Does My Home Theater Need a Power Conditioner?

The home theater industry is growing rapidly, and while innovations and advancements are certainly delivering a better entertainment experience, consumers are also being inundated with more and more accessories promising superior performance. A power conditioner is just that type of accessory -- it's not necessary, strictly speaking, to run your home theater, but it does promise to improve its overall performance. But are these accessories worth the money, or are they just a gimmick designed to generate profits?

What Is a Power Conditioner?

Power conditioners have been around for a long time. Strictly speaking, a power conditioner is a device which improves the quality of the electrical current being delivered to a device. Specifically, power conditioners are designed to optimize the flow rate and strength of the electrical current to perfectly match what is required by the end device. Typically, power conditioners use multiple technologies to deliver current from its source to the device, which theoretically improves overall efficiency.

Should You Get a Power Conditioner?

Whether or not a power conditioner actually boosts system performance is open to debate, but there is one significant advantage they offer. Electrical current, specifically electrical input, generates heat, and over time, excessive levels of heat can damage the sensitive working parts of an electrical device. Think of a computer's hard drive; the purpose of the fan is to keep the system as cool as possible, which in turn helps prolong its life and deliver better performance. Thus, a power conditioner can be seen as a kind of protective measure which may extend the life of your home theater equipment. Greater efficiency means less heat, which means lowered risk of damage. Power conditioners also protect against power surges, which can sometimes severely damage or even destroy a sensitive electrical device.

Beyond this advantage, the functionality of a power conditioner for home theater affects only the technical aspects of system performance. You won't necessarily notice a difference in the quality of your experience if you get a power conditioner, but you can rest easy knowing that the electrical current has been optimized for your system, which is always a safer bet if you're looking to minimize the risk of heat damage or power surges.

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