfer.
For the best protection policy: Panamax MR4000 8-Outlet Home Theater Power Management
Panamax MR4000 8-Outlet Home Theater Power Management
The manufacturer of the Panamax MR4000 are so confident that the unit they have designed will provide protection to the equipment that is connected to it that they have the $5,000,000 Limited Lifetime Connected Equipment Protection Policy, which means the manufacturer will replace any equipment that is damaged by a power spike or surge while being connected to the Panamax MR4000 up to a value of $5,000,000. The unit has seven switched outlets at the back and one always-on convenience outlet on the front panel for a total of eight outlets. Each of these outlets are capable of providing a surge protection of up to 1350 joules. In addition to these outlets, the unit also has one set of in/out coaxial RF connections for cable/satellite/TV antenna and one set of in/out RJ-45 LAN connections. The Automatic Voltage Monitoring (AVM) technology will continuously monitor the AC power that is coming into the unit so that if any anomalous behavior such as an over- or under-voltage situation, and the Protect or Disconnect technology will disconnect the AC power to the equipment in the event that a catastrophic power surge or spike does occur. The Level 2 Linear EMI/RFI noise filtration circuit present in the unit will reduce the noise present in the AC line resulting in a clearer picture on your TV set and much more dynamic noise from your audio equipment.
For the unit that provides backup power: Monster MP HTUPS 2700 Home Theater PowerCenter
Monster MP HTUPS 2700 Home Theater PowerCenter
The Monster HTUPS 2700 PowerCenter uses an internal battery to keep the power supply flowing to the equipment connected to the PowerCenter in case of a power blackout. This makes sure that your DVR does not miss recording scheduled shows, the settings that you have programmed onto your home theater are preserved and your projector bulb is not damaged or any type of data corruption takes place. The unit is capable of providing triple layer of security, which means that it can provide protection against power surges and spikes in all three power lines (line, neutral, ground) and with a protection capacity of 7686 joules, the HTUPS 2700 has a high protection capability. The unit is equipped with the Tri-Mode Protection uses electrical circuitry to constantly monitor the power that goes through the three power lines. When an electrical surge or spike is detected on any of the lines, the power to the audio and video components connected to the PowerCenter is cut off and an alarm is sounded to make you aware that your components are no longer receiving power. The protection of your equipment is further enhanced by the microprocessor-controlled T2 circuitry that is present in the unit. This feature has the ability to automatically disconnect the PowerCenter itself from both live power lines (live, neutral) and then continually monitor the power conditions. It will reconnect the PowerCenter only when the power levels are back in the safe zone. Unlike other cheap power surge protectors, the PowerCenter and the T2 circuit will not sacrifice themselves when a power surge or spike hits your power line, rather it will continue to monitor the power conditions and keep protecting your AV equipment. To prevent dangerous power surges from coming through the cable, satellite, network and telephone lines, the HTUPS 2700 has comprehensive surge protection for coaxial, network and phone lines as well. The unit also has ground loop isolation on the cable TV connections in order to reduce noise that can affect your system’s performance on audio and video. The Clean Power HD Stage 2 filtration system is precision-engineered to remove electrical noise and interference from the signal for much more crisp pictures and sounds, and which also results in less stress on the digital circuitry inside HDTVs and other home theater components thus increasing their lifespan.
For advanced noise filtration: Monster Cable MP HTS 5100 Home Theater Reference PowerCenter
Monster Cable MP HTS 5100 Home Theater Reference PowerCenter
The Monster Cable MP HTS 5100 has Clean Power Stage 4 version 2.0 filtration system which dramatically reduces the electric noise that is present in most power lines. The discrete filter sections for Analog Audio, Analog Video, High-Current Audio and Digital Components provides for a more efficient filtration process. The HTS 5100 has ten AC outlets of which two are switched, two are delayed and six are unswitched. In addition, there are three sets of coaxial connections for cable and satellite TV and RJ-11 phone input/output connection with splitter for DVR, phone line and internet connection. The unit has a quite a respectable surge protection rating of 3145 joules. The LED display on the front panel displays real-time information about the voltage of the power that is coming into the PowerCenter, and if there is any power surge or spike, the Tri-Mode Protection feature will kick in and disconnect the audio and video equipment connected to the PowerCenter. After being disconnected, an alarm will sound to let you know that a power surge has been successfully interrupted by the PowerCenter. In addition, the Sequenced AC Power turn-on/turn-off feature will protect your equipment from damage that can occur from a voltage overload. The plug for the unit is grounded and is gold-plated with 24k gold for maximum conductivity and the outlets on the PowerCenter are color-coded which makes it very easy to connect your home theater system to the PowerCenter, and when you need to disconnect your system, the process is very easy.
For basic protection: Monster Cable MP HTS 1900G Home Theater PowerCenter
Monster Cable MP HTS 1900G Home Theater PowerCenter
The Monster Cable MP HTS 1900G has nine AC outlets, one of them on the front panel, and the other eight on the back of the panel. In addition, there are two USB charging ports on the front panel and surge protected coaxial, phone and network connections for complete protection on all the lines. The LED display at the front of the unit acts as a meter which shows the voltage of the incoming power, which makes it easy for you to decipher the condition of the incoming power. On the event that a power surge does happen, the Tri-Mode feature will disconnect your AV equipment thus protecting them from any harm accompanied by an audible alarm signal. The T2 feature will disconnect the PowerCenter on the event of a catastrophic power surge, and power will be restored when the unit recognizes that the incoming power has reached a safe level. The manufacturer is so confident about the protection capabilities of the HTS 1900G that they will replace up to $400,000 worth of equipment that has sustained damage even after being connected to the HTS 1900G.
It is always a wise idea to purchase equipment that will provide protection from electrical surges, and when your prized home theater system is in question, a power center is almost a necessity. Power centers that are available today provide both protection from harmful power surges and spikes along with removing unnecessary interference from electromagnetic and radio waves, thus resulting in a cleaner audio and video signal that is fed into your home theater equipment. So you will notice a noticeable difference in the picture that you see on your TV and the sound that you hear from your speakers.