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ARM, Freescale join HD Group

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ARM (distributed by Bluewater Systems ) and Freescale are among a group of companies that have announced the formation of HANA, the High Definition Audio Video Network Alliance, which aims to create a standards-based design guideline for secure high-definition AV networks.

The two are joined by fellow contributing member Pulse Link and founding members Charter Communications, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, NBC Universal, Samsung and Sun Microsystems.

HANA’s plan, the group said, is to bring together content providers, consumer electronics, service providers and IT with the sole purpose of addressing HD needs such as quality of service, ease of use and content protection.

“There’s a real need here to do security, digital rights management and things like that,” Bob Morris, North America home solutions manager of ARM, says. “What we are interested in doing is to help spread the [guideline] across our silicon partners, and the other is to work on devising a digital rights management scheme that is flexible, open and that can be adaptive based on growth over time.”

Specifically, HANA’s industry design guidelines will use existing technology and specifications that will help allow consumers to: view, pause and record five or more HD channels simultaneously; view, pause and record HD anywhere in the home with just one set top box; share personal content from PCs to AV devices while keeping protected content secure; control all AV devices and access content with just a single remote per room; and add any device to the home network with just one cable.

HANA is reportedly in discussions with standards bodies such as the Consumer Electronics Association, CableLabs, the Motion Picture Association of America, Advanced Television Systems Committee and the UWB Forum.

In the first half of 2006, HANA plans to work with AACS and other digital rights management technologies to gives consumers new flexibility in using content across the entire network, including managing copies across multiple devices such as portable video players.

HANA compliant products will include HDTVs, next generation DVD players, personal video recorders, set top cable boxes and home theatres.

The first commercial products are expected to be available in the second half of 2006.

Looking ahead, HANA said it will also address advanced video compression technologies, interactive content, enhanced security and wireless extensions.

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