Are there any that you believe are good for sound technical reasons that you can list? For an HDTV.
I don't want to hear about any Monster products. I don't buy anything sold by Monster, period.
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Most consumer surge protectors just contain a MOV. (Metal Oxide Varistor) This is a self destructive device that 'dies' to protect your equipment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varistor
Unfortunately, many of those devices, after 'dying', still permit power to flow to your device and a second surge may cause damage as the protection device is useless now. Many have a pilot light that turns red to tell you it's failed, but it still works, but with no protection.
You might want to look to one of the larger companies that specialize in surge protection devices. Some have warranties that may pay you back if they fail and you have equipment damage.
One company you might look at is: http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/surge-protectors.cfm But there are others out there that do a good job. If you need serious surge protection, then there are commercial devices that don't use a MOV, but they aren't cheap.
I have have had several MOV devices die and I suspect they did save my equipment. A couple of them came very close to causing a fire when they died.
Surge protection is a complex subject and if you want good protection, you should do a bit of research so you get a device that protects your equipment for a reasonable price and is dependable.
A power surge took out the first computer I ever built (using Redwudz' illustrated guide, coincidentally). PSU, mobo, CPU (verified that on a good mobo), and AGP card. Hard drives, optical drives and a capture card escaped destruction somehow. That's when I started using varistor surge protectors. Also stopped using cheap PSUs, although I don't know if a crummy PSU contributed to the disaster or not. (I am certain that a power outage at the same time had *something* to do with it). Never lost a TV to a power surge.
I dunno, the recommended alternatives are quite expensive, and varistor devices do seem to offer some protection, better than nothing anyway. If I decided I wanted/needed the best possible protection, that would be mean doing it for several locations around the house. So computers get a varistor device and are backed up regularly.
I wouldn't mind if a surge took out the bedroom TV, which my wife refuses to get rid of. And I'm ready to build a new office computer, but same deal, my wife says it's fine.Pull! Bang! Darn!
I actually have my HDTV and few player devices (ie. DVD player, streaming media player, etc.) plugged into a CyberPower UPS like this one:
I don't have reliable power where I live and brown outs happen once a month on average. I use the UPS mostly to prevent the TV from having the power disappear via a brown out and I feel that the UPS should provide more reliable surge protection than a cheap surge protector device.
A UPS as suggested by jman98 is probably your best and cheapest bet. You can get them for something like 50 bucks with power for 15 minutes -- at least that gives you time to shut things down properly. Another type of anti-surge is made by Belkin, which simply performs an orderly cutoff of power without restarting (it's the restart that often inflicts the damage), so these require a manual re-set. But they aren't cheap; they start about $100 and are usually found thru sources like Amazon, not in the usual Home Depot.
I'd advise that even a pricey BestBuy piece of junk like the $200 Monster Cable power centers was responsible for the loss of our beloved CRT, probably the best damn picture I ever saw after ISF calibration. But a quickie on/off power outage killed the picture tube, which was no longer in production. You can guess what I did with that Monster junk (my response was rather violent, to say the least). That's the last "surge protector" I ever used. Never again.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
A second type is the only type always found in any facility that cannot have damage. It has a ground wire that connects energy harmlessly to earth outside the building. These 'whole house' protectors are sold even in Lowes and Home Depot under a Cutler Hammer name. Other equivalent and effective solutions come from General Electric, Siemens, Ditek, Intermatic, Polyphaser, Syscon, ABB, Square D, and Leviton to name but a few. These protectors from more responsible companies work by connecting even lightning harmlessly to earth. And always remain functional after each surge.
Protection means every incoming wire must connect low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to earth. That was how it was done even 100 years ago. The protector only connects a surge to what does the protection - earth ground. Then hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate harmlessly outside your building.
Your telco CO suffers about 100 surges with each storm. How often has your town been without phone services for four days after each storm? Never? Telcos also connect every incoming wire to single point earth ground where all wires enter the building. Then 100 surges per storm without damage.
A 'whole house' protector you can install means best protection for about $1 per protected appliance. But again, no protector does protection. A protector makes that connection to earth. Or does nothing. And like a Monster, also does not even claim that protection.
What about a UPS? Read its spec numbers. It only claims a same protector circuit provided in the Monster - just smaller. Why would a UPS do more when the manufacturer says it does less?
Protection is about connecting a surge to earth. Cable TV should already have superior protection. A wire should already provide the best protection; make a low impedance ('less than 10 foot') connection to earth ground. Telephone has long had a 'whole house' protector installed and earthed for free by the telco. But the most common source of destructive surges is AC mains. Your 'whole house' protector installed in a breaker box or behind the meter must be rated to even earth direct lightning strikes. That means at minimum rated at 50,000 amps. A superior and best solution - an earthed protector - costs about $1 per protected appliance.
Battery backup trumps any kind of "surge" protection.
Buy one of these: http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=apc%2...ch-alias%3Daps
Spend as much as possible. $50 is good, $100 is better, $200 is awesome.
A good UPS can last 6-7 years.
Think of it as an insurance policy for your electronics.