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Thomson ready to support growing cable industry demand for new HDTV products and services
 

Full Service Solution Designed for Cable Networks and Operators, Ranging From Content Development and Distribution to Content Access and Consumer Products

New Orleans, May 6, 2002 - Thomson (Euronext: 18453) (NYSE: TMS), announced today a strengthened offering for delivering digital HDTV capabilities to cable MSOs. The strategy integrates a broad scope of recently developed and acquired broadband products and services on display here this week at the National Cable Television Associationís (NCTA) Cable 2002 trade show.

The Thomson effort follows recent announcements by several cable companies to make high-definition programming available to subscribers in major markets across the U.S. HDTV provides video and audio that is more lifelike with deeper, richer colors and theatre-quality sound capability.

"As a global leader in entertainment products and services, Thomson is committed to developing open standards-based solutions for cable companies that will enable them to deliver an affordable and innovative HDTV entertainment experience to their subscriber base," said Carl Bruhn, General Manager - Cable Set-tops/Services, Broadband Access Products & Services. "Thomsonís Cable@Retail video initiative for 2002 is designed to cross-promote leading cable operatorsí HDTV services with RCA HDTV monitors at participating retailers. We believe this first step at retail is very synergistic for MSOs and retailers in 2002-03 to lay the foundation for future retail availability of CableLabsģ OpenCable standards-based set-tops and integrated digital TV receivers."

Further supplementing the cable initiative, Thomsonís HDTV Marketing & Sales organization is providing high-service retailers with a complete range of RCA and RCA Scenium 16x9 widescreen HDTV monitors equipped with the DVI-HDTV secure digital interface and HDTV sets equipped with both the DVI-HDTV and DTVLink (1394) secure digital interfaces. Thomson will also continue to support the traditional HDTV component video (YPrPb) interface on its HDTV monitors and sets.

"The time is right for Thomson to deliver a full-service solution for cable HDTV programming," said Enrique Rodriguez, Executive Vice President - Broadband Access Products & Services (BAPS) Worldwide. "Cable networks and cable operators are looking for seamless, more innovative open standards-based solutions to advance their commercial goals and enhance their competitive positions. We are eager to work with both the content owners and operators, as well as retailers, to craft new business relationships enabling an accelerated HDTV transition."

At Cable 2002, Thomson has assembled an impressive array of technologies from its various operating companies with the potential to offer a cost-effective, full-service HDTV solution to cable customers. The following Thomson businesses combined to create the companyís HDTV strategy, all on display at Booth #4030:

  • Through Technicolor, Thomson offers a differentiated set of services to theatrical, broadcast and cable programmers. For broadcast and cable programmers, Technicolor provides colorization, editing, digitization and mastering of original content. With digitization, the Technicolor offering includes the management of digital media assets for content customers.

  • From professional sports production facilities to major networks, Thomson Broadcast Solutions, which now includes the Grass Valley product line, is providing media leaders with a broad range of digital solutions -- including multiple high-definition products. Among these are cameras, such as the LDK 6000 mkII Standard; video servers, such as the PVS 2000 Profileģ XP Media Platform; and switchers, including the Thomson DD35 and the Grass Valleyô 110 HD production switcher today, and, later this year, an HD version of its award-winning Kalypso Video Production Center. Thomson Broadcast Solutions also offers HD support within its router, master control, and modular products.

  • Nextream, a Thomson managed joint venture with Alcatel, is a leader in video head-end equipment and integration services. Strongly committed to provide open and interoperable cable head-end solutions, Nextream offers a technology fully compliant with open standards (DVB/DAVIC or DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS). This allows for deployments with any kind of end-user devices, supporting any kind of middleware and conditional access. Relying on its high-performance encoders, in particular at low bit rates (down to 700 Kbits), Nextream designs open systems providing operators with the freedom to develop new services.

  • Thomsonís Broadband Access Products & Services team has developed a scalable next-generation platform that provides for a cost-effective OpenCable standards-based digital cable set-top. Options include DVI-HDTV and DTVLink (1394) interfaces. Key new services supported include HDTV, subscription video-on-demand (VOD) and personal video recording (PVR) through an external hard-disc drive component. Thomsonís advanced set-top can support multiple conditional access solutions as well as CableLabs OCAP1.0 and other proprietary "thinner" software solutions.

* * *

Certain statements in this press release, including any discussion of management expectations for future periods, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on managementís current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially form the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements due to changes in global economic and business conditions, consumer electronics markets and regulatory factors. More detailed information on the potential factors that could affect the financial results of Thomson multimedia is contained in Thomson multimediaís filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Thomson
With sales of 10.5 billion Euros (U.S. $ 9.3 billion) in 2001 and 73,000 employees in more than 30 countries, Thomson multimedia (Paris Euroclear: 18453) (NYSE: TMS), provides a wide range of video (and enabling) technologies, systems, finished products and services to consumers and professionals in the entertainment and media industries. To advance and enable the digital media transition, Thomson multimedia has five principal activities: Digital Media Solutions, Displays and Components, Consumer Products, Patents and Licensing, and New Media Services. The company distributes its products under the THOMSON, RCA and TECHNICOLOR brand names.


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