<Press Release>
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March 18, 1998
Eight Electronics Giants Create Open Specifications
for Networking Appliances


Grundig AG, Hitachi, Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Philips Electronics N.V. , Sharp Corporation, Sony Corporation, Thomson multimedia S.A., and Toshiba Corporation have created draft specifications that will enable digital AV appliances to be interconnected and interoperated in an integrated home network system. The companies intend to provide consumers with a digital environment that offers greater ease-of-use through appliances which offer new functions and increased compatibility. The companies will release the specifications to the public, and they have agreed to promote their broad acceptance as an open standard.

These specifications are intended to guarantee two-way interconnectivity between digital AV appliances produced by different makers and to ensure ease-of-use on the part of the consumer. Consumers will find appliances using these specifications particularly useful because they will be able to incorporate many new functions included from other, newer appliances purchased at a later date.

Incorporating these specifications into household AV appliances will not only give consumers greater selection when shopping for electronics, but it will also allow them to use the goods they purchase more efficiently. Moreover, not only will it be possible to enjoy various types of applications regardless of the maker of the individual appliances connected to the user's home network, but the hardware will also have the ability to incorporate many new applications as they are developed.

Furthermore, these eight companies will not stop at making these specifications available to the AV industry; they will make them openly available to the whole multimedia industry as well, including digital broadcast service providers.