If the gods of wireless internet access and European power adapters are with us - and the thoughtless PR company that's emailed over 20MB of releases in the last 10 minutes alone doesn't trash our systems - you'll be seeing a lot of stories up here over the next couple of days headed 'IFA News', writes Clare Newsome.

So, what is IFA and why are three of the What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision team here?

IFA - or the Internationale Funkaustellung, to give it its full German title - is one of the world's largest consumer electronics shows, with over 1000 exhibitors and almost a quarter of a million visitors gathering in Berlin every year.

More after the break

More than 2.5 billion euros worth of business is estimated to flow through its 25+ halls over the course of its weekly run. In short, we'll be seeing what you'll be buying over the next year of so - from TVs to MP3, hi-fi to home cinema.

All the big brands are out in force, some taking over entire halls to showcase their full ranges, with crowd-pulling stunts ranging from the latest battle to show the world's biggest TV (108in and counting - thanks, Sharp) to pop star performances, Formula One signing-sessions and the inevitable bevy of scantily clad ladies it wouldn't be a trade show without.

We've already got meetings set up with Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Philips, Panasonic, JVC, LG, Pioneer, Denon, NAD, Q Acoustics, QED, Monster, Klipsch, Mordaunt-Short, Dolby, DTS, and more - including the rival Blu-ray and HD DVD camps - and will be bringing you news hot from the Show.

In fact, our globe-trotting News Editor, Joe Cox - fresh from a technology-tastic trip to Japan, China and Hong Kong - has already filed news of Epson's latest projectors.

Right, let the blisters begin....

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