Monster vs. Vampires: Cutting down home theaters' wasted energy

You may best know Monster Cable as the company that produces the $80 HDMI cables that Best Buy tries to sell you as being superior to the $10 ones you can find online. But with its GreenPower products, Monster is more concerned with the wasted energy being sucked from electronics components than with sucking money out of your wallet.

You may best know Monster Cable as the company that produces the $80 HDMI cables that Best Buy tries to sell you as being superior to the $10 ones you can find online. But with its GreenPower products, Monster is more concerned with the wasted energy being sucked from electronics components than with sucking money out of your wallet. While its previous Digital PowerCenters for home theaters, which are designed to combat the vampiric draining of electricity that conventional power strips allow, were priced like a component ($500 and up) instead of an accessory, Monster has sliced the price significantly for the new additions to the line.

Like their predecessors, the $99.95 HDP 850G and the $129.95 HDP 900G have a nifty solution to power seepage from hibernating devices: When you power down your TV (which you plug into the main "control" outlet), the other components (up to three) plugged into the PowerCenter are automatically powered off. After you turn the set back on, those components are switched on as well. In addition to that feature and surge protection, the PowerCenters are designed for powerline networking, cutting down on some of the "noise" that can interfere with its signal.

The two PowerCenters are now shipping, with the pricier unit also sporting phone jacks and a higher surge-absorption rating.

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