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Standards Help to Ring in the New Year as the Countdown to 2011 Begins

With the New Year just a few days away, the countdown to 2011 has begun. Across the globe, revelers will ring in 2011 with festivities of all kinds, from intimate parties to grand-scale celebrations. Whether you choose to join the crowds or watch the festivities from the comfort of your home, standards will be a quiet but helpful guest at your New Year's celebrations.

The New Year's Eve bash in New York City is perhaps the most famous in the world, with an estimated one million people gathering in Times Square and more than one billion worldwide tuning in to watch the famous ball drop. This year, new technology being debuted will help usher in 2011 with up-to-the-second updates on all the holiday hoopla.

Revelers planning to attend the Times Square festivities will be able to take advantage of enhanced Wi-Fi access courtesy of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member AT&T. The telecom giant has launched a pilot program offering free wireless access through "hot zones" in Times Square and other nearby high-traffic areas. The extra Wi-Fi hot zones will come in handy for revelers using the Times Square Official New Year's Eve Ball App. Whether joining the party on the streets of Times Square or from a cozy couch at home, celebrants can use the free app to stream live video from the event, monitor hourly countdowns from around the globe, and send virtual kisses anywhere in the world. The Wi-FI technology that makes all of this possible is supported by the IEEE 802.11 family of standards, which are developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer IEEE.

Those who prefer to quietly ring in the New Year far from the crowds and cold may want to raise a toast to two American National Standards (ANS) that make television broadcasts possible. UL 1419, Standard for Safety for Professional Video and Audio Equipment, covers requirements for the professional video and audio equipment that captures all the action for your home screen. Developed by ANSI audited designator Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the standard addresses television cameras and video tape recorders, audio/video editing equipment, signal transmission equipment, and other related equipment. Once the festivities are filmed, ANSI/SCTE 07, Digital Transmission Standard For Cable Television, comes into play. The standard from ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) describes the framing structure, channel coding, and channel modulation for a digital multi-service television distribution system for cable channels.

At home or out on the town, millions of people will raise a glass to bid farewell to 2010 and welcome in the New Year. Be it champagne or sparkling apple juice, a bubbly toast is absolutely de rigueur. An international standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) can help to hold the bottle's bubbles until the stroke of midnight. ISO 4710, Cork -- Cylindrical stoppers for sparkling wines and gasified wines - Characteristics, specifies the characteristics of cylindrical cork stoppers for sparkling wines and gasified wines. The standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 87, Cork, which is responsible for standards covering raw materials and products manufactured from cork.

Just as important as the quality of the bubbles is the temperature of the wine itself. An ANS from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, helps chill wine to the right temperature to bring out its characteristics and bouquet. ANSI/AHAM HRF-1, Energy, Performance and Capacity of Household Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers and Freezers, covers product characteristics of household wine chillers, refrigerators, and freezers.

With fanfare, festivities, and good cheer, 2011 is off to a good start with standards near!


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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