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Pioneer’s Asano Proposes New Home Networking System

Pioneer Electronics president/CEO T. Asano provided a peek at the future, discussing a proposed home networking system, called Digital Network Entertainment (DNE), at a press briefing in New York yesterday.

DNE, which will be previewed during Fall Comdex and CES, is described by Asano as, “Our idea of a go anywhere, anytime network of information and entertainment using an advanced user interface.”

The major building blocks for DNE will be digital TV, plasma technology, set-top boxes, DVD audio and DVD-RW, all using an IEEE-1394 connection. Asano added that DNE should eventually have storage media that could include “hard disk drive, flash memory or optical disks.”

Asano said the proposed network, which may be available by 2002, might be centered on a “digital media organizer” featuring a video pad that would control A/V components, video games, MP3 devices and Internet access. He noted, “I think it would be easier if the network were controlled with wireless, which should be a very hot technology in the next couple of years.”

Asano noted that in the realm of home networking, a company’s expertise in a specific technology skews how a network is designed. “Telecommunications companies think it should be phone-based; PCs think database; white goods firms think appliances will be dominant; and security companies think security. We’re the same. We are an audio/video company so we think a network should be entertainment-based.”

However, the Pioneer CEO bluntly added, “We can’t develop everything on our own. We’re looking for some cooperation with a few manufacturers.”

(For more on Pioneer’s product plans and strategies, watch or read about it in the August 23 issue of TWICE.)