SOURCE: Thomson

April 21, 2006 05:21 ET

Thomson Delivers Next-Generation HDTV Receivers to US Satellite Programming Service DIRECTV

Boulogne Cedex -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 21, 2006 -- H20 receiver built on Thomson MPEG-4 advanced compression technology to support rollout of DIRECTV's expanded HD programming

Paris, France, April 21 2006 - Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) has started to deliver next generation high-definition TV (HDTV) set-top boxes (STB) to DIRECTV, the leading digital television service provider in the United States. The DIRECTV H20 receiver represents a key milestone in the definitive agreement signed between Thomson and DIRECTV in 2004 for the long-term development and supply of digital satellite set-top boxes. With DIRECTV commencing shipment this month to customers and into the US retail channel, this agreement underscores Thomson's commitment to developing advanced technology solutions for its media and entertainment client base.

Flourishing demand for HDTV

According to media and research company Screen Digest[1], by end 2005 there were 19m households with HDTV sets in the US, a figure which corresponds to 17% of total TV households. In 2010 the percentage of HD-ready households is expected to reach 59% in the US. To satisfy the demand that this growth brings, DIRECTV plans to offer more than 1,500 local broadcast channels and more than 150 national channels in HD by 2007 alone. The DIRECTV H20 STB features MPEG-4 advanced compression decoding functionality thus supporting DIRECTV's launch of high definition broadcast channels across the U.S.

"In the coming months DIRECTV will introduce the new Thomson HD receiver that will further our goal of continuing to enhance the viewing experience for our customers through the most technologically advanced set-top boxes." said Romulo Pontual, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, DIRECTV, Inc. "we understand how important HD programming is for our customers and which combinations of set-top box features, functionality and pricing will help us deliver new and compelling HD services to them."

"We are pleased to be able to provide this important market with cutting-edge products that reflect our technology innovations and understanding of the media and entertainment industry. The new products reinforce and expand our long-term technology and supply relationship with DIRECTV and underscore our objective to help our customers realize their business goals," said Koen Vandriel, Vice President for the Satellite, Terrestrial and Cable business of Thomson. "With the broad roll-out of HDTV services already underway and the upsurge in demand for a higher-quality viewing experience, 2006 looks set to be the year when these technologies finally make the global impact that they have been promising. Thomson's HD platforms are designed to help broadcasters and operators exploit the opportunities that these developments bring and we are experiencing unprecedented demand for related products and services."

The H20 underlines Thomson's commitment to growing its established Satellite, Terrestrial and Cable (STC) business unit through the deployment of new set-top box technologies, such as advanced compression techniques for HDTV. With high-definition services and products spanning the entire service chain from content creation through broadcast to the customer, Thomson is uniquely positioned to play a key role in the media industry's transition to HDTV and HD movies.

***

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 is contained in Thomson's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Thomson - Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries Thomson

(Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides technology, services and systems & equipment 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: www.thomson.net.

Thomson's Access Platforms and Gateways (AP&G) activity, part of the company's systems and equipment division, is a leading supplier of digital entertainment receivers to the world's major satellite and terrestrial broadcasters, cable operators and telecom service providers. It offers a full range of digital set-top boxes, phones, broadband modems and gateways with modular VoIP, IPTV and wireless capabilities. Through its Next Generation Networks business unit, Cirpack, it is also one of the leading suppliers of softswitch solutions to migrate telecom infrastructures to NGN (Next Generation Networks) and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) enabling massive deployments of broadband telephony and IP Centrex, for instance. Products are marketed under the RCA, THOMSON, SpeedTouch and CIRPACK brands. You can find more information on AP&G's products at www.thomson-broadband.com.

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|Thomson                  |                   |                    |
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|Press Relations          |                   |                    |
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|Martine Esquirou         |  +33 1 41 86 58 51|martine.esquirou@tho|
|                         |                   |mson.net            |
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|Julie Dardelet           |  +33 1 41 86 65 24|julie.dardelet@thoms|
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|Marine Boulot            |  +33 1 41 86 55 97|marine.boulot@thomso|
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|Access Platforms &       |                   |                    |
|Gateways                 |                   |                    |
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|Brenda Clery             |  +33 6 83 30 57 57|brenda.clery@thomson|
|                         |                   |.net                |
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|Claudine Cecille         |  +33 1 41 86 67 44|claudine.cecille@tho|
|                         |                   |mson.net            |
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|Investor Relations       |                   |                    |
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|Séverine Camp            |  +33 1 41 86 57 23|severine.camp@thomso|
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|Marie Boidot             |  +33 1 41 86 51 00|marie.boidot@thomson|
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|Laurent Sfaxi            |  +33 1 41 86 58 83|laurent.sfaxi@thomso|
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[1] 2006 Report entitled "High Definition Television: Global Uptake and Assessment To 2010

The full press release is available on http://www.companynewsgroup.com

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