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Day 4 - IFA International

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SPECIAL FEATURE -

SPECIAL FEATURE - ACCESSoRIES The Hama Power Line The iPhone to HDMI converter The VGA/Stereo to HDMI Cable HAMA'S DEVICE SQUAD LISTEnIng To CUSToMERS HELPS FUTURE-PRooF DEVELoPMEnT After 10 years in Hama's R&D, Karl Schabert is now Team Leader of the accessories manufacturer and distributor's customerservice hotline. Combining his experience in product development with what his team learns about customer needs, Schabert now advises the company as to what products it should be developing. "Cables are now a vital part of our accessories business, but they will become less and less important in the future," he said. "This is partly because cables are something that most people prefer to hide away and it's partly because of the sorts of products we are currently developing. For example, the HDMI Power Line adaptor, which can be used to transmit content from a PC or a hard disk to your TV set, is a device of the future. But it's also a classic example of the sort of prototype that has come directly from customer feedback. There is a significant and growing demand for devices like this." The Power Line has a broadcast range of up to 100 metres, is completely secure so that neighbours cannot pick up the signal and also features a remote control that operates the media source from the room in which the TV is located. "Power Line will be available by the end of this year and we expect it to retail for around €300," Schabert said. Continuing with the HDMI theme, Hama has also developed a cable accessory prototype that allows devices that do not have an HDMI output to be viewed on TV by correcting the resolution and digitising the output. "It's called the VGA/Stereo to HDMI Cable and it's very close to being launched. It will be out at the beginning of October and will be priced at around €150." Perhaps the most impressive prototype currently being developed is the iPhone to HDMI converter. "This is a piece of firmware that up-scales the 700:400 and 640:480 output of an iPhone or iPod Touch to 1080i," Schabert said. "That means you can watch content in Full-HD on your TV from those devices without any compromise on quality or any problems with pixelation. Videos and TV series that have been downloaded from iTunes can also be watched in HD." External speaker systems are another area that Hama is watching closely. "As screens become thinner and thinner, there is inevitably some loss of quality in the onboard speaker systems," Schabert said. "And until there is a major breakthrough in speaker technology that precludes the need for traditional resonance chambers, we are sure to see a rise in demand — not necessarily in multi-speaker systems, but certainly in three-way sets." What extra value do you get from a 120 dB cable? Is it really worth the extra cost? Hama's Karl Schabert believes it is: "The extra cost is mainly about the quality of the shielding and there are solid reasons to invest in a good cable, especially in the modern world, where there are so many potential sources of interference. We do a demonstration for the public on the Hama stand, which shows what happens to picture quality when someone is using a common household device, such as a power drill, near a TV connected by a poorly shielded cable. It's obvious that it really affects the picture." With many TVs connected by cables with little or no shielding, Schabert recommends a minimum of 75dB: "Among the nearly 17,000 accessories we offer, the very best cable is 120 dB. I would recommend that anyone living near a TV transmitter, a mobile-phone mast or even a railway line should invest in a well shielded, quality cable." Hall 7.2C / Stand 101 IFA International • Monday, 7 th September 2009 www.ifa-international.org 21

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