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Home Audio Video Interoperability (HAVi) is a standard for connecting different home entertainment and communication devices. It allows these devices to communicate with, and be controlled from, a single device such as a TV.
HAVi was developed in the late 1990s by a group of eight electronics and computer manufacturers. It uses an IEEE 1394 connection known as FireWire.
Using HAVi, users are able to interconnect devices using a standard set of steps independent of the manufacturer or device. PCs can join an HAVi setup but are not essential. The HAVi standard is centered on fulfilling the needs of the digital, audio and video user.
In an HAVi setup, there may be two computers and a printer, a TV and set-top box in the living room, another TV in the master bedroom, and a DVD and USB home stereo with wireless speakers. This enables users to watch programs from the set-top box on the bedroom TV, print from both computers to the printer, play music from the stereo to wireless speakers in the bedroom and many other functions. An HAVi setup connects all the devices together, enabling the control of all devices using a single controller. The setup also eases the addition of new devices by automating the discovery and integration process.
Despite its promise, HAVi has not taken off as widely as expected. This is mainly because various manufacturers have been reluctant to work together or to relinquish control of their devices to competitors. There is also difficulty in terms of integration and standardization because of the sheer number of devices from different manufacturers.