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Thomson Unveils Largest Digital Cinema Test Center

Determine the projector and server configurations to be deployed during Technicolor Digital Cinema's commercial beta test (March 08, 2006)

Thomson (Euronext 18453) (NYSE: TMS) has opened the world's largest digital cinema research and equipment testing facility at the Technicolor campus in Burbank, Calif.

In preparation for Thomson's North American digital cinema deployment, the Technicolor Digital Cinema Test Center was established to evaluate the performance, reliability, and functionality of digital projectors, servers, and related hardware from major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The results of the comprehensive testing and analysis conducted in the facility will determine the projector and server configurations to be deployed during Technicolor Digital Cinema's commercial beta test, scheduled to begin in the first half of 2006 in 200-250 screens across North America.

During equipment evaluation and analysis, Technicolor Digital Cinema engineers examine each device's ability to efficiently handle such core digital cinema operations as subtitle display, simultaneous playout and movement, inter-server movement, automation, 2K and 4K interoperability, alternative content playback, remote management, 3-D capabilities, and on-screen advertising integration.(1) Furthermore, the company also tests each unit's ease of distribution and back-of-house systems integration, since projectors and servers are required by the DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) specification to work seamlessly with each other, and with different distribution and theatre management systems.

As previously announced by Thomson, Technicolor Digital Cinema, following the successful completion of the aforementioned beta test, plans an initial deployment of complete digital projection systems in up to 5,000 DCI-compliant screens over the next 3-4 years. It is the strategic intent of the company to introduce systems into at least 15,000 digitally-equipped screens in the United States and Canada over the next 10 years through the preliminary rollout and additional phases. The company recently reached an understanding with Century Theatres, Inc. which calls for the theatre chain to participate in the beta test, with the expectation that Century will then participate in the broader rollout.

In the fourth quarter of 2005, Thomson signed digital cinema equipment usage agreements with DreamWorks SKG, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros to advance its plans for the distribution of digital cinema content and systems throughout North America. Currently, Thomson is in late-stage negotiations with New Line Cinema and The Weinstein Company concerning similar deals, and it expects these studios to be part of the initial deployment. Thomson will also reveal its specific digital cinema plans for the United Kingdom and Western Europe in the coming months.

Currently, the Technicolor Digital Cinema Test Center is evaluating digital cinema equipment from the following manufacturers:
- Barco Digital Cinema (P).

- Christie Digital Systems, Inc. (P).

- Dolby Digital Cinema (S).

- Doremi Cinema (S).

- GDC Technology (S) [Not currently received, but interest expressed by GDC Technology].

- Kodak Digital Cinema (S).

- NEC Corporation (S) (P).

- QuVIS, Inc. (S).

- Sanyo (P).

- Sony Electronics, Inc. (P) (S) [Integrated projector with QuVis server].

- Sony Electronics, Inc. (P) (S) [Integrated projector with Sony server].

Digital Cinema Server; Digital Projector.

About Thomson -- Partner To the Media & Entertainment Industries

Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides services, systems & equipment 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:

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Related Keywords:Thomson, Digital Cinema Test Center

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