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New HD, A/V Group Seeks Increased Membership

Las Vegas — A recruitment effort was in full swing teaming consumer electronics, IT, content providers and service providers during the CEA Industry Forum last week, which would create standards to “enhance the consumer HD experience.”

Called the HD AV Network Alliance, the organization had a hospitality suite at the Four Seasons Hotel that was closed to the press, but it enabled other Industry Forum attendees to discuss the effort.

Sources close to the group say that the Alliance has six members: Charter Communications, Mitsubishi, NBC, Samsung, Sun Microsystems and Warner Brothers. The group planned to make a formal announcement to provide other details about its membership and plans during the Forum, but sources said that was delayed as negotiations stalled about membership of a top content provider.

A press conference about the Alliance should be held by early December to outline its plans, according to sources.

According to a brochure given to Forum attendees the organization would like to provide “a simpler transition to networked A/V products for the product developer, the service provider and the consumer.”

In its backgrounder for potential Alliance members, it explained that for service providers the goal of the group is to “provide a means for them to maintain control of their content, billing and the consumer viewing experience.” The Alliance wants to provide “a low cost method for the [set-top box] and satellite receiver to interoperate with the CE peripherals consumers want to connect.”

For content owners, “security is guaranteed through the use of the already approved SC license,” and supposedly Alliance members are currently working on other security measures. CE and IT companies will be able to introduce new products and features “while simultaneously simplifying the user experience, rather than further complicating it.” The bottom line should be an easier, simpler and more enjoyable experience for consumers, the group said.

Here is the contact information for the HD AV Network Alliance: 5440 SW Westgate Drive, Suite 217, Portland, OR, 97221. The phone number is (503) 595-2859.