Big names work on standards for digital home

Seventeen high-tech and consumer electronics companies have banded together to develop standards that should make it easier for home users to share digital content between their PCs, televisions, stereos and other equipment in the home.

The Digital Home Working Group, a nonprofit organization including big names such as Microsoft Corp., Sony Corp., Royal Philips Electronics NV and Hewlett-Packard Co., hopes to deliver technical guidelines that will lead to the first interoperable equipment starting to appear within the year, the group said in a statement Tuesday.

The growing use of broadband at home, combined with widespread use of digital cameras, music players and other equipment, means consumers are collecting more and more digital content that they want to play back on devices spread around the home, the group said. However, the plethora of standards in use for storing content and connecting equipment can make setting up such a home complex and time-consuming.

The working group hopes to overcome this by creating a "platform of interoperability based on open industry standards" that eventually should make it easier for home users to zap video clips from their PC to their television set, for instance, or play music from an MP3 player through their home stereo. The group also listed mobile phones, printers, DVD players and digital projectors among the target devices.

The technology guidelines will make use of established standards such as Internet Protocol and Wi-Fi as well as emerging or subsequent versions of existing standards. Formats will have to be ratified by an international standards body and licensed under fair and reasonable terms, the group said.

The working group plans to come up with marketing and promotional programs to educate consumers, and products will likely be marked with a logo to show they meet the interoperability standards, the group said. More information is at

The other companies in the group are Fujitsu Ltd., Gateway Inc., IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Kenwood Corp., Lenovo (a brand of Legend Group Ltd.), NEC CustomTechnica Ltd., Nokia Corp., Panasonic (a brand of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp., STMicroelectronics NV and Thomson Multimedia SA.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?