Sony, Toshiba, Matsushita Tie on Data Broadcasting

TOKYO (07/04/2000) - Three of Japan's largest consumer electronics makers announced late Monday they will work together to develop a common system for storage of data received via digital broadcasting services.

Sony Corp., Toshiba Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. will work on the system to ensure that data received via a variety of services is stored in a common format so that other devices can access the data easily. The services, ranging from digital satellite and cable to data broadcasts via television services, are expected to be available shortly.

"The storage of digital content and other data that has been datacast is essential to these new services, and standardization for data-casting receivers is urgently needed," the three companies said in a statement.

Once the three decide on the format, they will propose it to the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB), a Japanese broadcasting industry trade group, as a standard.

In addition, the three partners with Hitachi Ltd. will form a working committee later in July that will develop an "e-platform" to help convergence of telecommunication and broadcasting technologies, the three said. Major Japanese broadcasters have also been invited to take part in the committee, they said, which will work on such issues as receiver specifications, copy protection systems, interface protocols and online billing systems.

Matsushita Electric Industrial, in Osaka, is online at http://www.mei.co.jp/.

Sony Corp., in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.sony.co.jp/ and Toshiba Corp., also in Tokyo, is online at http://www.toshiba.co.jp/.

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