HAVi Announces New Members, Officers and Programs
Momentum for Home AV networking specification increases as leading semiconductor, software and Digital TV companies join alliance .
(SAN RAMON, Calif. - June 1, 2000) -
The HAVi Organization, a non-profit industry association promoting a common approach for digital home entertainment networking, today announced a dozen new member companies, new organization officers and new technical working groups. Included among the recent companies or institutions to join the Home Audio Video interoperability (HAVi) Organization are GMD Fokus, Hewlett Packard, the Institut of Computer Technology, MIPS Technologies, Sensory Science Corp. Teralogic, 3A International, and Zayante.
HAVi also announced that Eddy Odijk has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Jon Fairhurst has been elected Chair of the Technical Steering Committee. Mr. Odijk, Vice President, System Architecture of Philips Consumer Electronics has been involved with the Home Audio Video interoperability effort from its inception, and Mr. Fairhurst of Sharp was also a key contributor to the development of the HAVi specification. HAVi began as a joint effort on the part of eight of the world's leading consumer electronics manufacturers: Grundig AG, Hitachi Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), Royal Philips Electronics, Sharp Corporation, Sony Corporation, THOMSON multimedia and Toshiba Corporation, which worked together for over two years to develop a common specification for interoperability among networked digital home entertainment products.
"We're very pleased by the caliber of corporations and research institutes that are joining the HAVi effort," according to Mr. Odijk. "Clearly HP and MIPS Technologies are well recognized market leaders, but it's also great to have the support of companies ranging from interactive television leaders to specialists in the area of IEEE1394 technology like Zayante and 3A."
New Programs for HAVi Members
The HAVi Organization recently held the first of its Fast Track Technical Seminars on April 20 in San Jose, California. Similar technical seminars -- focused on application development -- will be offered for member companies only in Europe and Japan in the next few months.
In addition, new HAVi Technical Working Groups were announced. These committees are focused on compliance, interoperability and implementation of the 1.0 specification. Formation of these groups will begin immediately.
Growth in the Home Networking Market
According to a recent study released by industry analysts Parks Associates, the home networking industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years as consumers seek new opportunities to distribute and manage digital content and services at home. Sharing high speed internet access (from DSL or cable modem) to more than one PC has so far been the primary driver for purchases of computer home networking kits, however home entertainment is emerging as a strong market opportunity. According to the Parks study, as many as 40 million consumer entertainment devices may be networked in US homes by the year 2004.
The HAVi version 1.0 Specification, released in December, 1999 was developed specifically for home entertainment AV networks, providing high bandwidth for transmitting multiple AV streams and featuring easy "plug-and-enjoy" functionality, using an underlying IEEE1394 digital interface (i.LINK? or FireWire?). The HAVi specification defines a set of APIs and middleware capable of automatically discovering devices on the network, coordinating the functions of various devices, installing applications and user interface software on each appliance and ensuring interoperability amongst multiple brands of devices.
The HAVi architecture also has the inherent expandability to offer an upgradable software to handle new needs and functionality. "The reality is that home digital entertainment networks will be incrementally built by consumers over time, and HAVi ensures devices can be easily added to or removed from the network at any time," states Dr. Akikazu Takeuchi, HAVi Board of Directors member from Sony. "New products will automatically recognize changes in the network configuration, and identify the available functionality and where it is located, all without interrupting the functioning of the network," he added
Building Momentum for HAVi
The mission of the HAVi Organization is to promote the adoption of the HAVi architecture for consumer AV devices (digital TVs, set top boxes, etc.) and peripherals and to encourage the development of software applications and services to bring new convenience, flexibility and personalization to consumers. The Organization has also expressed interest in developing interconnecting "bridges" with other home networking standards such as Jini and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP).
With future HAVi compliant networks, consumers will no longer be faced with the complexity of setting-up and operating many separate devices and remote controls. All they will have to do is enter the task they want to perform, and HAVi will do the rest. The user interface of the device they wish to access can be presented remotely on any other device with a display capability that is connected to the network -- a TV set, for example. The key characteristic of a HAVi network is that connected devices from a variety of manufacturers will be able to share each other's resources and functionality across a peer-to-peer network. A home PC is not required for a HAVi network to operate, nor is it restricted from playing a part.
As a non-profit association, the HAVi Organization is not involved in licensing of intellectual property rights to the essential patents represented by the HAVi specification. However, as originally announced in January, this licensing is administered by Philips on behalf of seven of the eight companies in a joint licensing program. For more information on licensing, visit http://www.havi.org/techinfo/license.html. The joint licensing programs enable interested parties to develop and market HAVi-compliant products using the HAVi home network architecture.
Interested companies will be invited to join HAVi, Inc. as a Participant Member or Non-Profit Participant member when the final specification is completed. Participant members can join Working Groups, receive latest information about the HAVi compliance tests, HAVi organization activities and other member's activity with payment of $10,000 as annual membership fee. Non-profit members can also receive such information with payment of $2,500 as annual fee, but non-profit membership is limited to non-profit bodies such as Universities or research institutions.
Further information about HAVi can be obtained from the organization's web site http://www.havi.org. The HAVi specification (Version 1.0) can also be downloaded from this site.
The HAVi name and logo are registered trademarks of HAVi, Inc..
The i.LINK name and logo are registered trademarks of Sony Corporation.
FireWire is registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.
Sun, Sun Microsystems and Jini, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and in other countries.
All other third party product or service names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
HAVi Incorporated, a non-profit association, is open to companies and non-profit institutions interested in extending the awareness, knowledge and understanding of the HAVi Specification.
<Press Contacts for HAVi>
Jeannet Harpe (Royal Philips Electronics)
Tel: +31 40 27 35677
Fax: +31 40 27 32729
Paul Reinhardt (Sony Electronics, Inc.)
Kenichi Nakamura (Matsushita Electric industrial Co., Ltd..)
Jean-Loup Bourgois (THOMSON multimedia)