Thomson has started to deliver next generation high-definition TV (HDTV) set-top boxes (STB) to DirecTV

April 21, 2006

2 Min Read

PARIS -- 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."

Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453)

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