AFFORDABLE SET-TOP DEVICES PROVIDE SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR CONSUMERS SEEKING TO EXPAND ENTERTAINMENT OPTIONS OF TVs AND PCs
LAS VEGAS, January 5, 2006 — Responding to growing consumer interest in flat-panel displays and PC entertainment, Thomson’s Accessories business is developing a line of affordable RCA, Acoustic Research and JENSEN brand convenience products that address the need for wireless connectivity and simple operation for the new directions in home entertainment.
Among a series of set-top devices on display at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show here this week are signal senders and converters that provide space-saving solutions for the transfer of component signals to flat-panel TVs and computers as well as for consumers seeking access to digital broadcast programming.
“We are confident that consumers will welcome these simple, user-friendly components that facilitate easy operation and connectivity of sophisticated home theater and PC products,” said Thomson’s Dan Collishaw, Chief Operating Officer, Thomson’s Audio/Video and Accessories businesses. “Digital technology has created new opportunities for the accessories business, and Thomson is committed to the development of innovative products that make it easier to enjoy digital broadcast programming.”
Wireless Connections from Components to TV
Consumer acceptance of flat-panel TVs that hang on a wall for unobtrusive viewing has ignited a demand for components that are equally subtle in blending with home decor. At the same time, preference is growing for wireless solutions that enable the “connected” homeowner to tuck components out of the way wherever possible.
Recognizing this trend, Thomson engineers developed a series of compact devices that transfer video and audio signals from components such as cable and satellite receivers, DVD players or audio systems to flat-panel TVs located in other rooms of the household. Not only does this accomplish the requirement for “hiding” components, the wireless transmitters minimize the cable clutter created by wired displays and components.
Digital wireless transmission technology assures sharp, crisp picture performance and dynamic, noise-free audio along with virtually non-existent signal interference. With a signal transmission range up to 300 feet, programming can be transmitted to virtually any room of the home.
Three new Acoustic Research transmitters are:
AR WVS400 (suggested retail price $599) with ATSC tuner for sending digital programming to high-definition displays. Scheduled availability is summer.
AR WVS300 (suggested retail price $499) with NTSC tuner for sending analog programming to television displays. Scheduled availability is summer.
AR WVS200 (suggested retail price $349) for sending content from audio/video components to television displays. Scheduled availability is spring.
Turn Your Laptop into a Digital TV
With the rapid proliferation of home PC use, demand is growing for using the computer monitor to watch over-the-air television programming during “break” periods from home office use. As a result, Thomson engineers have developed a compact format for sending ATSC and NTSC TV and FM radio signals from receiver to the laptop or desktop.
The JENSEN MPC4000 (suggested retail price $299) will be available in the spring. The tiny digital receiver is an innovative approach to linking the PC with digital and analog TV signals via an integrated antenna that connects the receiver to the PC through the USB port. Drivers and media software that insure quality program reception from UHF transmitted channels are included. The software also provides access to a full range of media content on the PC including audio files, videos and photos.
Simple Approach to Capturing Digital Programming
As digital television programming expands and the cutoff deadline for analog TV broadcasts approaches, Thomson plans to introduce affordable set-top solutions for consumers seeking access to digital broadcast programming. Two product approaches will enable owners of HDTV Monitors to display full HDTV images or allow consumers with standard definition TVs to obtain digital programming with DVD quality picture performance on their analog TVs.
The RCA MPC5000 (suggested retail price $399) will be available in the summer. The set-top device will support all 18 ATSC signal formats delivering full HDTV programming to HDTV Monitors. The compact set-top product connects directly to the HDTV Monitor through the set’s DVI or HDMI connector. Features include an electronic program guide, closed captioning and V-Chip support.
The RCA MC1000 (suggested retail price $199) will be available in late 2006. The set-top
product converts over-the-air digital TV signals into images that can be displayed on standard-definition analog TV sets. The set-top is easily connected to an analog TV through the set’s composite or S-video inputs. The device provides full support for parental control V-Chip settings and closed captioning for the hearing impaired.
Composite video or S-video and stereo audio outputs on both products enable simple hook-up to other inputs and audio components. Operation of the set-top receivers is intuitive via a three-device universal remote control plus convenient front-panel power on/off, channel up/down and volume up/down buttons. Set-up is accomplished with the press of a single button for automatic channel search. Additional convenience features of the devices are on-screen signal strength meter; channel banner with program title, start-stop time and program rating indicator, and sleep timer. On-screen menus are displayed in English, French and Spanish.
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, business, competitive market 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 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: www.thomson.net.
Telephone: (317) 587-4450
Golden Loder Associates
Telephone: (908) 889-8300 x105
Golden Loder Associates
Telephone: (908) 889-8300 x106