Audiovox Corp. of the U.S., which develops and sells high-end audio equipment such as the ‘Acoustic Research’ line in countries such as the U.S., released ‘HDP100,’ a PLC adaptor with a built-in converter for digital TVs for the U.S. market in Oct. 2008. By using HD-PLC, this device enables video from a tuner or DVD player to be displayed on a digital TV that is not physically connected.
HDP100 is a device which transmits and receives video and data transferred with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), the standard interface for digital television, via electric power lines using HD-PLC technology. It comes as a set of two devices: a transmitter which connects to tuners or DVD players using HDMI cables, and a receiver which also connects to TV sets using HDMI cables. By plugging each device into the electrical outlet in the house, users can enjoy video without directly connecting the tuner or DVD player to the TV set.
A need for such a device came about because users in the U.S. with large rooms wanted to place their flat-screen TV sets flush with the wall. Especially, if the flat-screen TV can be hung from the wall, there now is no need to place tuners and DVD players right underneath the TV; therefore, maximizing the space-saving benefits of flat-screen TVs.
Because HDMI sends data using parallel data interface*, the length of the standard cable that connect the tuners/DVD players with the TVs is not long enough. If the cable is too long, it may not be able to transmit high definition data properly. High spec HDMI cables can be used for long-distance transmissions, but the cost would be too high. This is why it is most common to place the TV tuners and DVD players near the flat-screen TVs. Because of this, the development of wireless HDMI system is under research, but its product development and widespread use need more consideration for the market. Also, there is a possibility that devices that are not in line of sight with one another may not be able to communicate because the EHF airwaves, which is what the device plans to use, tend to transmit data in a straight line.
Given this situation, HDP100, the wireless connection device, aims to relieve users from the hassle of cables by using HD-PLC to connect TV tuners and TVs. For example, the DVD player can be placed by the bookshelf where CDs and DVDs are stored. The DVD player can then be connected to the HDP100 transmitter. The TV will be connected to the HDP100 receiver, and by connecting all the other devices with electrical power lines using HD-PLC, users can place audio visual equipment such as TVs and tuners wherever they want, as long as there is an electrical outlet nearby.
The HDP100 receiver has an IR sensor which is compatible with remote controls for each audio-video equipment manufacturers. By placing this IR receiver near the TV, users can operate the remote controls for TV tuners or DVD players at a remote location via the HD-PLC network. There is no need to directly point the remote control to the DVD players or the tuners, but instead simply point the remote control to the TV as before.
The HDP100 is currently only available for the U.S. market, at US$399.