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Tech Firms Form Alliance to Boost Home Networking

June 25, 2003|From Associated Press

In the latest effort to simplify home networking, some leading high-tech companies formed an alliance Tuesday with the aim of making music players, televisions, computers, video cameras and other devices cooperate better.

The Digital Home Working Group will not create new technologies but instead issue guidelines.

"Consumers have been asking for this ability to simply capture all that digital information and share it, use it and enjoy it on the devices they want to," said Louis Burns, general manager of Intel Corp.'s Desktop Platform Group. Incompatible software and hardware have stymied such efforts.

The new group expects to issue guidelines by the end of the year, and member companies plan to release products by late 2004.

Compliant products will bear a logo indicating they meet the group's guidelines for interoperability.

Unlike many standards-setting bodies, participating companies span a range of industries.

Along with chip maker Intel, the companies include Sony Corp., Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Gateway Inc. and Nokia.

The group envisions the guidelines -- based on existing standards such as Wi-Fi for wireless networking, HTTP for content distribution and others -- affecting PCs, TVs, printers, stereos, set-top boxes, mobile phones, hand-held computers, DVD players and more.

The group also plans to tackle digital-rights management, which movie studios, music labels and other content providers are promoting to protect against piracy.

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