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CEA: Mother Of All Networks In Works

ARLINGTON, VA. -The Consumer Electronics Association said it expects to finalize its VHN (Versatile Home Network) standard by the end of the year or first-quarter 2002, potentially paving the way for VHN-product in 2002.

The standard is intended to centralize and integrate control over multiple incompatible home-network clusters in a home. The free, open standard uses the Internet Protocol to send A/V, HVAC, lighting and other subsystem control signals, as well as audio and high-definition video, over cables conforming to the IEEE 1394B standard, which could be finalized later this year.

Suppliers of home-network products incorporating such incompatible standards as LonWorks, HAVi, HomePNA, HomePlug, Ethernet and the like will be able to create affordable gateways that translate their standards into the IP standard, said CEA home network committee chairman Bill Rose.

VHN is ideal for consumers who buy networked products over time and build clusters of networked products that may not talk to each other, Rose said. The standard incorporates automatic recognition of added devices and automatic recognition of their capabilities.