I loaded up Future Shop’s web page this morning to check out TV deals. They have a great idea on their front page, a slider that you move depending on a person’s tech savvy, and it will suggest gifts on the right scale. Great idea! I cranked it up to 100% to see what it suggested. The first thing was the Monster AVS 2000:
Monster’s AVS 2000 is a serious product for serious home theater enthusiasts. It has been hailed as a truly innovative and invaluable product by reviewers and the buying public. The AVS 2000 is designed to stabilize power line fluctuations and maintain constant voltage to your home theatre for maximum performance.
As usual, Monster is scamming people with overpriced equipment that they don’t need.
At first glance, it might seem like it is a good idea, since your house voltage does fluctuate depending on the load, but rarely between 80-140V. Generally it will be between 115-120V. BC Hydro is automatically monitoring and adjusting the power on the grid to keep it within spec.
Even if the power does change, it won’t make any difference to your electronic equipment, because they all convert the 120V AC power into whatever DC power they need. For example your computer’s power supply has -12, -5, 5, and 12V. I’m not sure about TVs but I can guarantee that they aren’t running off 120V directly. All of your equipment is carefully engineered to be able to run off relatively dirty 120V because the designers already know that this power will fluctuate. There is huge amount of study done on power supplies, the first thing that we did at UBC in the lab was to build our own!
Let’s look at some of the results people have had with their equipment. Positive Feedback Issue 6 says this:
As numerous folks have reported, audio and video benefits from the use of a power conditioner in a number of ways. There is less low-level hash and noise, the absence of which makes the audio signal appear to arrive from a darker, inkier background, and video images from a cleaner, crisper screen. Details are heard and seen that were masked before. Tonal density (audio and video) is more saturated, and seems richer and more natural.
Video is crisper? Really? Interesting. Now how did they test this… well they hooked it all up after spending $1500 US, and wow, the sound and video improved. What kind of equipment did they use to make the voltage fluctuate? Oh, they didn’t. How did they test the audio? Hmm, with their ears. No test equipment in sight. No double-blind tests, nothing.
Save your money and buy a line conditioner from a real power company. You can get a 2400W conditioner from TrippLite for $400. It’s the same rating, 20A, and the same number of outlets. I have no relation to TrippLite, they were just the first one to come up on a Google search.
Or, if you are cheap like me, just ignore the click in the audio when your fridge turns on.