Home Theater Surge Protectors

Protect your home theater from power surges and electronic spikes.


The Tripp Lite surge protector provides more than 3,000 joules of protection for electric, phone, Ethernet cables and has well spaced outlets for AC adapters.

By: Terry Ulick

The high-tech devices of your home theater will use a lot of electricity, so when wiring the room, make sure all electronic devices are protected from electrical spikes and surges. If your home is not equipped with a whole-house surge protection system, then you will need to connect all equipment to a surge protector. You will also want to protect phone and Internet lines from surges.

Surge protectors block excess electricity that can damage equipment by blocking it or sending it to a ground. For this reason, any surge protector must be connected to a correctly grounded electrical outlet or source.

Power strips are often confused as having actual surge protection, but they are simply an extension cord and do not provide protection. Be sure to use a certified surge protector. It will have a rating for how much electricity it can handle, rated in joules. Look for a rating of at least 1,000 joules. Some go to 40,000 joules, so the higher ratings are good but also look to see if it meets the current industry standards, as set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) or International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It should also be Underwriter Laboratories (UL) listed.

While some surge protectors make astounding claims and have high prices (hundreds of dollars), most such protectors are largely offering a form of insurance (they will pay for any damage to equipment) rather than actual protection. A good, industry standard UL listed protector will protect your system well.

When choosing a surge protector, here are a few features to look for:

  • UL listed and rated
  • Meets current industry standards (ANSI/IEEE or IEC)
  • Provides both spike and surge protection
  • Can handle lighting strikes
  • Fastest response time possible
  • Visual indicators for status
  • Electric, phone, Ethernet and video cable protection
  • Well spaced outlets for AC adapters

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