AOL, Sony Partner on Broadband Home Entertainment Center12 Nov, 2001 By: Hive News
AOL Time Warner Inc. and Sony Corp. are jointly developing a home networking environment to deliver online entertainment over high-speed Internet connections, according to an Associated Press report on Monday.
The partnership is aimed at developing easier ways of linking TVs, stereos, game consoles and other devices to broadband networks now primarily used by personal computers, the AP reported.
"Consumers want the Internet to play a greater role in their lives, and are looking forward to the day when broadband can deliver all of a family's home entertainment, information and communications needs over a wide variety of devices," the AP quoted Steve Case, AOL Time Warner's chairman.
Few details were disclosed during an announcement at the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas, but the agreements are not exclusive, and any network software and services will be developed with an open architecture, the AP said.
The collaboration pits the biggest names in consumer electronics and Internet access against Microsoft Corp., which this week is releasing its Internet-enabled Xbox video game console.
Under the joint program, the AP said, Sony and AOL will develop home gateway technologies that will allow the sharing of connections and content among multiple devices. The technology will employ all-important copyright management.
AOL and Sony also plan to design an Internet browser specifically for consumer electronic devices, according to the AP, which could also be made available to other electronics manufacturers.
The companies will also explore the possibility of AOL providing access to Sony's networked devices in the U.S., according to the report.