on May 4, 2004
The Home Experience
I have a Sony Grand WEGA KF42WE610 42" using Comcast Cable reception w/o the box (analog reception). I wanted to give a bare bone truth if the HTS5000 is any good or not. After spending 1hr 30minutes properly installing my plugs, making sure my wall socket had 3 prongs (not use a 3 prong to 2 prong cheat which will void your warranty, the HTS5000 will not register as being grounded) and installing some copper wire to grounding the HTS 5000 itself (water pipe, iron/steel fixture tucked behind a wall or heater vent will do nicely) I was finally able to plug the HTS 5000, turn on the Sony STR-DE885 receiver w/ 150 watt preamp sub. I immediately noticed a better quality of sound and I was finally able to maintain its volume (as it would decrease and I would have to turn it up even more). It is the same sound quality as mentioned earlier with the Best Buy receiver. The picture is less pixilated and flesh tones are better (although nothing like Direct TV). Cartoon network has vivid, sharp colors (the colors orange and yellow, blue and purple, etc are distinguished. #1 noticeable difference pronounced even as I write this review is the TV's sound quality! It is as good as my STR-885 Sony Receiver! The sound volume remains the same and the bass is much richer then before. The voices are crisp, clear and audible. In the past I accepted the fact that my TV speakers were no good (reason for buying the STR-885) until today! Another positive trait is viewing Channel 2 via cable. In my area channel 2 is the worst channel, producing a series of thin horizontal to diagonal lines. The lines are very noticeable and distracting giving a 3d effect as you attempt to watch a program only having a 75% viewable screen. After installing the HTS 5000, channel 2 is now 95% viewable. You now have to look real hard to find them from 5' away! This is 2nd biggest improvement as I already have a 4 port, Electroline Drop Amp with single shielded RG-6 cable wire. The coax cable is connected to the HTS 5000 and a Monster top grade coax cable from the HTS 5000 to the TV.
Although double shielded RG-6 coax cable would do better most that I have found do not have a solid copper core. As I was told that the signal travels around the circumference not inside. Regardless if you have solid copper core or not It is extremely important to check your cable connections to make sure the exposed copper wire does not have any marks or nicks around the circumference! If any are found there is a 100% chance you are not receiving the best picture possible. It is a MUST to cut the wire just below the connection, then buy $10-$18 "plastic" 2-Blade rotary coaxial cable stripper to properly strip it, place a coax connector then screw it back on your TV (This is intended for coax cable installed by your cable company. Monster coax cable and such are not part of this side note).
The Home Experience Voltage
When I first turn plugged this unit in Voltage was at 125V and did drop to about 115 volts using appliances in the kitchen. I did notice voltage as high as 125 volts until I turn the TV on then it would drop to 120 volts. I also have my computer, DSL and 18" monitor hooked up to the HTS 5000 and it remains 120 volts with the TV on! I did not notice anything better with the computer DSL or monitor.
For the past several years, Monster has been selling "premium" cables and now power centers. The main complaint people have is they think the product is based more on hype than any science. I bought the HTS 5000 to go with my 47" Panasonic plasma TV, because I wanted to splurge a little. The HTS 5000 works great as a power strip (with switchable AC plugs), and it has a really sexy front panel (with analog gauge). Bottom line is that it works, but does it clean up video or offer anything more than a much chaper power strip... I honestly don't think so. But hey, those cheaper strips don't look nearly as cool with my DVD stacked on top. If you have the money, go for it. You'll like the looks, and it works fine. But if you're tight on funds, consider spending your money on better electronics (TV, DVD, stereo, etc.). I think you'll get more return on your investment.