Thomson Reinforces High-End Consumer Products Strategy with New RCA Introductions That Emphasize High-Definition Quality, mp3 Portability
Entertainment Editors/Business Editors/High-Tech Writers
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 22, 2003
Range of Widescreen HDTV Sets and Monitors, Flat-Panel Displays,
Digital Set-Tops, Alert Guard Televisions, Recordable DVD, and
Hand-held mp3 Audio/Video Jukebox Players Take Center Stage
With sales of digital video entertainment growing sharply, Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453) (NYSE: TMS) today takes the wraps off a new line of digital RCA Scenium and RCA home entertainment products designed to enhance the home theatre experience and deliver digital solutions to consumers.
As part of its high-end segment repositioning strategy, and with the premium Scenium range leveraging its technology expertise and product quality, Thomson today is announcing a new RCA line of new HDTV and mp3 products that will soon reach retail stores. Some of these products will also be available in Europe under the THOMSON brand and will be launched at the IFA (Internationale Funkaustellung) tradeshow in August 2003. This new line will continue to support Thomson’s growth in the high-end market, with April year-to-date unit sales of RCA and RCA Scenium digital projection television products outpacing industry HDTV growth of 40%. Sales through April of digital audio products that playback mp3 files are running nearly 60% higher than last year during this period, as consumers continue to adopt the popular mp3 compressed audio format for listening to digital music.
“Thomson is committed to the development of advanced digital entertainment and information products that are easy to use and that enrich the lives of all segments of society,” said Mike O’Hara, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products Marketing & Sales. “With the RCA Scenium and RCA products unveiled today, consumers can apply the wonders of digital entertainment to bring dazzling widescreen HDTV performance to the living room, recreate favorite TV shows in the same lifelike quality of the original broadcast, or transfer video entertainment to a small-screen mp3 player for enjoyment on business or vacation trips.”
The upscale RCA Scenium high-definition television line expands to include two microdisplay models along with a new series of flat-panel widescreen monitors. Three different products let consumers choose when and where they watch their favorite shows – an HDTV hard-disc digital video recorder, a standard-definition +RW/+R DVD recorder, and the hand-held LYRA Audio/Video Jukebox player. Two set-top devices help viewers receive HDTV programming, and a new series of RCA high-performance color TVs double as emergency alert devices in times of natural disasters and civil emergencies.
Thomson’s 2003 entertainment product line includes seven integrated HDTVs, seven HDTV monitors, nine flat panel plasma and LCD displays, seven DVD players, three set-top devices, four RCA Alert Guard color TVs, and six personal mp3 products.
“A result of Thomson’s globalization of its television business, the new RCA high-definition televisions and HDTV monitors offer the consumer state-of-the-art innovation plus stunning product designs that appeal to consumers in all corners of the globe. Thomson’s design centers in the U.S. and Europe developed the Scenium aesthetic,” said O’Hara. “To build on past success, we are incorporating brilliant DLP microdisplay technology into our new HDTV range for extraordinary picture clarity in an even thinner design that requires less space in the home.”
DLP Means Slimmer, Brighter HDTV
Assuming the role of flagship model, the new RCA Scenium HDLP61W151 61-inch rear projection widescreen integrated HDTV Set offers the industry’s most advanced performance capabilities in a light-weight cabinet that measures only 19 inches deep, the same depth as most 19-inch table-top TVs. A 50-inch companion DLP model is the HDLP50W151 which boasts a cabinet depth of 16 inches and a weight of only 92 pounds. The two new models promise to set new standards for HDTV video performance, incorporating a state-of-the-art microdisplay light engine from Infocus(R) Corporation, a global leader in digital production technology. The Infocus light engine, designed to Thomson’s specifications, utilizes Texas Instruments’ second-generation Mustang/HD2 chip for improved brightness and contrast.
Flat is Where It’s At: Plasma and LCD
Two flat-panel plasma displays in 50- and 42-inch widescreen sizes and seven flat-panel LCD displays in screen sizes ranging from a large 30-inch widescreen model to a 12-inch personal TV/DVD are designed to match viewing choices of a wide array of consumers. All models can be wall-mounted or placed on a table-top. Both the 50-inch PHD50500 and 42-inch PHD42600 plasma models provide the perfect instrument for a big-screen home theatre experience, and the PHD42600 (1024 x1024) is an interlaced display optimized for the 1080i broadcast HDTV format.
The LCD displays include the widescreen 30-inch LCDX3022W and 27-inch LCDS2722W high-definition monitors for family viewing; two 20-inch 4 x 3 conventional screen models — the LCDS2022B and LCDS2021S — ideal for bedroom or den; the LCDX1521S 15-inch high-definition monitor which is applicable for both consumer and commercial use; and the 12-inch 12L500TD and 15-inch 15L500TD, both with integrated DVD players.
