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Thomsons Summer Successes in HD & Digital Cinematography

Company plays key roles in this summer?s high-profile events (September 23, 2004)

Capping a summer in which it played a key role in many high-profile high-definition (HD) and digital cinematography events, including the Euro 2004 Championship, the Olympics, and Collateral, latest thriller from DreamWorks, Thomson, the world leader in integrated solutions (technologies, equipment, and services) arrived at this years International Broadcast Convention (IBC2004) well-positioned to continue its success amid the accelerated worldwide HD transition.

The demand for HD equipment is rising rapidly among broadcasters as well as corporate, university, and other institutional media centers engaged in marketing, training, and presentations. Industry analysts expect content creators and distributors to spend nearly 2.8 billion over the next four years on professional equipment and services in what is considered to be the first wave of the global transition to HD. Worldwide sales of HD TV sets are growing at roughly 33 percent annually, with a total of 26 million sets expected to be sold in the United States and Europe by 2008. To capitalize on this trend, Thomson has introduced more than 35 new HD and multi-format products in the last two years.

Underscoring the growing momentum for the high definition format, Andrew J. Setos, the president of engineering at FOX Entertainment Group in the U.S. Setos, spoke about the FOX networks HD presentations this fall during an interview taped on the NFL set in the FOX Studios in Los Angeles, California. The interview was broadcast in HD for more than 100 journalists gathered at a Thomson press conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Setos emphasized that the network-level HD transition requires both a commitment to overall quality and a sustainable business model. He pointed to the decision by FOX to acquire, produce, and broadcast nearly half its U.S. sports and entertainment programming in 720p HD this year?and its rollout of a unique distribution model for its affiliated stations to make a smooth transition to HD programming?as proof of that both goals are achievable.

?When it comes to HD, high production values and affordability are absolutely critical, not only for customers in our broadcast markets but in adjacent markets as well, said Marc Valentin, President of Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions. ?Thomson regards the transition to HD as a significant revenue opportunity and we are focused on making HD equipment accessible for all customers, regardless of size or capital budget.

Producing the evenings HD presentation was the veteran U.K. mobile production company Visions. Visions was on site in Amsterdam with its HD1 truck, which features a full complement of Thomsons Grass Valley brand HD and multi-format broadcast equipment.

Summer of HD and Digital Cinematography Firsts for Thomson
This summer has seen a series of high-profile sports and entertainment events in which Thomson has played a key role, including those shot in HD and digital cinematography formats, as well as premier standard-definition (SD) productions.

In June, Thomson was selected by Swiss-based HBS (Host Broadcast Services) to provide the HDTV OB vans necessary for its broadcast coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. As part of this agreement, Thomson will outfit as many as seven mobile trucks with a large number of Grass Valley brand products to support the SD and HD broadcasts of the soccer matches produced by HBS, which was also the host broadcaster of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

In July, Grass Valley SD cameras covered the 2004 Tour de France from the ground, air, and the backs of motorcycles. France Television (France 2 and France 3), the exclusive broadcaster used more than 35 Grass Valley cameras to cover the event, while Euromedia/SFP (Société Française de Production) provided complete ground-to-air transmission of live images with three helicopters?each equipped with Grass Valley cameras?and two planes. Meanwhile, six Grass Valley cameras mounted on motorcycles to follow the riders through the grueling course. And six SD super slow-motion Grass Valley cameras were stationed at pre-selected destinations along the race course, including at the start and finish lines.

July also saw HD Grass Valley equipment play key roles in the coverage of the Euro 2004 championships in Portugal. The Belgian outside broadcast company Alfacam used 80 HD Grass Valley cameras, four HD switchers, and four HD vans in its production of the event.

In August, literally hundreds of Grass Valley cameras, switchers, editing systems, servers, routers, and modular helped bring the summer Olympic Games from Athens to billions of viewers worldwide in HD and SD. Leading broadcasters and mobile production companies using these products included CNBC in the United States; Alfacam; and Canadas largest systems integrator, Applied Electronics, which provided Grass Valley equipment to multiple Canadian and Scandinavian networks.

?These events illustrate not only the ongoing and dramatic rise in HD and multi-format production in Europe, as well as the United States, but how precisely targeted Grass Valley products are at meeting the needs for those creating the highest levels of production value when covering these kinds of live events, said Valentin.

Further burnishing Thomsons reputation for industry firsts is Collateral, the latest release from DreamWorks. Opening throughout Europe this month and a number-one box office performer in the United States earlier this summer, the film utilized a unique blend of 35MM film cameras from Panavision, Sonys CineAlta HD camera, and the 4:4:4 RGB output of the Grass Valley Viper FilmStream Camera System to support the creative vision of award-winning director/producer Michael Mann (Ali, The Insider, Last of the Mohicans). Shot almost entirely at night and on location in downtown Los Angeles, Collateral is the first major studio production and release to use this multi-media approach featuring the superior capabilities of the Viper camera.

About Thomson
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: S) is the leading provider of technology and service solutions for integrated entertainment and media companies. By capitalizing on and expanding its leadership positions at the intersection of entertainment, media and technology, Thomson provides end-to-end solutions to content creators, video network operators, manufacturers and retailers through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, THOMSON and RCA brands. For more information:

Thomson's Video Network Solutions 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, Digital Cinematography, DreamWorks, IBC2004, Andrew J. Setos, FOX Entertainment Group, Marc Valentin, Grass Valley, HBS, HDTV OB, Applied Electronics, Collateral, Panavision, Sony, CineAlta HD, Viper FilmStream Camera System,


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