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<Press Release>
The press releases on this website are provided for historical reference purposes only. Please note that certain information may have changed since the date of release.

December 10, 1998

Eight Consumer Electronics Companies to Establish
HAViTM Licensing Program

For the Development of Digital AV Home Entertainment Networks

Grundig A.G., Hitachi, Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), Royal Philips Electronics N.V., Sharp Corporation, Sony Corporation, Thomson multimedia, and Toshiba Corporation today announced plans to establish a HAViTM (Home Audio-Video interoperability) licensing program under which the home network architecture will be made available to the electronics and multimedia industries in Spring 1999. Philips has been designated to serve as the licensing contact on behalf of the eight companies.

The eight companies plan to implement a joint patent license program that will enable interested parties to begin developing HAVi compliant products in the Spring 1999. The license would cover the use of the HAVi logo as well as patents defined by the HAVi specification that are owned or controlled by the eight companies and deemed to be essential for the production of compliant hardware and/or software products.

License holders will be able to develop HAVi compliant software as well as HAVi compliant digital AV appliances that can be networked across the IEEE1394 digital interface. The HAVi compliant software acts as consumer electronics middleware which is capable of automatically discovering devices on the network, coordinating the functions of the various devices, and installing applications and user interface software on each appliance.

Once connected as a network, HAVi compliant electronics appliances are immediately interoperable, sharing their resources and capabilities to offer increased functionality and greater ease-of-use. Specifically, these appliances will provide the consumer with the convenience of hot plug-and-play connectivity, appliance interoperability, and future-proof operation.

Home entertainment networks based on the HAVi specification promise to play an important role in enabling entertainment providers, electronics manufacturers, and consumers to take full advantage of a wide range of new interactive services made possible by the advent of digital technology. Digital content received from digital broadcast, network, and package media can be distributed throughout the home to any appliances on the network. Interoperable digital AV appliances- used in conjunction with the appropriate digital content protection technology- will provide an infrastructure for many new, exciting services, such as high-speed Internet access, video-on-demand, and home AV server applications.

About Version 1.0 of the HAViTM Specification

HAVi applications will be able to discover and control compliant appliances regardless of manufacturer. Moreover, the applications can control individual devices within different appliances regardless of their physical grouping. Examples of electronics appliances include set-top boxes, digital VCRs, and hi-fi audio equipment. Devices inside such appliances include tuners, displays, amplifiers, stream converters, clocks, modems, and Internet access functions.

The HAVi specification has been designed to address all aspects of home networking in an IEEE1394 based, digital AV environment. The core specification included components for interchanging messages and events on IEEE1394, registering and discovering device capabilities across the network, and for managing digital AV streams and devices. Version 1.0 offers a more efficient, reliable, and secure solution featuring the following improvements:

- JavaTM has been adopted as the HAVi bytecode to make it possible to represent devices and functions through the use of platform independent, object-oriented APIs. This will allow software developers to create rich, interactive Java based applications and user interfaces. HAVi compliant applications can be installed in electronics appliances by the manufacturer or downloaded from the Internet and other sources.

- Version 1.0 incorporates new features, including security that protects against rogue applications and viruses, an event scheduling element that supports functions such as programmed recording, and standard programming interfaces that are used to control device functions.

- The new resource manger component performs a wider variety of operations. It handles device usage conflicts, coordinates programming of scheduled events (such as timed recording on a digital recorder), and monitors the network for removal of reserved devices.

Version 1.0ß of the HAViTM specification can be downloaded, for evaluation purposes only, from the following Internet URL:

*JavaTM is trademark or registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.