Antec A/V Cooler
A long time ago a home entertainment center consisted of a console television with perhaps a radio and record player enclosed in the cabinet. Since these units were full of vacuum tubes they tended to generate a lot of heat. It really didnít matter all that much since typically the back of the unit had plenty of holes poked in it. If you donít know about vacuum tubes and record players take a few moments to speak with your parents or grandparents about it. Now the home entertainment center is a home theater. There is usually with a half dozen or so separate components and each one generates heat. The fact is each one of these is closer to your home computer than the old fashion system. The heat they generate is your main enemy and needs to be handled. You can buy a fan for your desktop and cooling pads are now common for your laptop. The question is why no one has given the same consideration for your home theater. Well, someone has, Antec. They have come out with the Veris AV Cooler.
This unit looks and operates a lot like the thing you most likely have under your laptop. It is a flat device that contains two fans. The top is a metallic surface designed to dissipate the heat generated. Underneath are the openings for the fans. Operation is simplicity itself. You figure out the hottest piece of equipment you have and place it on top of the cooler. The fans pull the heat up and it is blown out the sides and conducts away from the component by the metal plate. The unit measures 1.8"(height) x 14.2"(width) x 16.9"(depth) which is more than enough to support most pieces of equipment. You can also stack another piece of equipment directly over the cooler without heat rising up to affect it.
The cooler has two speeds aptly named high and low. There is some noise produced at either speed but it is not enough to be heard over the usual volume of your system. After all what are two little fans next to six speakers. The power is provided by an AC plug. The length of the cord is sufficient to reach any power source for your system. You will want to connect it to one of the components that has a switched power outlet so when that component is off the cooler will power down. This was the one problem I found with the unit. The AC plug is a thin line transformer style plug that was just a little too large to fit into my cable DVR. It stuck out too much if the cord was placed down for the unit to sit on top of what was below it. If I turned the unit so the cord went up it interfered with placing the cooler on top of the DVR. This was resolved by a short extension cord. While not the most elegant solution it was fast and cheap to do. This product does a much better job at cooling than most laptop fan systems out there. the fact that it uses the physical proper that heat rises and sits on to of the hot component is as brilliant as it is simple. I couldn't believe how cool my DRV was even after a day of use and this was during a heat wave here in New York City. the DVR was a cool as if it was never turned on. None of the heat was conducted to the piece of equipment I placed on top of the cooler. If you have more than one very hot component it is well worth it to get on Antec for each.
I didnít have a way to objectively test for a change in temperature. I used the old standby, my hand. Without the cooler the DVR was noticeably hot to the touch. After placing the cooler beneath the DVR there was a very noticeable reduction in the heat. I also noted that the unit above the cooler showed no discernable increase in its temperature. The rubber feet of the unit made sure it kept in place and gave enough clearance for the fans to do there job.
Over all this is a must have for any home theater system. You might think the price tab of around $80 a bit high but just consider this; any one of your components is a lot more than that. This is an insurance policy that is cheap in comparison to letting something burn out on you.