SOURCE: Thomson

February 08, 2006 06:54 ET

Thomson Addresses Growing Demand for High-Definition Solutions in Series of New Grass Valley Products

Boulogne Cedex -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 8, 2006 -- Paris/Nevada City, Calif., Feb. 8, 2006 - As high-definition (HD) production takes center stage at this year's Superbowl, Olympics, FIFA World Cup, and other high-profile sports, entertainment, and news events, Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) announced today the launch of several new Grass Valley products to expand its already-strong HD leadership.

The announcements, which span camera systems, control-room solutions, and digital encoders, directly support Thomson's Two-Year Plan, which includes an overall strategy to help its global media and entertainment customers acquire, create, edit and manipulate, aggregate, repurpose, and package their high-value content. The solutions are also part of Grass Valley's strategy to deliver leading, flexible HD and multi-format and IT- and IP-based solutions to its global customer base.

HD Leadership Crosses Production, Distribution Chains

The Grass Valley brand is equated with the highest levels of image quality and flexibility as broadcast and production leaders and customers in the adjacent ProAV and professional markets migrate their operations and services from standard-definition (SD) production to HD.

In cameras, the HD and multi-format ready Grass Valley LDK 6000 mk II WorldCam is the de facto standard for leading outside broadcast operators in Europe and the U.S. There are now well over 1,000 LDK 6000 HD cameras in service worldwide. The cameras were used extensively during this year's Super Bowl and will be used for virtually all of the HD broadcasts from the Winter Olympics in Torino.

Meanwhile, Grass Valley HD switchers, which serve as the hub of a control room, mixing video, audio, and graphics into a seamless broadcast, are the predominant platform for live, multi-camera events, with more than 270 installed worldwide. Grass Valley servers store more of the world's digital broadcast content than any other, including HD. And Grass Valley infrastructure products are at the core of high-profile HD broadcast and mobile production facilities.

Viewers are also seeing Grass Valley products at work in television commercials. The majority of the film-based commercials seen during this year's Super Bowl, for example, were prepared for broadcast by Grass Valley post-production equipment, including the Spirit 2K DataCine® and Specter FS Virtual DataCine systems.

And with the growth of and interest in IPTV (Internet-Protocol based television) and digital mobility applications, Grass Valley offers a wide variety of HD distribution technologies to help content owners make the most of all their markets.

New Products Expand HD Capabilities Further

The new high-definition products Grass Valley announced today include:

The HD Wireless Camera System for Grass Valley HD cameras, which provides viewers with up-close, pristine images, and is especially helpful when covering events such as skiing, golf, and Formula One racing. The new system will be available in time for this year's major sporting events.

An expanded Kayak HD switcher line and a new HD-upgradeable Kayak SD standard-definition switcher. The expanded Kayak HD line lets customers work with HD and SD materials for multi-format productions while the Kayak SD system lets them upgrade to HD when they're ready. New Kayak HD systems will be released over the next three months; the Kayak SD switcher will be available in May.

The Ignite™ HD integrated production system, the industry's first totally automated, digital, HD control-room solution, one that also leverages the new Kayak HD switchers. The system will be available for the major NAB 2006 exposition in April.

The first generation of a new breed of ViBE MPEG-4 HD Encoder. Supporting a cost-effective transition to HD, the encoder will enable broadcasters to deliver HD programming in the same space as today's SD services. It is currently available and will be used by major broadcasters in major sporting events this year, including the FIFA World Cup.

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About Thomson — Partner To the Media & Entertainment Industries

Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides services, systems and technology to help its Media & Entertainment clients - content creators, content distributors and users of its technology - realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The Group is the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA, and Thomson brands. For more information: http://www.thomson.net.

+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Press Relations          |                   |                    |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Martine Esquirou         |  +33 1 41 86 58 51|martine.esquirou@tho|
|                         |                   |mson.net            |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Julie Dardelet           |  +33 1 41 86 65 24|julie.dardelet@thoms|
|                         |                   |on.net              |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
| Marie-Vincente Pasdeloup|  +33 1 41 86 61 13|Marie-vincente.pasde|
|                         |                   |loup@thomson.net    |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Laura Barber-Miller      |   + 1 503 526 7904|laura.barber-miller@|
|                         |                   |thomson.net         |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Investor Relations       |                   |                    |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Séverine Camp            |  +33 1 41 86 57 23|severine.camp@thomso|
|                         |                   |n.net               |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Marie Boidot             |  +33 1 41 86 51 00|marie.boidot@thomson|
|                         |                   |.net                |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Laurent Sfaxi            |  +33 1 41 86 58 83|laurent.sfaxi@thomso|
|                         |                   |n.net               |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
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