I have a bit of a first world problem: I've run out of outlets to plug into in the living room. Our 1930's apartment just wasn't designed to play host to a parade of electronic devices all at once: the HDTV, satellite receiver, audio receiver, Xbox 360, turntable, subwoofer, and other miscellaneous devices all looking to plug-in and power up...
This multiple power strip setup may look as familiar to you as I.
I currently have one 8 outlet surge protector power strip behind the TV console and another 6 outlet strip hidden inside a wall mounted cabinet for our router, modem, home security base station, and other home automation/monitoring devices. With the recent addition of a new lamp, I've filled up every available outlet in the corner of the living room occupied by the home entertainment center, which means I'm now in the market for a new power strip.
I have a checklist of features I'm looking for in a surge protector power strip for the home theater system, and have narrowed it down to three finalists:
- 12 outlets
- EMI/RFI (Electromagnetic Interference/Radio Frequency Interference) protection
- 6-10 ft power cord
- Under $75.00
- 3,000+ Joule energy rating
- Flexible outlet spacing
- Equipment warranty
Tripp Lite's TLP1210SATG Eco-Surge Suppressor strip: EMI/RFI filtering, 3,600 Joules protection, a user-adjustable wattage control switch, $250,000 protection, wide spacing between 4 of the outlets, and a 10' cord. An "eco" feature helps snuff out phantom energy loads (the energy used while devices are not being used or in standby mode) by completely turning off electrical current 9 of the 12 outlets; 3 outlets are for "always on" devices, like for a DVR which requires constant low power. The $61.62 price seemed a little steep at first, but I also noted Amazon is selling this model for 53% off. A definite contender.
Additionally, this model indicates when protection circuitry has been fully consumed by power/spikes and needs to be replaced, alongside sports a light up indicator when properly grounded. At $23.86, I could purchase two of these for less than the price of one of the Tripp Lite units I was ready to purchase, but would be giveing up the sizable property damage protection warranty.
I ended up placing an order for the Monoprice model after reading the 21 user 94% positive satisfaction reviews on their site. Since the unit will be hidden behind the television console, I won't have to worry about one of the few criticisms of this unit: an always on LED that cannot be turned off. At the $24 price, it's affordable enough to take a chance upon, solving my outlet famine issue with 4 additional outlets to use, with almost every one of my seven requirements met or exceeded.