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  • Eight Japanese, European Firms Devise Home Network Spec
  • May 20, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Eight electric appliance makers from Japan and Europe have devised Home Audio-Video interoperability (HAVi) specifications for middleware to be used in AV equipment connected to a home network.
    The group, which made their announcement on May 14, comprises: Grundig AG of Germany; Philips Electronics NV of the Netherlands; Thomson Multimedia SA of France; and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Hitachi Ltd., Sharp Corp., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. of Japan.

    On March 18 1998, the eight companies entered into a basic agreement to draw up provisional specifications and develop detailed specifications. The specifications will be made public in May 1998 on home pages over the Internet. Related URLs are as follows:

    http://www.hitachi.co.jp/Prod/HAVi< /A>
    http://www.sv.philips.com/news/pr ess/

    They will decide conditions to get licenses of technologies required to implement this specification by October 1998, according to plan.

    The eight companies clearly set the IEEE1394 standard as a basis for home networks. However, they didn't exclude use of other network technologies such as Ethernet. When using other network technologies, the software specifications will be added to the main specifications.

    Advantages of using the new specifications include a plug-and-play function to build a network by simply connecting a device and interoperability of devices connected to a network with different devices.

    The group has stipulated functions to inform devices of the installation or removal of other devices to and from a network, to enable real-time transmission of video and audio data.

    Related stories: Home Networking Becomes Reality
    Home Electronics Makers Set Networking Specifications

    (Nikkei Electronics)

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    Updated: Tue May 19 20:18:10 1998