A group of consumer electronics and semiconductor companies, including Samsung and Philips, have thrown their weight behind a scheme to develop standard hardware-independent application programming interfaces (APIs) for next-generation home entertainment devices.
Launched today, the Universal Home Application Programmer Interface (UHAPI) Forum aims to standardise APIs for analog and digital televisions, set-top boxes, DVD players and recorders, personal video recorders, home servers and other consumer audio/video devices.
According to the Forum, as convergence blurs the boundaries between traditional device categories, the amount of software in most consumer electronics products is growing quickly.
It argues that this creates an urgent need for a stable, hardware-independent API to bridge the middleware and application software from independent software vendors and consumer electronics vendors with the semiconductor solutions from integrated circuit manufacturers.
The Forum, which also has the backing of the Digital TV Industry Alliance of China, invites other organisations to contribute to the UHAPI specification process for their respective consumer audio/video products.
It is currently working on the UHAPI 1.0 specification for analogue and digital television designed to enable the creation of middleware and application software on top of semiconductor-based systems for analogue and digital televisions and set-top boxes.
The Forum plans to finalise, approve and publish this specification in January 2005.
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