Panamax Power Conditioner

I’m wondering about something.

My home entertainment (tv, dvd sat box) are plugged into a Panamax power conditioner (to prevent spikes surges etc).

All devices plug into the Panamax. So will Sense see the individual devices or will it see the panamax?

Now that I have a whole home surge protector I probably don’t need it. So if Sense won’t see the devices, I could always try removing the panamax.


Sense wouldn’t likely detect your AV electronics even without the Panamax, though there would be a chance for the TVs if they were late model Samsung or LGs smart TVs that give off the right network messaging for NDI to work.

Detecting distinct on and off signatures for electronic devices, especially ones that have high variability in patterns, is always going to be a challenge. I have my AV and networking clusters on HS300 smartplug plug strips to provide me with power usage data on those device clusters. That gives a good picture of what each individual device is doing, though roughly half of them are uninteresting.

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Thanks Kevin…

So do you think Sense will ever detect the TV as is (it is an LG few years old)? I really dont need the conditioner any more to be honest. I wonder if going with smart plugs would help?

Is it a smart TV that attaches to the network via ethernet or WiFi (on the same subnet as the Sense) ? if so, there is a chance of detection. If not, not likely at least with the current set of Sense models. “Ever” leaves open a long set of time possibilities though. Guessing that someday, especially with people putting TVs on smart plugs, Sense will have enough data to be able to spot the signatures for more of the TVs out there.


Just for giggles…

I have a harmony remote that turns on/off all components (tv, receiver). Sense showed “other” at approx 30w. I cut off tv/receiver and other disappeared.

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WOW, my “other” runs in the hundreds of watts, and varies all over the place all day long

Very very unlikely, particularly in the short time. If you want to monitor these, I suggest smart plugs and at whatever level of granularity you like. For example, I have one smart plug for “entertainment center” which is a large screen TV, TIVO, DVD, and multi-media computer. Of course, this could also be done with four smart plugs, one for each device, but I simply don’t care at that level. I have a second one for the office, with about a dozen devices on it. At one point Sense thought it detected the laser printer, but that wasn’t reliable.

Not to tangent too much from the main thread, but keep in mind a whole home surge protector does not protect your electronics from internal surges. Best practise from everything I’ve read about whole home surge protectors is that you still want to keep branch circuit level (aka Surge Protector power strip) protection on sensitive equipment. The whole home protector may save you from a power surge / irregularity coming from the pole but it may not help from something inside the house that causes bad things to happen.

I left my power conditioner in place and added a TP-Link HS110 and called it AV Equipment. I just track at that level.

If Sense does find your LG TV it will be nowhere close to being accurate. Sense found mine and reported it using 80 watts or so.

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Absolutely, and whole house surge protectors are not invincible, some surges do make it thru…well documented and it happened to a friend of mine. He lost a TV and DVR during one intense storm.

Circuit/strip protectors aren’t perfect either, but layered protection is worth every dime….these aren’t that expensive and they do help.

I’m not sure if you’ve worked with Support on this or not, but this definitely is not universally true. While occasional hiccups can happen, smart TV detection through NDI (for the supported LG TVs) should be accurate and reliable and is so in most cases.

To answer your initial question @deputypaulatl, active power conditioning can negatively affect the device detection process. Passive surge protectors should not. But as others have noted, the typical consumer tech that’s in an entertainment center isn’t easy to detect. Many, myself included, use smart plugs or strips for this — like the TP-Link HS110 or HS300.

Yes, I did work with support on this. Sense did find the TV and reported it on and off correctly. The wattage used was completely off. It said it would consume 80 watts while it was on. The LG OLED consumers much more and it’s not a flat usage as Sense depicted.

I had zero luck over a couple of years with detecting banks of electronics, including two home entertainment centers and an extensive office. TP-Link solved my problem, and since I didn’t really care device by device, it only took three HS-110, found for $15 each at Walmart. At some point I may hook them into Sense, but I haven’t bothered yet. TP-link reporting is good anyway.

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Thanks everyone…

Assuming the panamax is active power conditioning and not passive.

IF I got with those smart plugs mentioned stupid question: I only have 1 outlet where the entertainment center is, but have say 4 devices. Is there such thing as a smart power strip I an plug things into?

Quik google search (what would we do without google): There definately are those out there. Does anyone have one and/or recommend one (that will work with sense)

The TP-Link HS300 is a multiple plug, multiple reporting strip that works quite well. About $75 for six outlets and works with Sense.


Hadn’t seen Panamax before, but that looks like a pretty sophisticated (and expensive) device. From the description, I’d definitely characterize it as active power conditioning and I would definitely keep my entertainment center on it…great second layer protection. The HS300 is probably your best choice for device by device monitoring, and offers remote control is you need that.

As @ken2 & @andy touch on, an LG OLED (like I have) has a wildly variable power signature. Despite the potential to detect it’s on/off via NDI, the actual power tracking is a hard problem for Sense to solve. My previous Samsung LED-backlit TV was detected and tracked quite well by Sense natively. My newer LG OLED hasn’t been seen by Sense so it was one of the first devices I put on a smartplug.

I would venture to say that it’s close to mathematically provable that without a much higher sampling rate a device like an OLED TV, even if detected, will always be an approximation regarding usage. You could potentially track what is being watched, but that’s another story.

That said, I want to use this opportunity to point something out that isn’t immediately obvious. By way of example:

Imagine a house with an “impossible-to-track-accurately” OLED TV.
For arguments sake, imagine that the only other device in the house is a 4kW hot water tank with a very stable signature.
The 4kW usage is easily detected and is a “house maximum” per-device in our house of 2 devices.
It doesn’t take much of a leap to realize that the OLED TV can be fairly accurately detected (and tracked) by a processes of elimination, a kind of “negative” detection.
Of course the reality of detection and tracking is less ideal, but there are at least situations where “negative” detection can be applied to define device signatures more precisely.

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So you recommend keeping the panamax. You also mentioned the HS300. So from the wall outlet it would go to the HS300 first then the panamax? Or something different?

If above is correct then I don’t need a power strip but rather a single smart plug

Whatever way I set up will sense detect the true power and/or by device?

Btw my DVR doesn’t go into the Panamax, but rather into an APC power backup. Reason: if the power blinks the DVR will reboot. If i’m recording something its gone. This way while the tv may be off, the recording still goes on.

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Sorry for the confusion. This depends on whether tracking your entertainment center as a group is sufficient, or whether you want individual device tracking.

Entertainment center as a group- Get an HS110 (single plug) and plug your panamax into it. Leave your devices plugged into the panamax. Then the whole load (including the small consumption by the panamax) would be tracked together. Cost about $15, and Sense could track total power for that smart plug, called perhaps “entertainment center”.

Individual device tracking- leave the panamax plugged into the wall, but get an HS300 (six outlets for about $75), plug it into the panamax, and plug each device on the entertainment center into the HS300. That provides individual device tracking and control, and still integrates into Sense.

In both cases, you retain your two level protection, and gain power tracking.

BTW, while you have the DVR on a UPS (which makes “sense” to me , is that plugged into the panamax? If not, why not? If so, treat it like any other device in both of the scenarios above.

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Again thank you. that makes perfect sense.

I think i’m ok with the overall “entertainment” consumption via single plug. I can always change that down the road.

DVR… hmmmm I can’t remember if it is direct into the outlet or not. I’m not home now so can’t check.