NYNEX CONTACT: Media Relations,
Thomson Selected to Provide 3 Million Digital Set-Top Receivers
for TELE-TV's Wireless Cable Home Video Delivery System.
NEW YORK -- Thomson Consumer
Electronics' RCA brand further strengthened its leading position
in digital video product development with the announcement today
that the company has been selected as prime contractor for TELE-TV's
wireless cable home video delivery system. A three-year contract
that could exceed $1 billion is now being negotiated.
TELE-TV -- a joint venture of Bell Atlantic, NYNEX,
and Pacific Telesis -- was formed to create television program
services for customers in the three companies' service areas,
and to acquire and integrate the technology needed for the delivery
of those services. Programming is planned to be delivered via
a Multichannel Multipoint Distribution System (MMDS). Thomson
will work to develop a system infrastructure, and will provide
digital set-top boxes that will enable TELE-TV customers to receive
100 or more channels of digital television entertainment including
``The selection by TELE-TV reaffirms our position as the leading
provider of digital home entertainment products,'' said Thomson's
James E. Meyer, senior vice president, product management. ``It
also signals the speed at which consumer electronics and telco
technologies are converging, leading to a myriad of new digital
products that will further expand consumer entertainment choices
in the home.''
In a separate venture, over 1 million RCA-brand digital satellite
receiver boxes have been produced and distributed to dealers and
consumers, noted Meyer. ``We believe the digital set-top box is
a new growth area for our Americas technology center and manufacturing
facility, and our goal is to be a leading supplier to TELE-TV
for the next generation of set-tops that utilize fiber optic
systems to the home,'' he said.
Current plans call for TELE-TV customers to utilize an antenna,
the digital set-top box, and a specially designed interactive
remote control to access premium cable TV programming, movie channels,
sports, entertainment, and educational programming in addition
to pay-per-view movies and other special events. The system --
which will be developed and coordinated by Thomson at its Americas
Technology Center in Indianapolis -- is planned to provide the
capability for TV picture quality comparable to that of a laserdisc
player and sound equivalent to a CD player.
The system developed by Thomson will enable TELE-TV users to
quickly and easily access desired programming that will include
local broadcasts, basic and premium cable channels.
Meyer said 3 million set-top boxes -- labeled with both the
TELE-TV and RCA logos -- are planned to be produced at Thomson's
digital receiver manufacturing facility. Thomson plans to invest
$40- to $50 million in capital and manpower to complete the MMDS
project, including a $15 million expansion of the plant. The addition
closely follows a recently completed expansion at the facility
which increased production capacity to approximately 2 million
set-top receivers annually.
Programing from TELE-TV's distribution center is to be delivered
via microwave to up to 3 million homes and apartments, beginning
DiviCom and Nagra Vision will participate in developing the
broadcast infrastructure of the system. DiviCom will be the encoding
system provider, and Nagra Vision will provide the conditional
access security system.
Thomson Consumer Electronics, the largest television receiver
manufacturer in the United States, is the successor company to
the RCA and GE consumer electronics businesses. Over 10,000 employees
in six states are involved in manufacturing, technology and marketing
at the company's nine locations in the U.S. Television, video,
satellite, audio and communications products are sold under the
RCA, GE or ProScan brands from the Indianapolis headquarters.
Thomson Consumer Electronics is a subsidiary of THOMSON multimedia
whose parent is Thomson, S.A.
Sales revenues for Thomson Consumer Electronics and its Americas
business reached $4.2 billion in 1994, an increase of some $896
million over the previous year. The sharp rise was due principally
to the record-setting acceptance of the RCA Digital Satellite
System and strong growth in large screen television receivers
and projection models produced in the U.S.
NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides
a full range of services in the northeastern United States and
high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom,
Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland,
Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications,
cable television, directory publishing
and entertainment and information services.
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