New Set-tops Offer Convenience, Multiple Viewing Options
Three digital set-tops – including a hard-drive HDTV recorder for pausing live HDTV programming and offering convenient fast-forward and rewind features – deliver a host of viewing options to consumers. The RCA DVR10 digital-to-digital HDTV recorder features a built-in 80GB hard disc drive that offers up to 40 hours of standard-definition digital programming or nine hours of high-definition recording. With the DVR10, favorite HDTV programs are available at the touch of a button. Two new HDTV set-top receivers, designed to enable viewers with HDTV Monitors to receive over-the-air HDTV signals, will be introduced this summer. The RCA ATSC21 HDTV and analog receiver connects to any television and receives both analog and digital terrestrial broadcast signals. The ATSC11 high-definition receiver receives ATSC terrestrial broadcasts and displays them on standard or digital TV monitors.
Recordable DVD Made Affordable
Combining the recording ability of a VCR and the digital quality of a DVD, the RCA DRC8000N +RW/+R recorder allows consumers to record their favorite TV programs on a disc for playback in almost any DVD player. The affordable (suggested retail price $599) DRC8000N is the first recordable DVD player to incorporate the user-friendly GUIDE Plus+ interactive TV Guide which includes one-touch recording capability. Among other advantages, the progressive-scan DRC8000N has multiple recording modes, USB input, and incorporates mp3 decoding and Digital PhotoView to enable playback of digital photo files from a CD-R/RW disc in a rotating slide show format that offers mp3 audio playback during the slide show. The DRC8000N is expected to attract a wider range of consumers to the recordable DVD product category.
mp3 at Home or on the Go
Whether you’re traveling or relaxing at home, two new mp3-capable products target consumers who want to customize their entertainment choices.
For travelers, the palm-sized 20GB RD2780 RCA LYRA Audio/Video Jukebox (suggested retail price $449) lets consumers enjoy digital audio music files or watch up to 80 hours of pre-recorded TV shows, feature films or home videos on the unit’s 3.5-inch LCD screen, about the size of a small picture frame. The RD2780 also acts as a computer storage device, compatible with multiple audio and video codecs and can be connected to most conventional TV sets. Additional hard-drive products within the LYRA line are the 1.5GB RCA LYRA RD2760 Micro Jukebox (suggested retail price $249) which holds 25 hours of music, or 500 songs, on a miniature one-inch hard-disc drive, and the redesigned 40GB RCA LYRA RD2840 mp3 Jukebox (suggested retail price $329) which holds up to 10,000 songs.
While at home, the consumer can enjoy the RCA Home Theatre Music Jukebox, an amplified DVD home theatre system with a 20GB hard drive that can store an entire music library of up to 4,000 songs in the popular mp3 format. Using a graphical on-screen display, users can easily create personalized playlists and organize song tracks by different categories such as artist or music genre. With Internet connectivity via broadband Ethernet or dial-up modem, consumers can also gain access to artist biographies and demographics.
Stay Alert, Even While You’re Sleeping
Recognizing the fact that many consumers are seldom tuned to local over-the-air stations when early warnings of natural disasters and other civil emergencies are broadcast, Thomson is introducing four RCA Alert Guard full-performance color TVs designed to provide rapid access to information about potential emergencies even if the TV is tuned to premium entertainment channels, playing a VHS tape, DVD disc, playing a video game, or even if the set is turned off. Powered by the U.S. government’s All-Hazard Warning Network and broadcast on a network of local transmitters, emergency warnings detected by RCA Alert Guard cover 30-plus natural disasters such as tornados, hurricanes, flash floods and others. Local and state emergency alerts include chemical spills, nuclear power plant emergencies, train derailments and refinery fires. The system also provides for high-level state or federal emergencies such as terrorist alerts, bio-warfare, and immediate life-threatening situations.
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.
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides a wide range of video (and enabling) technologies, systems, finished products and services to consumers and professionals in the entertainment and media industries. To advance and enable the digital media transition, Thomson has four principal divisions: Content and Networks, Consumer Products, Components, and Licensing,. The company distributes its products under the Technicolor, Grass Valley, THOMSON and RCA brand names. For more information: www.thomson.net
Thomson’s Consumer Products division is represented by a broad range of home entertainment products, marketed primarily under the RCA brand in the Americas and under the THOMSON brand in Europe. Thomson is a leader in high-definition digital television, mp3 digital audio, and DVD disc products. The company’s most advanced consumer products are sold under the RCA Scenium banner, emphasizing superior technology and elegant design. For more information: www.rca.com.
High-resolution and low-resolution photography of the latest RCA and RCA Scenium digital consumer products is available on the Press Room link of www.rca.com.
(Sicovam : 018453) (Isin : FR0000184533) (Reuters : TMM.PA) (Bloomberg : TMM FP)
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