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CEA Unveils Digital Home Network Standard

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Home Networking Committee (R7) said it has adopted a new standard for home networks — called CEA-2008 — The Digital Entertainment Network Initiative (DENi).

The group said the standard was devised to make it easier for consumers to share content over a home network and to establish consistent interoperability between consumer electronics devices.

The DENi collects existing standards and specifies how they work together, the committee said.

The standard will enable interoperability between different manufacturers’ audio, video and imaging devices by clarifying how more than 60 different standards interrelate, the committee said. The standard calls for Internet Protocols (IP), with Ethernet as the common network platform, Universal Plug ‘n Play as the middleware, and a core set of supported audio and video formats.

“The DENi standard represents a generational leap forward for home audio and video products,” said John Gildred, engineering VP for Pioneer Research Center USA and chairman of CEA’s R7.6 subcommittee that developed the standard. “With DENi, consumers will be able to choose compatible home networking products from different CE manufacturers and literally plug-and-play them together with no user setup required. Now that we have agreed on how to do audio/video networking, we can start building products which share content with other vendors’ products over the network.”

DENi supports a quality of service scheme for Ethernet that was developed in CEA’s R7.5 A/V Networking subcommittee to allow for better interoperability between devices that support bandwidth reservation and those that only support prioritization.