DIRECTV Expands Use of Thomson Encoding & Network Technologies for Local-into-Local C

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PARIS & NEVADA CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 28, 2004-- Thomson (NYSE:TMS)(TMM.PA)(Euronext Paris:18453)



Thomson (NYSE:TMS)(Euronext Paris:18453), the world leader in integrated solutions (technologies, equipment and services) for the entertainment and media industries, today announced a contract from DIRECTV (NYSE:DTV) for its best-in-class transmission products. DIRECTV, the leading digital multi-channel television provider in the United States, is significantly expanding its use of Grass Valley(TM) brand network technologies from Thomson to help its customers watch their local terrestrial broadcast channels via satellite. The new contract expands a similar agreement announced last spring. DIRECTV currently offers local channels in 64 markets nationwide and plans to offer local channel service in a minimum of 130 markets by year end.

"Having proven the strength of our encoding and networking technologies in our work with DIRECTV over the last year, we are excited to expand our long-standing relationship with the company to help bring the highest-quality programming to its customers," said Marc Valentin, president of Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions. "This agreement is a great example of how Thomson is leveraging its technology portfolio and market strength to create continuing growth opportunities amid the transition to digital content creation, production, and distribution."

Last April, DIRECTV announced its initial rollout of Grass Valley brand encoders, multiplexers, and signal-management products -- including the ViBE MPEG-2 platform -- for local-into-local coverage. The comprehensive agreement announced today will expand the use of these products into additional new markets.

The ViBE line is a full-featured product family of compact-yet-powerful video encoders, decoders, multiplexers, and related modular products that help broadcasters, direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) and cable providers, and other program contributors manage their distribution channels with a cost-effective system of integrated and highly compatible products. Featuring advanced compression techniques and an advanced processing chipset developed by Thomson, ViBE encoders enable DIRECTV to get the most out of its available bandwidth and increase its on-screen image quality.

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

Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453)(NYSE: TMS) 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: www.thomson.net

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 www.thomsongrassvalley.com.

About DIRECTV, Inc.

DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital multichannel television service provider with more than 12.2 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of The DIRECTV Group Inc. (NYSE:DTV). The DIRECTV Group Inc., is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment, broadband satellite networks and services, and global video and data broadcasting. The DIRECTV Group Inc., is 34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is approximately 82 percent owned by News Corporation Ltd.

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