The integrated intelligent home took a step forward yesterday when Philips Consumer Electronics BV of the Netherlands and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co said they have reached agreement on joint development of the Domestic Digital Bus standard for consumer electronics systems. The bus, known as D2B, is being proposed as an industrywide standard designed to provide a framework for the communication of commmands and related data between all kinds of consumer electronics products, so taht users will be able to buy a television from one supplier, add a video recorder from another supplier and a Compact Disc Video player from a third, and be able to use them all in the same system – and ultimately control them all, and other domestic appliances, from a single console or remotely by telephone. Philips and Matsushita plan to turn out consumer electric products equipped with the D2B system, and hope such products, due to start appearing unveiled next year, will grab 30% to 40% of the world market within five years. D2B is compatible with other standards, such as the Home Bus System in Japan, Esprit Home System in Europe, and CE-Bus in the US. The two companies also plan a joint venture, D2B Systems Co Ltd, which is likely to be based here in the UK. Thomson Consumer Electronics of France and Sony Corp have also agreed to support and promote the standard. Philips already owns 35% of Matsushita Electronics Corp.
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