FireWire Home Networks Get Hot
According to the announcement, license holders will be able to develop HAVi-compliant software and digital A/V appliances that can be networked using the IEEE 1394 (FireWire) digital interface. The HAVi-compliant software automatically identifies devices on the network, coordinates the functions of the various devices, and installs applications and user-interface software on each appliance. The license also covers the use of the HAVi logo as well as patents defined by the HAVi specification and deemed essential for the production of compliant hardware and/or software products.
HAVi-endowed appliances will provide "hot" plug-and-play connectivity along with high-speed Internet access, video-on-demand, and home A/V server applications. HAVi appliances will also be able to locate and control other HAVi devices, regardless of manufacturer or physical location. These devices will include set-top boxes, digital VCRs, audio equipment, etc. Controllable functions within the HAVi spec include tuners, displays, amplifiers, stream converters, clocks, modems, and Internet access.
The Java programming language has been adopted to assist developers in creating interactive applications and user interfaces. HAVi applications will be installed in electronics appliances by the manufacturer or downloaded from the Internet and other sources. Version 1.0 of the spec incorporates several new features, including security that protects against rogue applications and viruses, event-scheduling that supports functions such as programmed recording, and standard programming interfaces that are used to control device functions.