APC P8VNTG Audio Video Power-Saving Surge Protector (5 out of 5)
At first glance, the APC P8VNTG Power-Saving Audio Video Surge Protector seems like one of those superfluous devices that someone built just because they could. However, the more you think about it, the more you start to wonder why ALL devices aren’t built like this.
The APC P8VNTG is an 8 outlet surge protector engineered to be used with audio and visual equipment like TVs, tuners, DVD players, and even gaming consoles like the x-Box, Wii, or Playstation. The design encompasses some really nice features including a glossy black finish to blend in with black media center components as well as a slender footprint. The P8VNTG is turned sideways compared to traditional power strips. That means it takes up less horizontal shelf space enabling the APC surge protector to be placed on a shelf with media components instead of on a bottom shelf, or worse, on the floor behind the audio cabinet.
This is clearly more than just a pretty power strip.
The APC P8VNTG has everything you need to not only protect your important - and expensive - components; it can actually improve your setup.
Intelligent Automatic Power Saving
The P8VNTG’s claim to fame is the ability to automatically manage the power usage of your devices when they are turned off. Considering the US Department of Energy estimates that 75% of all the power consumed to run electronic devices is used while they are OFF, this isn’t an insignificant deal. Fortunately, this advanced functionality is surprisingly easy to use.
The first power outlet on the surge protector is the “master” outlet. The next three outlets are the “controlled by master” outlets. For a typical setup, either the Tuner/Amplifier or the television should be the master device. If you listen to music without turning on the TV, then the amp needs to be your master device. If, on the other hand, you use the television without the tuner (for video games or other purpose), then you want the TV to be the master device.
Next, plug in the devices you want to be controlled devices. Here is where a little research or background knowledge is necessary. The controlled components should be devices which continue to draw power even when they are turned off, but not devices that require power to function properly when the master component is off. For example, a Tivo or DVR should NOT be a controlled device because it will be unable to record shows while the master component is off. However, an amplifier or television SHOULD be a controlled device because they have no need to function when the master device is off.
More Than Just Power Savings
While the power saving component of the P8VNTG is its flagship feature, this APC surge protector has many other high-end qualities that make it a great addition to any home media system. It is obvious that APC did its research into the real world needs of home theatre enthusiasts.
The outlets on this APC power strip are subtly lit via a blue light from inside which makes it easy to attach new components in the darkened area under a shelf inside of an AV cabinet. Don’t worry about that light messing up your dark room viewing experience though. Not only is the light a pleasing and subtle blue, it can be turned off via the setup button.
The multiple components required for a quality home theatre system are complicated enough without the power supply adding to all the buttons and codes. The Power-Saving Audio Video Surge Protector has but a single button to handle all setup and configuration. The traditional rocker switch to kill power to the whole thing at once sits at the back. And, all eight outlets are protected by sliding covers.
Like most surge protectors that are dedicated for use with audio visual equipment, the APC P8VNTG protects more than just power outlets. It also protects the phone line, network connection, and cable input as well. And all power and other connections are filtered against noise which is critical especially for HiFi sound in homes with older wiring, and noisy phone lines.
Areas For Improvement
There is little to complain about on the APC Power-Saving Audio Visual Surge Protector, but there are some nuances that might make it less desirable for certain installations.
While the on-its-side design is a great way to save shelf space, it can be a challenge for a tight shelf if paired with those with components that have large plugs and thick cables. A standard power cable plugged into one of the outlets will require at least 5 inches of total clearance, so beefier ones will necessitate even more. The surge protector can easily be used on its side but this eliminates the space savings provided by the upright design.
The only other quibble is with the location of the On/Off rocker switch. Again, in an installation where space and clearance is at a premium, accessing the switch can be very difficult, especially in an enclosed AV cabinet where there is no option to access it from the side.
The APC Power-Saving Audio Video Surge Protector is a top-notch device whose time has clearly come. Energy savings have always benefited the individual in the form of savings on the electric bill, but in these times, such benefit is magnified out to the world at large in the form of lower overall energy usage, and conservation.
If you need a quality surge protector for your home theatre or audio system, the APC P8VNTG is a clear winner.