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Thomson accelerates its leadership in HD news market, with nearly 80% of HD news installations globally now based on its solutions


Nearly 12 Million Euros in Recent Grass Valley HD News Orders

Paris/Amsterdam (IBC – Stands 11.550 / 11.551 7.531 / M214 / OEH201) 07 September 2006 Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) today detailed how major news operations globally are now turning to its Grass Valley business for support in HD news, announcing nearly 12 million euros in recent major orders for its HD news products.

New orders for Grass Valley’s HD news solutions included installations in the USA, Europe, and the Middle East, such as in the USA for CBS Network owned & operated stations KCBS (Los Angeles) and KYW (Philadelphia), CBS affiliate station KLAS (Las Vegas), ABC affiliate KMGH (Denver); in the Middle East for Al-Jazeera International (Doha, Qatar and London); and, in Europe for VTM (Vlaamse Televisie Maatschappij, Brussels). This includes a significant commitment to the Grass Valley Aurora HD suite, which features the industry’s fastest quick-turn editor and which will be highlighted at Grass Valley’s main IBC pavilion, stand 11.551.

“The detail and immediacy of HD news content smacks you in the face. The combination of high-quality content that our broadcast customers produce and superior HD picture quality and enhanced sound are unbeatable in the ratings race,” said Marc Valentin, president of the Grass Valley business within Thomson. “HD news is a rapidly growing segment of overall HD market momentum globally. Grass Valley has a very high marketshare – approximately 80% – in this area. And, we will continue to lengthen our lead as we are the only company to offer both an automated production system, a full suite of nonlinear editing tools, and a news playout solution – all of which enable broadcasters to move to HD affordably and, simultaneously, speed up and automate their workflows.”

Competitive news content is one of the most significant drivers in both ratings and advertising revenue for broadcasters. The appearance of news content in HD compared to standard definition (SD) is markedly better, offering viewers more detail and a sense of more immediacy to what’s being covered. A US news outlet has noted that its newscast has consistently ranked number one in its market since it started the HD newscasts.

Producing HD news – and automating and speeding those workflows -- requires specific equipment, including camcorders and media recorders, cameras, quickturn and craft nonlinear editing systems, servers and storage systems, as well as integrated control and production systems – all of which Grass Valley offers in SD and HD versions.

Providing the industry’s first and most complete link between the control room and the newsroom, Grass Valley’s innovative, single-operator HD Ignite™ integrated production systems also have seen considerable growth. Orders have been received for these systems, which were introduced earlier this year. Recent Ignite HD orders include those from the ABC Stations Group (KABC, KGO in San Franciso, and WTVD in Chicago); COX (WSB in Atlanta, KTVU in San Francisco, WSOC in Charlotte, North Carolina, and WHIO in Dayton, Ohio), and Southern Broadcasting (WTXL in Tallahassee, Florida).

To date, the impact of HD has been most clearly seen in the value of consumers’ viewing experiences in watching sports and drama productions. In 2006, early adopters in the broadcast news segment are beginning their transition to HD to continue to increase viewership. “Grass Valley’s demonstrated leadership in HD news offerings is fueling strong growth in our overall news business in all major geographies, including the Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the US,” said Valentin.

Nearly a third of the worldwide market for SD digital news production already has standardized on Grass Valley software and platforms. Currently, hundreds of sites worldwide use Grass Valley technology, from major networks with huge systems for 24/7 news operations and hundreds of users to standalone editors in small- and mid-sized local and regional news operations.

Underscoring the pace of growth in the news segment overall, U.S.-based research firm Frost & Sullivan’s latest research reports that as this transition continues, the playout video server market will account for a third of the close-to-billion dollar projected market by 2012, growing at double-digit rates, while newsroom servers are expected to show an even more robust year-on-year growth of more than 20 percent and account for more than 60% of total revenues by 2012. Newsroom servers are expected to overtake playout servers in the 2007-2008 timeframe. “Our leadership position in both these server markets and the fact that we’re diversified gives us a better position than anyone in the industry,” said Valentin.

New Aurora Suite of HD Video Production & Distribution Tools Featured at IBC (Hall 11, Stand 551)
Announced earlier this year, the next-generation, Grass Valley Aurora Suite of HD video production and distribution tools are now available, and will be highlighted in the industry’s most complete HD and multi-format acquisition/production/distribution workflow at IBC (11.551). The demonstration will underline Grass Valley’s ability to deliver a complete solution, from acquisition using the innovative Infinity digital media camcorder through management using Aurora, with craft editing using the Edius Pro platform alongside the Aurora desktop editors designed specifically for the high pressure news environment.


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 — Leader in digital video technologies
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:


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