Media, tech companies to develop HDTV guidelines

Several media and electronics companies, worried that HDTV systems are too complex for consumers to handle, announced last week that they will develop guidelines to make it easier for people to view HDTV throughout their home-entertainment systems.

The group, called the High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance, said the goal is to ease the transfer of HD programs and movies, audio and other content between television sets, computers and other devices, Reuters reported.

The group will support Digital Rights Management and recommend interconnection of devices via a single IEEE 1394 cable. It will also tackle issues of multichannel recording, attempting to make it easier to simultaneously watch, pause and record up to five HD video channels.

The initiative also wants to tame the growing number of remote controls in media installations, seeking a way to use a single remote control to control all devices on a home network.

The group’s founders include Samsung Electronics and General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal television networks. Members include JVC, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Sun Microsystems and Charter Communications. The companies said they plan to work with industry organizations such as the CEA, CableLabs and the Motion Picture Association of America on the guidelines.

The first compatible products will go on sale the next year, predicted Heemin Kwon, the group’s president and an executive at Samsung Electronics.

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