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HomeGrid Forum Forms

4/30/2008 03:44:00 PM Eastern

Beaverton, Ore. — Eleven companies, mainly from the semiconductor industry, have joined forces to create a group that will certify the interoperability of home-network devices based on a planned unified standard for transporting high-definition video and other content over a home’s existing power lines, phone lines and coaxial cables.

The HomeGrid Forum will also promote the planned spec, called ITU-T G.hn, which is being developed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Group members, who are also participating in the standards setting process, said they hope the ITU will draw up a preliminary spec this year and create a final spec by September 2009.

“A single, unified technology for multimedia networks over power lines, coaxial cable and phone lines has the potential to enable a simple, easy-to-use means of networking devices together in the home,” said Parks Associates analyst Kurt Scherf. The planned ITU standard will be “an important step towards eliminating fragmentation in the industry and achieving the vision of a networked home,” he added.

EchoStar said it’s behind the effort. “One standard to transfer HD video over a home’s cable or power lines will make installations much easier for service providers,” said sales VP Michael Hawkey.

HomeGrid’s 11 founding members include Infineon, Intel, Panasonic and Texas Instruments, which will serve on the board. Aware, powerline-chipmaker DS2, Gigle Semiconductor and Pulse-Link will serve as promoting members; and Ikanos Communications, Sigma Designs and Westell will serve as contributing members.

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