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What You Need to Know About Voltage Converters and Multisystem TVs

There's a growing trend in the U.S. It's called multisystem TV. Multisystem TV sets have generally been more popular in Europe and Asia than in the U.S., but that's changing as more and more people shop for bargains on televisions and other electronics online. If you buy a multisystem TV overseas or from an overseas vendor, there's a possibility that you may have to take a look at voltage converters or invest in a voltage transformer in order to power it up in North America. Since multisystem TV sets - as well as region free DVD players - are often made for use overseas, they may also be designed to operate on overseas electrical standards.

Quick Overview of Voltage Converters

Voltage converters are small electrical devices that change the voltage, and sometimes the frequency, of the electrical current that passes through them. They're sometimes necessary when you're plugging in an appliance or consumer electronics device that you've brought from one country to another. Here's why.

In North America, Japan and parts of Central and South America, electricity is delivered from the outlet at 110v to 120v. Electronics and electrical equipment bought for use in those countries are designed to operate on 110v to 120v current. In much of the rest of the world, including most of Europe, Australia and China, the electrical standards call for electricity to be delivered at 220v to 240v, and appliances purchased for use in those countries are designed to operate on that current. In addition to the voltage, there are also variations of frequency and wattage, but they're less important than the voltage.

If you plug in an 110v electrical item into a 220v outlet, the resulting current exchange will most likely completely destroy the circuits of the electrical item. If you plug a 220v item into an 110v outlet, it won't get enough power to operate properly, if at all. Voltage converters and voltage transformers are the solution to the disparity in voltage among the various countries. Depending on the voltage converters or voltage transformers that you choose, they will either reduce the voltage so it doesn't damage your electronics item or increase it so that it powers your electronics item sufficiently.

Back to the Multisystem TV

A multisystem TV set is designed to deal with another standards disparity, which is the difference in display standards among different nations around the world. But the fact that a multisystem TV can navigate among several different video formats is no guarantee that it also can adjust to different electrical standards. While there are many electronics items, including region free DVD players and game sets, it's still not common among multisystem TV sets.

If you're not sure what voltage it needs to operate, check the electrical specifications to find out. You'll usually find the voltage and wattage required to operate an electrical device listed on the label affixed to the back or bottom of it. Usually, you'll find it listed as 110v or 220v. If you're in the U.S. or North America, and the TV operates at 220v, you'll need to check out the specifications of various voltage converters and voltage transformers to find one that will supply the necessary amount of wattage at the right frequency. Your best bet may be a deluxe automatic voltage regulator, which will automatically regulate the voltage to your TV so that it works properly.

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