EchoStar Goes FireWire

The future for high definition digital video connection technology remains cloudy, so having a few choices is a plus. VividLogic, which specializes in creating software for IEEE 1394 (Firewire, iLink) enabled consumer electronics products, announced last week that it has struck a deal with EchoStar Communications to deploy VividLogic's "FireBus" software to provide digital connectivity and interoperability in a future, next generation HDTV-compatible set-top box (STB).

According to VividLogic, systems deployed with FireBus deliver "full compliance with the open standards developed and embraced by the consumer electronics industry." EchoStar says that it hopes the deal will help development of HDTV satellite TV receiver hardware that seamlessly connects and automatically interoperates with other devices such as digital camcorders, digital VCRs, digital televisions, and audio/video hard-drive devicess (AVHDD), on a 1394 network.

EchoStar's Tom Taylor explains that his company would like to provide HDTV content to as many television sets as possible, "which is why we plan to support both 1394 and DVI, two primary developing standards in the industry. By working with VividLogic, we were able to quickly integrate a mature software stack with a proven track record and open APIs into our STB platform."

VividLogic says that its FireBus software includes a comprehensive set of protocols that will provide the EchoStar STB with the necessary infrastructure to connect and transfer digital content to one or more networked devices (DTV, DVCR, AVHDD) while simultaneously restricting the content via the 5C content protection scheme.