Review (December 2004) - Belkin
By Kevin Nakano
Belkin has entered the A/V market with a series of new products under the PureAV name. A full line of interconnects and home theater power products are in the mix. Fortunately, we got a chance to review their latest PF60 Power Console, which is designed for today's audiophile and home theater enthusiast. The design of the new PF60 provides users with an attractive component with impressive features. The silver-faced front panel has a blue backlit LCD display in the center that provides valuable information about the incoming power and current drawn from the connected components. A convenient auxilary outlet is provided on the front panel for use with camcorders and other devices that need temporary power. The power switch is located on the left and three buttons (Remote, Bank and Dimmer) are positioned just below the display. Rack mount hardware is included in the package along with phone and networking cables.
The PF60 has what Belkin refers to as Advanced Overvoltage Protection that automatically disconnects power from your equipment when the input voltage becomes dangerously high. Power is restored automatically by the unit when the input line voltage returns to safe levels.
The front LCD panel monitors the unit's vital functions. Large segments display the incoming line voltage. Current is also displayed for any one of the six power banks. The user can also choose to see the total current of all connected components. The PureFilter indicator lets the user know that the Phase 6 PureFilter Circuitry is working properly. Both Wiring (Hot/Neutral) and Grounding are monitored and either display a checkmark if detected as good or an "X" if a problem exists. The PF60 can be turned on by a remote component such as a preamplifier or receiver. Using a remote power (120VAC) input or DC input (3-30V), the PF60 will turn on when power is detected. This is a nice feature that only turns the unit on when power is needed. The user must enable the Remote function on the front panel of the PF60 by using the Remote button. The Bank button is used to select any or all of the banks being monitored by the front panel meter. Upon each button push the unit goes over Banks 1 through 6 and then selects all of them. The bank indicator on the front panel shows what bank(s) is active. The Dimmer button selects the level of the backlight on the LCD. There are a total of six levels that the user can choose from, but none of them completely darken the display. We would have liked to see a seventh (Off) mode for those who want no light from the front of the unit especially when watching movies in the dark.
The rear panel also provides protection for phone connections (RJ11) with one input and two outputs. Broadband ethernet components are also protected (RJ45) from harmful voltage spikes. The RJ45 protection is ideal for today's media servers or home theater PCs connected to networks. Protection for cable, satellite and over-the-air signals are provided.
The user interface on the PF60 is simple, yet provides customers with the basic flexibility to monitor their components. We found it fairly easy to re-configure the outlets simply by reaching behind the unit and toggling the corresponding switches.
- Kevin Nakano
NEC PX-50XR4A 50"
High Definition Plasma Display
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