HD Begins at Home for Charter, Allies

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Paul Allen-controlled Charter Communications Inc. is joining Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, NBC Universal, Samsung Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. in forming the High Definition Audio Video Network Alliance (HANA).

The HANA companies aim to create standards-based design guidelines for secure high-definition audio and video networks that would include control protection.

The founders say they want in-home devices to be able to view, pause and record five or more high-definition channels simultaneously without compromising service quality, and to view, pause and record HD anywhere in the home through one set-top box. The group also wants to allow for the sharing of personal content from PCs to audiovisual devices, and to allow for the control of AV devices via a single remote.

HANA said it is in discussions with such standards bodies as the Consumer Electronics Association, CableLabs, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Advanced Television Systems Committee, the UWB Forum and the 1394 Trade Association.

HANA hopes to have compliant HDTVs, DVD players, digital video recorders, set-top boxes and home-theater products in the market by the second half of 2006.