Thursday, December 15, 2005 - Alliance hopes to simplify HDTV networks

Yesterday, the High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance (that name just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?), also known as HANA, announced its formation and its plans to connect TVs, DVRs, set-top boxes, media centers, etc. via IEEE 1394, otherwise known as Firewire. Members of the group include JVC, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Sun Microsystems, Charter Communications and NBC Universal. (Notice that Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Toshiba and Apple aren't members.)

The establishment of yet another industry consortium isn't news--there seems to be at least one or two announced every week. What's interesting about this consortium is that Samsung appears to be leading it. The president of HANA is Heemin Kwon, who's the executive VP and general manager of Samsung's Digital Solution Center. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that Samsung has been the lead partner in an international standards consortium. The leadership role usually falls to a company such as Sony, Panasonic or Toshiba, but Samsung is now clearly in position to be taken just as seriously as the "incumbent" industry leaders.

It'll be very interesting to see if Samsung can convince any of the big Japanese "alliance builders" to join HANA, and what compromises (including sharing of power) they'll demand in order to gain their cooperation.


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