Sun, Sony craft Internet appliances

Sony and Sun Microsystems are taking their teamwork a step further. They will push to provide direct links between digital consumer appliances and Internet-based content and services, the companies announced Wednesday.

The partners aim to create a seamless connection between network servers connected to the Internet and digital consumer electronic appliances, according to Sony and Sun representatives.

With the approaching broadband network era, the relationship between digital audio-video appliances, computers, and the Internet will be reshaped, says Nobuyuki Idei, president and chief executive officer of Sony.

As a first step, the companies plan to develop home gateway software for appliances such as set-top boxes and digital television sets. The applications will support a combination of home networking and network server technologies, according to a joint statement.

Collaboration has already begun. Sony and Sun are further expanding their ongoing efforts to bridge the Sony-backed Home Audio-Video Interoperability home networking specification and Sun's Jini home network architectures.

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