Do HDMI Surge Protectors Work?

If you are asking yourself the question; do HDMI surge protectors work?. Then you are in the right place.

HDMI ports are very vulnerable to electrostatic discharge (ESD) and even small surges can cause irreversible damage to your electronics, even with a power surge protector in place.

So if you are wondering if purchasing an HDMI surge protector is worth it. then keep reading.

HDMI surge protector works in the sense that they prevent power surges from traveling through HDMI cables. Those spikes in voltages and currents have the potential to destroy your cable.

These power protectors should be installed at the power source and not at a secondary connection like an HDMI port.

The best way to protect against any potential damage by surge current or voltage is to have an HDMI surge protector specifically designed to prevent ESD in line with your HDMI devices. That is the only way to be safe.

do hdmi surge protectors work

What is Power Surge?

if you are not a technician, you may be wondering what a power surge is and how it can affect your electronics.

Understanding what a power surge is will equip you with the right knowledge to take the necessary steps to protect your sensitive electronics.

A power surge is also known as electrostatic discharge, it creates sparks in the power that can easily blow up any sensitive electronic device.

It’s like a shock from touching a metal device and it’s a similar thing that is happening to your electronics equipment.

The most common cause of power surges is lightning. When lightning strikes near a power cable, it can boost the energy traveling along the cable by millions of volts.

Other causes of lightning are faulty wiring, old equipment, issues with transformers, and other faulty systems that can cause fluctuation in the power supply. If you are a victim of a power surge, then is likely one of these is responsible for it.

Therefore, if you live in an area with power problems and power failures, then it’s worth it to install some power surge protection if you don’t already have one in place.

What is Surge Protection?

Power protection is using devices that are designed to eliminate surge power to protect your sensitive electronics from a power surge.

HDMI surge protectors are an example of such devices, though expensive, other surge protection devices are significantly less expensive.

Surge protection in a device means the device is able to divert all surge current to the device earth wire.

This, therefore, remove such voltage from the circuit. It does this using a component called a metal oxide varistor, and this is a pretty clever little thing.

The way this is done is that the metal oxide is connected to both the power line and the ground wire by 2 semiconductors that have variable resistance.

The metal oxide connects to something called a hot wire, and this is what feeds the extra current back to the ground wire.

The semiconductor’s variable resistance means that they behave differently depending on the voltage of the current passing through them.

When the voltage is normal without surge, they do nothing. However, when the voltage spikes, the resistance drops, and the semiconductors divert the extra voltage back to the ground wire.

This process allows you to have normal power without the surge. And in case of a surge, it will be diverted into the ground.

The circuitry of these surge protection devices may vary depending on the quality of protection.

Though protection devices are great, for most people, the inexpensive plug surge protectors will be enough.

However, if you’ve got an expensive setup or a particular problem with your system, you live in an area where lighting or power failure is rampant, then it’s necessary to have HDMI surge protection in place.

Installing HDMI Surge Protectors in Your Home Theater

Home theatre systems may include sensitive electronics like receivers and HDMI cables.

If you don’t protect them, they can get damaged beyond repair by an unexpected power surge.

So it would be logical to install HDMI surge protectors in the system. Because HDMI ports and cables are pretty sensitive, any interference could be problematic.

That’s why the power surge protectors are designed to protect your electronics from spikes in voltage.

What to Look for in Your Protector

There are various surge protectors in the market of varying levels of quality. The same thing goes for HDMI surge protectors as well. Even though you may not notice the price difference.

Here are the main types of surge protectors you will find.

Normal Power Strip: These offer lower surge protection and they are the normal power strips you will find. Mostly going for under $10.

Mid-Range Power Strip: For around $25-40 you’ll find a power strip with better surge protection and more related features.

Surge Station:  At the top end of the spectrum you have surge stations, which offer the best levels of surge protection and are better for very expensive and sensitive equipment.

You may also find features like Ethernet connections and circuit breakers.

Uninterruptable power supply:  A feature found on some high-end devices is the ability to store power on a battery, which is used in the event of a power cut.

Clamping Voltage

Clamping voltage can be an issue in an HDMI cable if it’s not addressed properly.

The purpose of the surge protector is to make sure that voltage spikes and surges are not transmitted through the HDMI cable.

In most cases, a surge protector can protect your HDMI equipment against voltage spikes or surges coming from electrical appliances like hair dryers, microwaves, or your A/C unit, and from power surges from the electrical grid, like a lightning strike.

The galvanic isolation feature is what allows most surge protectors to protect your HDMI equipment.

This feature prevents the voltage spikes and surges from jumping from the surge protector’s hot wire to the ground through the HDMI cable.

Final Words on HDMI Surge Protectors

Having HDMI surge protectors in place is a good idea especially with a lot of electronics being sensitive these days.

The surge protector will eliminate any surge voltage before it gets to your electronics.

It’s a worthy investment if you want to have peace of mind and protect against any potential damage to your electronics.

 

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