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Thomson Enhances Gecko and Acappella Lines

Expands signal processing and media distribution product lines (January 26, 2005)

Continuing to broaden its portfolio of products to provide an easy, affordable transition to digital signal processing and distribution, Thomson announced a new, flexible architecture and HD support for its Grass Valley brand Gecko signal processing product line?and an expansion of its Grass Valley Acappella utility router line.

With one of the broadest ranges of multi-format routing switchers, modular products, and encoders and decoders, Thomson provides turnkey workflows for signal processing and media distribution in cable, direct-to-home, satellite, telecommunications, and terrestrial television operations. A key component of this lineup is the Grass Valley Gecko line, which features discrete signal-processing products to support any audio or video production and distribution requirement.

Extending the flexibility of the Gecko line further is a new Gecko Flex frame. Designed for small production settings, mobile environments, and professional audio video applications, it consolidates multiple audio and video modules into one frame. And users can configure each module with a unique back panel to tailor it to their environments or applications.

?With unlimited expandability, the Gecko Flex frame allows a wider range of users to save money and space by reducing the need for additional signal processing frames?and enables Thomson to expand its networking products in a wider range of signal-processing applications, said Marc Valentin, executive vice president, Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions.

New dMAX initiative targets digital workflows
In addition to the Gecko Flex frame, Thomson today also launched the Grass Valley dMAX (digital Media Asset Maximization) initiative to help media leaders worldwide capitalize on their investment in digital content creation.

Through the initiative, Thomson will offer a single-supplier integration partner for digital workflow success: one that can deliver software and middleware frameworks, critical applications, best-in-class products, and expert system integration and support services to create complete, optimized, end-to-end workflows.

Today, no company touches more points of todays digital production workflows?or has more experience integrating them?than Thomson. Through the dMAX initiative it expects workflow-based design and integration to be a high-growth component of its overall success.

Thomsons Grass Valley line of signal-management systems and facility monitoring, network management, and control software together with its compression and networking products, provides the foundations for a full range of broadcast, cable, contribution, direct-to-home, and terrestrial broadcasting applications.

Gecko Flex: cost-effective video, audio processing in a single frame
Gecko Flex is a 2 RU system that lets users combine digital and analog video and audio processing in a single frame. It supports all currently shipping Gecko modules as well as several cost-effective high-definition (HD) distribution amplifiers also announced today by Thomson.

To future proof customer investments, the Gecko Flex line will be able to support additional formats such as HD, DV, MPEG, and computer graphics using their native connector and transport styles including HD-capable BNC, D-Sub, RJ-45, Firewire, VGA, and DVI.

The first of these new formats to be supported includes HD with the announcement of a new range of five HD distribution amplifiers configured with a mix of reclocking, equalizing, and monitoring down-conversion features.

The Gecko Flex frame supports the Grass Valley Newton modular control system which provides fast, multi-knob, Ethernet-based access to Grass Valley modular products. It also supports SNMP-based remote monitoring and control, such as that found in the Grass Valley Net Central application, and a Web server for easy to use access to all module parameters via an easy to use Web browser.

Acappella router adds analog audio support
While the transition to digital is well under way, many facilities still utilize a mix of analog and digital signals. To that end, Thomson today announced the expansion of its Grass Valley line of Acappella multi-format utility routers to include analog audio and video. The Acappella line now includes more than six matrix sizes as standard offerings: 8x4, 8x8, 16x2, 16x4, 16x8 & 16x16 configurations. Optional internal redundant power supplies and local and remote, Ethernet-based control panels are also available.

Pricing and Availability
Pricing for the Gecko Flex frame and the HD DAs starts at 700; availability is schedule for the third quarter of 2005. Pricing for the Acappella router line starts at 1100. It is scheduled to be available in the third quarter of 2005.

About Thomson - Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides technology, systems and services 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 intends to become the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and Thomson brands.

For more information:

Thomson's Systems and Equipment division develops video and film technologies, products and services sold to all major Hollywood studios, all major television, satellite, and cable broadcasters under the Technicolor and Grass Valley brand-names for the delivery of analog and digital entertainment. The division also includes Thomson's Broadband Access Products Business, which develops technologies and products for broadband and telecommunication networks to deliver digital entertainment and data to consumers and businesses.

For information about Grass Valley products from Thomson please visit


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Related Keywords:Thomson, Gecko, Acappella, signal processing, media distribution, digital signal processing, Grass Valley, routing switchers, encoders, decoders, cable, direct-to-home, satellite, telecommunications, terrestrial television, Gecko Flex frame, Marc Valentin, audio processing, distribution amplifiers, HD, Newton, SNMP, Net Central, analog audio


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