Power Protection - Power Line Conditioners and Surge Suppression
Updated: December 10, 2012

Power Protection in the Home Theater
Use of Power Line Conditioners, Surge Suppressors & UPS

The use of power protection is the best insurance policy
for your home theater gear, but not only...

Surely, the use of power line conditioners, automatic voltage stabilizers, and surge suppressors represent a most effective insurance policy for your expensive home theater gear.

Yet there is more to power protection than just safeguarding your equipment. In particular, the use of appropriate active power line conditioning in the home theater will bring about added benefits to your overall system performance.

Unfortunately, power protection does not come cheap. Yet, even if you are on a tight budget, for the informed buyer there is still a lot one can do to come up with the best power protection solution within the limitations of the available budget.


Designed to provide a stabilized 120V output for power line fluctuations ranging from 80-140 volts, thus protecting expensive equipment for both under-voltage and over-voltage conditions.

Power Protection:
More than just simple surge suppression!

While many realize the need to invest in power protection, yet few approach this subject in the appropriate manner. The issue is not lack of awareness by rather, the many misconceptions surrounding the subject of power protection and power line conditioners, especially in the home theater.

For many home theater owners, power protection is nothing more than surge suppression. Many believe that once they plug one of these devices across the line, all their equipment is totally secure!

Yet, as we will further explain in this series of power protection guides, this is not correct. In addition, there is much more you can do to protect your expensive gear and get the most out of it. 

For example, many are not aware of the beneficial effects that power line conditioners and automatic voltage stabilizers have on the performance of audio and video systems.

This comes to no surprise. Unless you have an idea of what those external connections—AC power, telephone, TV antenna, etc.—are feeding into your system, it would be impossible to persuade yourself to spend at least a couple of hundred dollars more, simply to 'clean' the AC line or protect your gear from whatever is coming on that phone or TV antenna connection.

The following is short video clip that explains in simple terms the problems with unprotected power lines. It is a promo video clip prepared by Monster Power for their AVS2000 voltage stabilizer, but is it still worth seeing.

Courtesy: Monster Power and amazon.com

Unfortunately, many are taken off track by the fact that power protection solutions can be expensive to implement, so they opt for the first surge suppression device or inexpensive power line conditioner they come across to have what they think is a minimum level of protection. The problem with this approach is not to have a minimum level of power protection inasmuch as not understanding the exact level of power protection you have. You see, the whole issue is that inadequate protection may turn out to be no protection at all!

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The Quest for Clean Safe Power

If power protection is one of your main concerns, then you are aware that selecting the most suitable protection gear is not an easy job. The large selection of power line conditioners, home theater power centers, and even inexpensive surge suppressors presently available on the market can make the whole selection process rather difficult.

Yet, going for the wrong choice in power protection is surely not an option; you may soon find at your own expense that what you have is just inadequate for your home theater system setup.

The use of dedicated home theater power plants, complete with elaborated AC power line conditioners and protected connections for coaxial aerial TV inputs and phone line/network connections, is the ideal approach but...

There is an expense to all this which may not always be within your planned home theater budget.

Power Protection Guides

We hope that this series of articles on power protection will prove to be of some assistance to you in getting a better understanding of the various issues related to power protection in the home theater. We show you what it takes to protect your system and get the best from your available resources without compromising the safety of your gear.

The truth is that for the informed buyer, there are a number of options available without spending thousands of dollars on power protection solutions; these will all provided added protection to your system. The most important thing in these circumstances is to have an awareness of the limitations of your protection solution.

Topics covered range from the use of simple surge suppressors to more elaborated power line conditioners and complete home theater power plants. We also investigate the possible use of inexpensive computer grade uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) as part of a home theater power protection solution.

We complete this series of articles with a power protection check-list as well as tips on how to determine power protection equipment ratings to best cover your audio/video requirements. The later is extremely important as the use of inappropriate power line conditioners and automatic voltage stabilizers that fail to deliver the instantaneous power required by your amplifier or home theater receiver may result in compressed audio response especially at the lower frequency extremes. The result is a surround soundstage lacking in depth and overall detail.

Power Protection Section index:

Power Clean Up: Why invest in power protection and line conditioning? 

We discuss the problems related to dirty and dangerous AC power. But not only...

AC is not the only external source feeding your gear - there are other sources feeding your equipment and that may have an impact on system performance.

Surge Suppressors (1) - A first line of defense

Probably, the use of surge suppressors is your best insurance policy to guard expensive electronic gear from damaging voltage spikes and lightning strikes.

We look at the operational principles behind surge suppressors. We also explain the various surge suppressor ratings used to describe the surge protection capabilities of these devices.

Surge Suppressors (2) - A word of caution

Surge suppressors represent the most common form of power protection; when designed properly, surge suppressors will work over and over again, but...

Do not take surge suppressors for granted - we discuss a number of important issues one should be aware of when working with surge protection devices.

How-it-Works: Power Line Conditioners

Protection can range from the simple filtering of radio frequency interference (RFI) and electro-magnetic (EMI) generated noise, to surge suppression, AC power line conditioners, and AC regeneration.

In this article, we discuss the different power protection solutions as used in power line conditioners, together with the pros and cons of each. It is one thing if you are after power protection alone, and another if you want to get the best out of your cutting-edge audio and video home theater set-up.

Use of computer-grade Uninterruptible Power Supplies as part of a home theater power protection solution

Is it possible to make use of inexpensive computer grade uninterruptible power supplies as part of a power protection solution in the home theater?

The purist in home audio and video would surely discard such a preposition ...but what if budget is an issue? Discover more in this article.

Selecting Your Power Protection Solution: Equipment Rating, What-to-Look' tips, and 'Before-you-buy' Check-list

A first step towards implementing a power protection solution for your home theater is to determine the power handling requirements for active power protection gear such as automatic voltage stabilizers and power line conditioners.

Yet, determining the equipment power rating alone is not enough; the whole power protection solution design process should take a more holistic approach. For this purpose, we have prepared a 'what-to-look-for' guide when planning your purchase as well as a 'before-you-buy' check-list.

Power Protection Solutions at amazon.com

Amazon.com offers a vast range of power protection gear for audio and video applications; these include surge protectors, automatic voltage stabilizers, uninterruptible power supplies and power line conditioners from top brands like Monster Power, Panamax, Belkin, Tripp Lite, and APC.

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 Article Content

Issues discussed in this article:

Blue bullet  Introduction: Power Protection is more than surge suppression

Blue bullet  Quest for clean power: Why is it important

Blue bullet  Section Index: List of articles appearing under this section

Blue bullet  Power Protection Solutions: Recommended buying options

Power Protection Guides

Additional articles appearing under this section

Why invest in power protection

Surge Suppressors: Basics

Surge Suppressors: A Word of Caution

Power Line Conditioners: How-it-Works

Use of Computer UPS as protection solution in AV applications

Power Projection Checklist

Detailed Index of power protection guides appearing on our site is available here.

Power Line Conditioners and Surge Suppressors

Featured power protection gear atbuy from amazon