For owners of home electronics, using a surge protector is a must. Too many people have wound up with fried devices because of electrical voltage overloads. Newer, more sensitive devices such as high-definition televisions (HDTVs) are especially susceptible to this kind of disaster. Since HDTVs are designed to display digitally-compressed visual data, the delicate instruments used to display televised pictures can easily be destroyed with a power surge. HDTV is usually best seen with plasma television screens. It is important to protect your HDTV system from power surges with HDTV surge protectors.
Power surges (also known as voltage spikes) are dangerous for electronics of any kind. If a surge is made of high-enough voltage, the extra energy can completely burn out most electronic devices. The technical term for this kind of event is overvoltage. There are many causes of power surges, but the most common ones are lightning strikes, tripped circuit breakers and malfunctions originating at the local power company. The reason that electronic devices burn out during power surges is that their breakdown voltages are drastically exceeded.
A surge protector is a device designed to protect electronics from overvoltages. A surge protection device is commonly built into a power strip, which is a long series of plug outlets that distributes electricity from a single wall outlet. This enables power to be provided to multiple devices at once without having to find wall outlets for each device. If there is a power surge, the protector diverts the excess electrical energy into the protector’s grounding wire. A component called a metal oxide varistor (MOV) actually diverts the energy.
There are two ways to protect your HDTV from electrical surges. The first is to purchase a standard surge protector. It will protect against regular power surges and spikes and keep your HDTV from frying. The downside is that it may not protect against lightning strikes. Some surge protectors are only designed to protect against electrical current malfunctions, not natural electrical phenomena.
The second and probably the best choice is to buy surge protectors for plasma HDTV. These surge protectors work just as well as if not better than normal protectors. The advantage is that these are designed to handle the higher frequencies of HDTVs’ line noise. A common problem is for HDTVs to experience “bleed through”, which is when energy bleeds through normal surge protectors and affects the quality of the picture. With a surge protector designed for HDTVs, filters are used to make sure that does not happen.
Using an HDTV surge protector to protect your investment is important. If you live in a region with high lightning strikes or a history of power outages and surges, consider making another investment into an HDTV surge protector.