Dear Going Mad,

Yamaha Receivers

Your concerns for your plasma HDTV are well founded. Voltage irregularities can cause sensitive electronic equipment to malfunction and can even lead to severe damage. However, it’s going to take a little more than a cheap power strip to keep it safe.

For your situation, I would highly recommend a voltage regulator. As shown on the sketch pad by Super Voltage Regulator Man, a voltage regulator accepts a wide range of voltage inputs from your power supply, and then transforms them to a safe, steady voltage rate that is sent on to connected equipment, keeping it performing correctly and preventing damages from surges. A cheap power strip simply can’t provide this level of protection.

As with most power-management products, some technologies are more effective than others. Many voltage regulators use noise-inducing, motorized transformer-based technology. Not only are these products large and expensive, but they are also unreliable and actually add noise to your AC line. This noise ends up masking much of the detail needed for the best-possible resolution on HDTVs. To avoid this, it’s best to find a regulator that utilizes electronic circuitry. I would recommend Furman Sound’s 15-amp AR-15 II, which accepts any input voltage from 97 V to 137 V and transforms it to a constant 120 V for connected equipment. Voltages beyond that range may also be converted to usable levels, depending on the range variance. The AR-15 II features Series Multi-Stage Protection (SMP), which clamps and dissipates damaging transient voltages without sacrificing itself, and Extreme Voltage Shutdown (EVS) to protect against accidental connections to 208 or 240 VAC, keeping both your HDTV and your regulator alive and well.

It is also the only regulator that filters and purifies AC power with advanced Linear Filtering Technology™ (LiFT), reducing line noise and ensuring optimum performance from connected equipment.

With the AR-15 II, you can plug in your HDTV without fear and reduce line noise for crisper, more detailed images.

Sincerely, Dexter Home Sketch Pad Expert

Dear Frustrated,

HAI Snap Link

Luckily, the problem is not your HDTV; it is the power being supplied to it, which is an easy fix. AC lines are contaminated by RF and EMI noise that affects the picture on plasma and other high-resolution TVs. When you turn on your new HDTV, this noise ends up masking much of the detail needed for the best possible resolution.

To fix this problem, I would recommend adding a power conditioner to your home theater, as demonstrated on the sketchpad. As you can see, not only will the picture on your TV be improved, but your system’s audio will be improved as well. As with video, AC noise masks detail in audio, and by adding a power conditioner you can get the most from your high-end speakers and amplifiers. As an additional bonus, all your connected equipment will also be protected from damaging surges and spikes.

Choosing the right conditioner is a little trickier, as they are not all the same. To eradicate noise, AC power must be properly filtered. Filtering means taking the noise present on an AC line and lowering it in level to such a dramatic degree, and over such a wide range of frequencies, that it cannot contaminate a signal being captured or reproduced. The majority of products on the market either don’t provide filtering or have antiquated designs that have not been linearized.

I would recommend Furman Sound’s low-cost Elite-15, which features Linear Filtering Technology™ (LiFT), a special Furman technology that assures even and consistent filtering for crisp, clear sound from amplification systems and intense visual displays. In addition, the Elite-15 offers Series Multi-Stage Protection (SMP) to clamp and dissipate damaging transient voltages without sacrificing itself, and Extreme Voltage Shutdown (EVS) to protect against accidental connections to 208 or 240 VAC.

Give the Elite-15 a shot and I’m sure you’ll be enjoying your new plasma HDTV in no time.

Home Sketch Pad Expert