A PS Audio P5 AC regenerator (that was under evaluation in my two channel audio system) was briefly evaluated with the plasma television in my home theater system. The immediatly brighter, clearer picture made going back to the Power Plant Premier AC regenerator impossible. However, one P5 could not run my entire movie playback setup (TV, Blu-ray player, preamp and three power amplifiers driving six speakers set to large). I thought (hoped) that one P10 would suffice. It was only adequate for watching TV and for watching movies without high dyanamic contrasts. The HT system in movie watching mode put an average 75% load on the P10. This load increased to over 90% for loud scenes or scenes with high low frequency content. For example, on Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith Blu-ray, everything was fine until the fight scene with General Grievous at 21 minutes into the movie. The load on the regenerator jumped from 75% to sustained levels greater than 90% for the entire fight sequence. The P10 shut down at the end of this sequence just after the explosive launch of General Grievous' escape pod. The dialog prior the the fight sequence was at an average 72 dB-C. The fight sequence sound effects were at an average 87dB-C. The explosive launch of General Grievous' escape pod was 95 dB-C.
Figure 1. Top: Former home theater equipment configuration with two Power Plant Premier AC
regenerators. Bottom: Current home theater equipment configuration with PerfectWave P5 and P10
I had ordered a Cary Audio Cinema 11a surround sound processor to replace the Sony TA-P9000ES multichannel audio preamplifier and Sony TA-E9000ES audio/video preamp/processor. However, after further consideration of the reliability and customer service issues I have had with two Cary Audio products, I canceled the order.
Figure 2. The plasma TV and Tivo DVR are powered by the P5. The Blu-ray player, preamps and power amps for center,
front and surround speakers are powered by the P10. Each regenerator has plenty of headroom for dynamic peaks: In
movie watching mode, the P5 carries a 44% load and the P10 carries a 54% load.
Video Quality Comparisons of the P5
The following screen shots are from a paused image from a Tivo XL High Definition digital video recorder. The program was a CNN high definition (1080i) news broadcast. The native resolution of the Pioneer Kuro high definition plasma is 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels). The pictures were taken with a Fuji Finepix S9000 9 megapixel digital camera. The camera's image resolution was 3488 x 2616 (9,124,608 pixels). Figures 3, 4, and 5 are reduced-size versions (800 x 669 or 535,200 pixels) of the original screen shots for faster page loading and are 1/17th the size of the original. It is easier to see differences in figures 3-5 and in figures 6-8 if they are downloaded and viewed in succession.
Screen shots were taken with the TV plugged into an ordinary household outlet, with the TV plugged into a Power Plant Premier (PPP) AC regenerator and with the TV plugged into a PerfectWave P5 AC regenerator. In each case, the power cord between the TV and power source was a PS Audio Statement SC. The Power Cord between the AC regenerators and the wall was a PS Audio AC-5. The wall outlet for the AC regenerators was a PS Audio Soloist SE in-wall conditioner, which terminated a dedicated 20 amp AC circuit. The PPP had been in use since 2008. The P5 was new with 100 hours of use.
The image with the PPP was more detailed than that from the wall outlet, but it was also darker, which indicated some current limiting by the PPP. Notice that there was no apparent current limiting with the P5 as the image was equal in brightness to the wall outlet image.
Figure 3. Screen shot of HDTV image with TV plugged into wall outlet.
Figure 4. Screen shot of HDTV image with TV plugged into Power Plant Premier AC regenerator.
Figure 5. Screen shot of HDTV image with TV plugged into PerfectWave P5 AC regenerator.
The cropped images below of the news anchor's left eye provide better insight into picture quality improvements going from the wall outlet to the P5.
Figure 6. Crop of news anchor's left eye from TV plugged into the wall outlet.
Figure 7. Crop of news anchor's left eye from TV plugged into the Power Plant Premier AC regenerator.
Figure 8. Crop of news anchor's left eye from TV plugged into the PerfectWave P5 AC regenerator.
Comparing the PPP cropped image (figure 7) to the wall outlet cropped image (figure 6), lower power line noise resulted in a smoother picture (less pixelation or "blockiness") and less smearing of pixel information. The three studio light reflections above the news anchor's pupil appear as three blobs of light in the wall outlet cropped image. The studio light reflections in the PPP cropped image are much sharper, more detailed and rectangular than the wall outlet image. There is less pixelation in the eyebrow. The curved edge of the iris is smoother. Notice however, that this increased detail comes at the cost of decreased light output. The PPP image is significantly darker than the wall outlet image.
The P5 cropped image has the same level of brightness as the wall outlet cropped image (no evident current limiting) and more color and shadow detail than the PPP cropped image. The curved edge of the iris is smoother than in the PPP image and much smoother than in the wall outlet image. The shapes of the individual bulbs of the studio light panels are more rectangular and the spaces between bulbs are more sharply defined.
The differences in light output, color rendition, clarity and detail among figures 6, 7 and 8 provide insight into why the plasma television picture was much more three dimensional, vivid and lifelike when each and every pixel was not distorted with significant amounts of electrical noise.