By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The ever-growing interest in home theater components, including satellite systems — not the least expensive consumer electronics products around the house — has increased the need for watchdog electronic protection, and thus has expanded the number of feature-heavy surge protectors available on the market.
New from Acoustic Research (AR), a Recoton company, are surge protectors that feature advanced proprietary FNT technology, which conditions the incoming electrical current of noise and interference caused by the use of other electrical equipment in the home as well as nearby homes. AR's Advance Acoustic Accuracy system also maximizes protection of the sensitive microprocessors that are critical to today's A/V components for extended equipment life.
Designed as the essential product for home theater systems, Lake Mary, Fla.-based AR's surge protectors include AR video interconnect cables that provide greatly improved performance over standard video cables. In the event of lightning, the company's Fail Safe Circuitry provides instant clamping action that stops the surge from reaching the surge protector's attached equipment.
AR's protectors have some of the industry's highest joule ratings for optimum surge arresting performance. The AR-7, at a suggested $29.99 retail, offers 7 outlets and 570 joules. The AR-8V has 8 outlets and 1284 joules at a suggested $49.99 retail. The AR-10V includes 10 outlets and 1736 joules for a suggested $79.99 retail. Top-of-the-line AR-10S at a suggested $99.99 retail has 10 outlets and 2163 joules.
Monster Cable has unveiled its flagship product for its Monster Power line, called the PowerSource HTS 7000. Monster said this unit is a "serious product for serious home theater enthusiasts," because it raises the bar for power filtering and system protection to a new level.
The HTS 7000 features Monster Dual Balanced Pure Power circuitry for lowest noise and even better picture and sound. Tri-mode circuitry provides the most comprehensive power protection available, the company said. A digital microprocessor-driven voltmeter allows for instantaneous monitoring of all functions and fluctuations.
Sequenced AC power turn-on and turn-off ensures equipment protection and overload prevention. A 3145 joule rating provides the highest level of surge absorption.
Additional features for the Brisbane, Calif.-based company's product include an 8-foot Monster Powerline 4000 cable and 24k gold-plated grounded plug for maximum conductivity.
Suggested retail is $1,299.95 and the unit has a $750,000 guaranteed connected equipment protection and product warranty.
Home entertainment centers, cabinets and computer desks can be positioned closer to the wall with the new thin profile GE-brand surge protector from Oklahoma City-based Jasco Products. Called the Surge Stick SU93985, the product is designed by Jasco to be more compatible in its use and placement, since its long, narrow profile allows inconspicuous concealment behind home entertainment centers and computer workstations.
Surge Stick comes equipped with 7 outlets, five standard and two for adapters, and provides 1315 joules of protection. With phone line and coax protection, the unit fits almost every home entertainment and home office need.
The Surge stick has a contemporary metallic finish and comes in a clear-view clamshell package for a suggested $29.99 retail.
A custom expandable surge protection system from Clifton, N.J.-based Gemini Industries, called PowerBrix, works with and protects all CE and electrical products. The product's adaptable design begins with a starter kit with a power supply, joule, 4 AC outlets as well as end cap modules. From there, consumers can choose to add a variety of modules or Brix to accommodate the protection requirements of their equipment.
The system also offers modules for power and end cap — two and four AC, phone/fax, LAN and coax/DSS — ranging from 312 joules on up to 4699 joules. Compared with traditional surge systems, PowerBrix allow consumers the flexibility to replace only the damaged module if an electrical spike occurs, without having to scrap the entire surge protection system.
Suggested retails range from $19.99 for the starter kit to $5.99 to $24.99 for add-on Brix or modules.
To protect laptops and notebook computers, Chicago-based Tripp Lite is introducing a Protect It!-brand surge suppressor that offers a retractable plug, making it easy to carry in a pocket or briefcase without the fear of doing damage.
This item also is said to offer great protection for consumers who recharge their attached cellphones through re-chargers. Left unprotected, the wireless unit could get zapped through an electrical surge or spike in a hotel room, where travelers face some of the worst power situations.
The PS5503M direct plug-in surge protector — for laptop/notebooks, cellphone re-chargers, fax machines and phone systems — features 2 outlets, 2 diagnostic LEDs and 510 joules of energy absorption. The built-in RJ11 jacks prevent surges from damaging modem and fax equipment simultaneously. A 6-foot telephone cord is also included for the $25.95 suggested retail.
Belkin Components is offering what it call the pinnacle of protection for home workstations, valuable peripherals, large screen and projection televisions and home theater/DSS systems. Called the 9-outlet Gold Series SurgeMaster, F9G933-10 — part of the Compton, Calif.-based company's Spoiler Series surge protectors — the top-of-the-line unit provides up to 3540 joules of protection.
It also offers AC/2-line phone or fax, dial-up or broadband DSL/cable modem coaxial protection and sliding safety covers on each outlet, which help protect users from shock hazards and keep the internal mechanism free of dust and dirt.
Other features on the SurgeMaster include large, block-style AC adapters for the prevention of wasted outlets, and lastly, many of the new devices offer right angle and 360-degree rotating plugs, which allow furniture and equipment to fit closer to the wall without blocking other receptacles.
Suggested retail is $59.99.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.