Cost-Effective Set-top Device Provides Telcos With New
Revenue Source Opportunities While Meeting Consumer Demands for More Content, Interactivity from TV and PC
Atlanta, June 3, 2002 - As the international telecommunications industry gathers here this week for the annual SuperComm 2002 trade show, Thomson (Euronext: 18453) (NYSE: TMS), a world leader in digital set-top television and data decoders, is focusing on a new-generation DSL Gateway set-top device that delivers multiple broadband entertainment services over standard telephone lines. Thomsonís RCA DSL1500 will be on display at three booth locations in the Georgia World Congress Center - iMagicTV Booth #11931, Minerva Networks Booth #21316 and the DSL Forum Showcase #30216 with Alcatel and iMagicTV.
A key component in Thomson and Alcatelís Entertainment Over DSL initiative, the RCA DSL1500 is a global platform designed to deliver advanced video, audio and other entertainment and information services to and throughout the home. When featured with an integrated ADSL modem, 10/100Base-T Ethernet interface, HPNA2.0 home networking technology and Internet Protocol (IP) switching functionality, the DSL1500 provides connectivity to external access networks such as ADSL while establishing a Local Area Network (LAN) in the home that distributes entertainment and data services to multiple TVs, PCs and other IP devices.
"The emergence of personal entertainment applications marks another major milestone for DSL - from the PC to the home entertainment center," said Thomsonís David Spomer, Vice President - Digital Decoder Product Management. "The DSL1500 will enable telephone service providers to deliver cost-effective broadcast video, interactive services and video-on-demand (VOD). For telcos, this provides an opportunity for a new source of revenues from individual customers. For consumers, it provides a response to their increasing demands for more interactivity and content choice from their TVs and PCs."
Firms such as iMagicTV (NASDAQ: IMTV) (TSE: IMT), Minerva Networks and Thirdspace have completed the integration of powerful user applications to the DSL1500 platform, working cooperatively with Thomson toward customer trials and deployments. These firms offer software platforms and applications that allow service providers to provide a full bundle of services that include voice, video and data over existing networks.
On the eve of SuperComm, Thomson and Minerva Networks announced that Ringgold Telephone, a local exchange service provider in Georgia, will deploy the RCA DSL1500 this summer, using Minervaís iTV Television Manager interactive software and headend hardware solution. Ringgold will offer their subscribers 130 channels of live television and music, VOD, pay-per-view (PPV), worldwide web access and caller-ID on their television screen in addition to existing web and telephone services.
Service capabilities of the DSL1500 include a virtually unlimited number of TV channels with digital-quality video and AC3 surround sound audio capability, VOD with fast-forward, rewind and pause capability, electronic program guide (EPG), and the convenience of accessing e-mail or the Internet from the home entertainment center. Dual USB ports (front and back) will enable interactivity with digital cameras, printers, mp3 players and other devices. Key applications now under development include mp3PRO audio for jukebox and streaming radio entertainment and digital video decryption.
Advantages for Service Providers
The RCA DSL1500 delivers interactive services over IP protocol and can be deployed in a variety of network access environments. The integrated modem option, router and "no new wires" home networking speeds the installation of a gateway to distribute services throughout the home and reduces the total cost of customer premise equipment for the service provider.
A real-time operating system and powerful RISC processor give the RCA DSL1500 responsive browsing and channel change performance plus the ability to add interactive applications to the service over time. Compelling applications such as gaming, short message/chat services, caller ID display on the TV screen, interactive television, video conferencing and targeted advertising promise to deliver even greater subscriber loyalty and revenues to service providers.
Entertainment Over DSL
Another key element in the application of the DSL1500 is the Thomson/Alcatel "Entertainment Over DSL" initiative which is dedicated to developing digital interactive video networks to carry content directly from studios to viewers, providing the major worldwide telephone network operators with powerful subscriber solutions. Nextream, a Thomson-managed joint venture with Alcatel, provides a complete solutions package from encoding to transport, offering a wide variety of network interfaces using IP and ATM technology as well as a choice of broadcast service and auxiliary multimedia interfaces to meet all potential transmission requirements of content providers.
"Utilizing the end-to-end Entertainment Over DSL solution developed by Thomson and Alcatel, service providers can take advantage of cost and bandwidth-effective video compression technologies, DSL infrastructure products and consumer devices that open the portal to a new era in broadband entertainment and services," said Spomer.
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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 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 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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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 Euronext: 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 has five principal activities: Digital Media Solutions, Displays and Components, Consumer Products, Patents and Licensing, and New Media Services. The Group distributes its products under the THOMSON, RCA and TECHNICOLOR brand names.
Marc Meyer - Tel: 3184.108.40.20603 -
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