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Thomson wins two Emmy awards for Widescreen Television leadership and Digital Television expertise
 

Development of New Technologies Enhance Entertainment Options for Content Owners, Network Operators, and Consumers

Paris, October 3, 2002 - In recognition of its video leadership and expertise in widescreen digital television, Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453) (NYSE: TMS) has received two technical Emmy® awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). The company was honored Wednesday evening for its development and/or commercialization of the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and the development of the consumer digital set top box for satellite and cable broadcasting. Thomson received its awards at a ceremony in New York City hosted by NATAS.

"Widescreen program displays and consumer digital set-top box technologies are emblematic of the potential and power of digital and are bringing about fundamental changes in the U.S. television broadcast industry," said Enrique Rodriguez, executive vice president of the Broadcast Access Products & Systems business of Thomson. "We are deeply honored that the Academy has recognized Thomson's video technology leadership. Our company is committed to driving technology leadership and innovation along the entire video chain on behalf of our customers, including consumers who use our advanced RCA and Thomson products and broadcasters and video professionals who use our Thomson Grass Valley technologies every day."

Cost-effective 16:9 transition for broadcasters, video professionals, consumers

For more than a decade, Thomson has played an important role in enabling broadcasters and video professionals to cost-effectively produce 16:9 widescreen programming. It has also enabled consumers to enjoy the high-quality benefits of that programming without sacrificing the 4:3 programming that is still the norm in many markets, particularly those in the United States. Thomson received an Emmy Award for its achievements in the development and commercialization of the 16:9 aspect ratio.

At NAB in 1988, Thomson demonstrated how modified tube cameras could change the geometry of a standard SDI signal to produce a 16:9 image while leaving their basic signal intact. This approach was incredibly significant, as it enabled broadcasters and video professionals to create 16:9 images and handle them using their existing digital switchers, VTRs, or other standard signal-processing equipment.

Thomson created a similar roadmap to cost-effective 16:9 programming with its introduction of switchable CCD cameras in 1992. For a minor increase in cost, broadcasters and video professionals could buy a camera capable of easy switching between 4:3 and 16:9 acquisition, letting them tailor their programming to the format needs of their particular markets. Today, nearly 90 percent of all cameras are switchable between 4:3 and 16:9.

On the consumer side, Thomson has developed widescreen television sets with frame memory. This technology enables a viewer to select a preferred viewing aspect ratio-even if a transmission remains in 4:3. This feature also allows the full-screen display of feature films transmitted in letterbox format, which is compulsory in some countries. In 1993, Thomson was the first television manufacturer to introduce a widescreen television with the RCA CinemaScreen.

Pioneering Efforts in Consumer Digital Set-top Boxes for Cable, Satellite

Representing a major improvement over previous analog technologies, the development of the consumer digital set-top box has brought about fundamental changes in the U.S. broadcast industry - in the satellite area, it has provided for the first nationwide high-power digital television system and also the capability to deliver a level of audio and video quality previously only possible in a theatre. It also represents a major improvement in the viewing experience, delivering features such as the electronic program guide and other interactive services. Today, more than 35 million digital set-top boxes are in use in viewers' homes in the United States alone.

These platforms provide the building blocks necessary for cable, satellite, and terrestrial operators to continue to offer new services to their customers, including gaming, Internet access, and advanced video services. They also provide increased levels of security for content and services, such as pay-per-view and video-on-demand, where content protection is vital in order to ensure that high-value services continue to be made available to cable and satellite subscribers.

Thomson received an Emmy Award in this category for its pioneering efforts in the development of consumer digital set-top boxes for cable and satellite in the United States, and, as a manufacturer, for its having achieved critical mass and market acceptance for its digital set-top box products and systems. The company's RCA brand receiver was the first widespread consumer deployment of a technology platform that could receive digitally compressed signals using the MPEG standard. MPEG compression enabled satellites, with their limited bandwidth, to broadcast hundreds of TV channels to consumers. The RCA receiver was incredibly successful at its retail launch, selling one million units in only ten months, setting a record for the fastest growing consumer electronics product ever to be brought to market.

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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 Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from 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 multimedia's 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 (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 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, TECHNICOLOR ang Grass Valley brand names.


Press Relations

Laura Barber-Miller
Thomson Grass Valley
Telephone: (503) 526-7904
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