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Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Media, Tech Companies Team Up on HD TV

Several of the world's biggest media and electronics companies on Wednesday said they would work together on high-definition television and audio standards for sophisticated home-entertainment networks.

The alliance is called "High Definition Audio Video Network Alliance" (HANA) and was founded by cable operator Charter Communications , electronics manufacturer Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America Inc. , General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal television networks, Korea's Samsung and server computer-maker Sun Microsystems

They said in a joint press release that they'll consult with industry organizations, such as the Consumer Electronics Association, CableLabs and the Motion Picture Association of America.

The group's initial goals include looking at ways to make it possible to simultaneously watch, pause and record up to five high-definition video channels; developing sophisticated universal remote controls for home audio-video networks; and securely sharing high-definition content between personal computers and portable devices.

The group also said that a "HANA-certified" sticker on a piece of hardware will mean that piece of equipment complies with a series of standards. Among other tasks, HANA-certified set-top boxes will be capable of recording five separate HD streams without glitches in service. Certified equipment will also let consumers share files inside a home, but comply with digital rights management protection inserted by copyright holders.

Some HANA-compliant equipment will be shown off at next month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Intel is also forming alliances with movie studios, software developers and hardware makers to enable consumers to buy, swap and view premium content on PC networks.

Intel's Viiv is an offshoot of the Digital Living Room Alliance (DLRA), spearheaded by Microsoft, Intel and Sony.

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