TELE-TV AND THOMSON SIGN DIGITAL WIRELESS SET-TOP BOX CONTRACT
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 1996
TELE-TV AND THOMSON SIGN DIGITAL WIRELESS SET-TOP BOX
TELE-TV And Thomson Officials Emphasize That
Was Made On System Development
While Contract Was Being Finalized
RESTON, VA -- TELE-TV Systems and Thomson Consumer Electronics
signed the contract for Thomson to design and manufacture the set-top
box that will be used by TELE-TV in the delivery of entertainment and
information services. TELE-TV, a partnership of Bell Atlantic, NYNEX,
and Pacific Telesis will begin to offer service in the fourth quarter
of this year. The Thomson contract is valued at more than $1 billion
through 1999 and guarantees the delivery of up to 3 million set-top
units. The initial announcement of the deal was made in September,
TELE-TV, based in New York, with offices in Los Angeles, San Ramon,
California and Reston, Virginia, was created by its partners to
spearhead their entry into the video entertainment market. TELE-TV
Systems is the unit that assembles and integrates the technology
needed to develop and deliver video services. TELE-TV Media is the
unit that acquires, creates, packages and markets programming for new
"We are excited about reaching this milestone on our road to
delivering a cost effective, technologically advanced digital
television service," said Ed Grebow, president of TELE-TV Systems.
"Signing this agreement brings us a step closer to our goal of
introducing a new interactive alternative to cable services for our
future customers. The Thomson deal clearly is a defining moment in the
telcos' entry into video. It should certainly lay to rest any doubts
about their commitment to this business," continued Mr. Grebow.
The set-top box technology is an integral part of TELE-TV's overall
MMDS (Multichannel Multipoint Distribution System) architecture. By
the end of the year, the partners plan to market services, which will
carry the TELE-TV brand and include approximately 120 channels
including local broadcast, basic and premium cable channels, and near
video-on-demand. MMDS or digital wireless television is a microwave
based system that uses line-of-sight transport technology which will
be offered by the telcos in advance of SDV (Switched Digital Video)
and concurrent with HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coax) interactive technology.
"Over the past five months," said Thomson's James E. Meyer,
president, product management, "our engineers have worked closely
TELE-TV to complete system and set-top box design reviews, and we have
delivered prototype set-top boxes that have met preliminary performance
requirements," continued Mr. Meyer.
TELE-TV, based in New York, is a partnership of subsidiaries of Bell
Atlantic (NYSE:BEL), NYNEX (NYSE:NYN) and Pacific Telesis (NYSE:PAC).
TELE-TV Systems is based in Reston, VA, with offices in San Ramon, CA.
TELE-TV Media is based in Los Angeles.
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 US. Television, video, satellite,
audio and communications products are sold under the RCA, GE, and
ProScan brands from the Indianapolis, IN headquarters.
MMDS has been selected by TELE-TV's partners as a technology which
will accelerate time-to-market. Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have invested
in CAI, Inc., a wireless cable operator based in Albany, NY. Pacific
Telesis acquired Cross Country Wireless, Wireless Holdings and
Videotron Bay Area, wireless cable systems which serve California.
Pacific Telesis is currently testing interactive video over HFC in San
Bell Atlantic plans to begin offering SDV in at least one of its
markets in 1997.
INTERNET USERS: TELE-TV news releases and other useful information
are available on Bell Atlantic's, NYNEX, Pacific Telesis, World Wide
Web sites at (http://www.ba.com), (http://www.nynex.com), or
for more information, contact:
- TELE-TV, Monie Begley Feurey
(212) 508-4066, Fax: (212) 508-4070
TELE-TV Systems, Frankie Russell
(703) 810-1796,Fax: (703) 810-1436
Thomson Consumer Electronics, James Harper
(317) 587-4347, Fax: (317) 587-6708