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Seventeen of the world’s leading high-tech companies said Tuesday they have formed a working group to devise common standards that will make it easier for consumers to use digital entertainment on an assortment of electronic appliances.

The Digital Home Working Group will issue guidelines for compliant products within the next 12 months, they said in a statement.

The companies include Intel Corp., Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Fujitsu Ltd., Sharp Corp., Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., International Business Machines Corp., Gateway Inc. and Nokia Corp.

They said the standards will allow interoperability based on open industry standards. Firms incorporating the standards will be able to develop digital home products that can share content through wired or wireless networks.

Examples of such products include personal computers, TVs, set-top boxes, printers, stereos, mobile phones, personal digital assistant devices, DVD players and digital projectors.

This type of data exchange is currently only possible among products of the same company, because each manufacturer has adopted different transmission systems and software for their products.

The DHWG design guidelines will cover Internet Protocol and Wi-Fi for wireless networking, the companies said.

Compliant products will sport a logo indicating they meet the DHWG guidelines for interoperability.

Computer and consumer electronics company Fujitsu welcomed the establishment of the DHWG.

“We intend to rapidly introduce new products that will open up new avenues of enjoyment for users,” said Kuniaki Saito, who is in charge of desktop products in Fujitsu’s personal systems business group.

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