The DHWG recognizes the importance that consumers place on being able to move both personal and purchased content throughout the home network. At this time, the industry is developing the Digital Rights Management (DRM)/Copy Protection (CP) technologies it will need to deliver protected purchased content anywhere within the digital home.

HomeToys Interview

Pat Griffis | Digital Home Working Group

HomeToys Interview
Pat Griffis,  Vice President
Digital Home Working Group

The DHWG recognizes the importance that consumers place on being able to move both personal and purchased content throughout the home network. At this time, the industry is developing the Digital Rights Management (DRM)/Copy Protection (CP) technologies it will need to deliver protected purchased content anywhere within the digital home.


1. What is the Digital Home Working Group?

Seventeen leading consumer electronics, computing industry and mobile device companies formed the Digital Home Working Group (DHWG) to develop and promote voluntary design guidelines aimed at an interoperable network of wired and wireless PC, CE and mobile devices in the home. This network will enable a seamless environment for sharing of digital content such as digital photos, music and videos. The group currently has nearly 100 member companies.

2. Is the DHWG an international group or is it focused on the North American marketplace?

The DHWG is an international group that includes members from Asia and Europe, as well as North America.

3. How is it different from other organizations like the Internet Home Alliance and UPnP Forum?

The UPnP Forum is an industry initiative aimed at developing connectivity standards between stand-alone devices and PCs from different vendors. UPnP is a key standard for enabling an interoperable network in the digital home. On the other hand, the Internet Home Alliance (IHA), a cross-industry network of leading companies advancing the home technology market, explores new uses and conducts field trials to validate consumer needs. Both organizations are complementary to the vision of the Digital Home Working Group, which is focused on developing and promoting voluntary guidelines based on key standards like UPnP and addressing use case scenarios as validated by organizations like IHA to help achieve media interoperability in the digitally connected home.

4. What will the DHWG deliver to the industry?

The Digital Home Working Group's digital home white paper outlines the potential of digital home interoperability and also describes design guideline concepts. The group's deliverables will include voluntary design guidelines based on an agreed set of use case scenarios, as well as a Certification and Logo Program to test compliance to DHWG guidelines to ensure interoperability between DHWG-compliant devices. The initial Design Guidelines will focus primarily on interoperability among networked CE devices, home PCs and mobile devices for media applications involving imaging, audio and video based on a core set of technologies and media formats.

5. When will these guidelines be available to the public?

Publication of the first generation guidelines, known as HNv1, is expected by Q2 of 2004. For 2004-2005, the design guidelines will focus on more complicated use case scenarios for interoperability between networked entertainment and media devices and begin to address issues related to digital rights management and copy protection. As new technology and standards become available the design guidelines may broaden to cover other uses such as home control, communications and more advanced entertainment services. (For details, see "design guidelines scope" in the Digital Home White Paper.)

6. Will there be more than one "standard" format for digital content and if so ... how will consumers be protected from more confusion in the marketplace?

The marketplace reality is that there are many media types - such as video, audio and image - which come in many formats. After much review and discussion, the DHWG selected formats based on marketplace importance and the availability of formats based on open, fair and interoperable industry standards and specifications. MPEG-2, Linear PCM and JPEG formats will be included in the Design Guidelines initially as mandatory formats, and a number of optional formats are also included for video, audio and image based on marketplace importance.

7. When will we see products based on the DHWG standards?

While we cannot speak for each company, the DHWG expects to see products embodying the technology defined in the DHWG guidelines as early as the second half of 2004.

8. Will the DHWG be involved or play a part in the issues of digital copyrights and reproduction issues (i.e. the Napster Issue)?

The DHWG recognizes the importance that consumers place on being able to move both personal and purchased content throughout the home network. At this time, the industry is developing the Digital Rights Management (DRM)/Copy Protection (CP) technologies it will need to deliver protected purchased content anywhere within the digital home. These technologies are evolving at a rapid pace - and there are already a variety of solutions entering the marketplace - with more expected. The first priority for DHWG is to achieve interoperability for personal content such as digital photos, etc. Once we are confident that we have achieved reasonable interoperability for that case, we plan to address the more complex problem of facilitating interoperable interchange of protected purchased content among different DRM/CP solutions in the home network environment. Recognizing the importance of solutions that balance the needs of the content community as well as the consumer, we will encourage the participation of content companies in that effort.


Pat serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Digital Home Working Group.

In addition to his DHWG activity, Pat is Director, Worldwide Media Standards for Windows Client Division at Microsoft. He is responsible for digital media standards across a variety of markets, geographies, and regulatory environments.

Pat is a member of the Board of Directors for the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and the ATSC Forum. He is U.S. Head of Delegation to the International Telecommunications Union Radio-communications sector (ITU-R) Study Group 6 Working Party-6M on Multimedia and Vice Chair of the joint ITU-R/T rapporteur's group on Interactive TV harmonization. He is also an invited member of the International Broadcast Conference (IBC) Council. He is past President of the IEEE Consumer Electronic Society and former board member of the Advanced Technology Test Center.

Pat holds a BSEE from Tufts University, an MSEE from Purdue University, and 8 U.S. patents.


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