Back in September of 2004, American Power Conversion (APC), a company well known for power conditioning equipment for the computer industry, made a break into the A/V market with a line of conditioners designed specifically for home theaters.
"APC sees this as a good market because solving problems is our business and the customers of custom installers have so much at stake, especially as it becomes more and more common to have hard drives in media centers," says Patrick Donovan, a product manager withthe company. "This is our core space. We took a look at what was out there and our competitors really only offer surge protection or noise filters.
Donovan says he was himself skeptical of the company's jump into the custom business: "I thought, 'How much is there really a need for this?' But there is so much that can go wrong if a power supply is interrupted, for instance. A DLP bulb, for example, will have a much shorter lifespan if the fans aren't given time to properly cool them down."
The product line was expanded in January when APC added the H10 and H15 Power Conditioners for high-performance home entertainment centers. The units provide full power conditioning including surge protection, noise filtering, and automatic voltage regulation to optimize a system's sound and video performance. Donovan notes that unstable power supplies can seriously damage component power supplies and negatively impact sound and video quality. The H10 and H15 are designed to eliminate these power anomalies.
Both the H10 and H15 feature a total of twelve surge-protected and filtered outlets. Six of those outlets have EMI/RFI noise filtering for digital devices such as HDTV monitors, DVRs, satellite dishes and DVD players. They also offer two analog, two video, and two high current (amplifier, subwoofer) filtered outlets. The units also provide component-specific noise filtering banks to prevent video and audio signal distortion. Automatic voltage regulation eliminates voltage fluctuations like brownouts, sags, and over-voltages. The H-type power conditioners feature a sequenced turn on/off functionality to prevent equipment damage caused by turning A/V components on and off in an incorrect order.