US firms announce HD audio-video network alliance

 MUMBAI: This is an alliance aimed at smoothening the process of using high definition (HD) devices in the US. Charter Communications, JVC, Mitsubishi America, NBC Universal, Samsung and Sun Microsystems have formed the High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance (Hana).

Hana members are working together to create a design guideline for securing high definition audio visual networks that will speed the creation of new, higher quality, easier to use HD products. In addition to the founding members, ARM, Freescale Semiconductor and Pulse~Link have joined Hana as contributing members.

Hana president and Samsung executive VP Dr. Heemin Kwon says, "Hana brings together content providers, consumer electronics, service providers and IT with the sole purpose of addressing HD needs such as quality of service, ease of use and content protection. Since Hana is a cross-industry effort with members from each of the impacted HD industries, we can achieve the 'win-win' necessary to commercialize HD networks. Hana is a milestone among industry alliances because we are starting in the living room, not the home office."

Hana's mission is to create industry design guidelines, utilising existing technology and specifications, that will help enable consumers to:

-- View, pause and record 5+ HD channels simultaneously without compromising quality of service.

-- View, pause and record HD anywhere in the home with just one set top box.

-- Share personal content from PCs to AV devices while keeping protected content secure.

-- Control all AV devices and access content with just a single remote per room.

-- Add any device to the home network with just one cable.

Research firm In-Stat's principal analyst principal analyst says, "A major benefit of Hana's initiatives will be the ability for one remote control to manage all of the video equipment that gets connected to a Hana network. This 'one remote control per room' capability is a major breakthrough and presents a tremendous opportunity for consumers to finally be able to have easy access to all their home video content."

Hana-compliant products will include HDTVs, next generation DVD players, personal video recorders, set top cable boxes and home theaters. The first commercial products are expected to be available at International CES 2007. The Alliance plans to facilitate compatibility among various manufacturers products through compliance testing and HANA-organized developers' conferences.

Hana is also in discussions with standards bodies such as the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Cablelabs, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and the 1394 Trade Association. The goal is to utilise these groups' technologies to enable HD content sharing around the home. For example, by utilizing IEEE 1394 to connect devices, Hana will eliminate the confusing tangle of cables used to connect TVs with home theaters, DVD players and other consumer electronics products.

In the first half of 2006, Hana plans to work with Advanced Access Content System (AACS), Open Media Commons and other digital rights management technologies to give consumers new flexibility in using content across the entire home network, including moving content across multiple devices like portable video players.

By including copyright detection technology in its products, Hana says that it will help consumers to access all of their personal video content while protecting content providers from piracy. Hana further states that its anti-piracy measures will also help enable content providers to make new HD content available to consumers in a more timely manner. Looking ahead, Hana will also focus on:

-- Advanced video compression technologies

-- Interactive content

-- Enhanced security

-- OpenCable Applications Platform

-- Wireless extensions

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories