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Grass Valley Teams With Polatis To Deliver All-Inclusive Fiber Solution For HD Signal Distribution And Conversion

Acappella, Kameleon, and GeckoFlex Products Can Now Seamlessly Integrate Fiber into a Variety of Broadcast and Production Infrastructures

Paris/Amsterdam (IBC — Stands 11.550 / 11.551 / 7.531 / M214 / OEH201) September 7, 2006 — Addressing the need to handle and distribute high-definition video signals over fiber-optic infrastructures, Grass Valley™, a business within Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) has joined with Polatis, Inc., a provider of optical switching products for the communications, video, defense and instrumentation industries, to offer broadcasters a complete solution for the next generation of fiber-based broadcast networks. With this new technology partnership, Grass Valley is the first to provide an end-to-end fiber solution, which enables an all-optical routing option, under a centrally managed broadcast control system.

"Fiber will play a very important role in the future of broadcast systems, and our initial line of fiber-ready products give broadcasters the tools to immediately start managing and taking advantage of their fiber infrastructure", said Marc Valentin, president of the Grass Valley business within Thomson. "We recognize the importance of providing a way to effectively implement these systems today, and with Polatis' technology, are now allowing users to fully take advantage of what fiber has to offer as signal formats and applications change."

At IBC, Grass Valley will exhibit a full range of fiber-ready products, including the Acappella™ Fiber router, GeckoFlex™ modular system, Kameleon™ media processing system, and HD/SD media converters, which now all leverage Polatis' optical switching technology.

Grass Valley now offers a system for managing fiber infrastructure in a cost-effective and scalable way. This provides users with true "plug-and-play" capability for easy integration into existing networks.

Acappella-Fiber is an extension of Grass Valley's very popular mid-size, multi-format routing switcher line. Providing all-optical pass-through, Acapella-Fiber can be used to route any signal that can be converted into the optical domain, including SD, HD and analog video, multiplexed digital audio, and even RF signals. The router supports the Grass Valley Native Protocol for seamless integration with Encore and Jupiter router control systems. It is available in crosspoint sizes from 4x4 to 32x32, and has options for single mode and multimode fiber formats.

The Acappella-Fiber system is an all-optical router, provided in partnership with Polatis Inc. It provides connectivity between devices with optical I/O and integrates them into the facility using tie lines with embedded optical-to-electrical (O-E) converters. The optical router also provides inter-facility connectivity using optical fiber trunks. The fiber trunks are also treated as tie lines by the router control system, allowing operator selection of sources at the remote facility using standard router control panels — the operator simply selects the desired source by name and tie line management does the rest.

The new GeckoFlex line of modular products from Grass Valley features a suite of low-cost, fiber-ready HD/SD modules with "plug & play" SFP fiber-optic devices in a flexible 2 RU frame. The fiber devices can be added or changed at any time to provide the maximum flexibility for an optical network. Frame Syncs, Proc Amps, Up/Down Converters, Distribution Amplifiers, and an 8:1 Optical Multiplexer/Demultiplexer are just a few of the new GeckoFlex HD/SD fiber-ready modules.

The Kameleon line of HD/SD multi-function modules combines the functions of several modules onto one. The powerful Kameleon line provides complex processing and distribution of HD/SD signal. Many of the Kameleon modules are already fiber-ready.

HD/SD Media Converters
Customers of current Grass Valley HD/SD products that do not directly support fiber can easily adapt them to an optical network using the new fiber-optic media converters. It's as easy as connecting the Media Converter to the equipment BNC connector, applying power and the single-mode fiber, and the HD/SD signal is now optical.

About Polatis

Since inception in 2000, Polatis has set the benchmark in ultra-low loss optical switching. Its patented direct optical beam steering technology is powering the creation of highly reliable and compact photonic switching solutions. Polatis delivers a broad range of optical switching products with class-leading performance to customers in the communications, defense and instrumentation sectors. The company is located in Cambridge, UK on the country's foremost Science Park. Polatis is backed by 3i, Alta Berkeley, Prelude and EonTech.

To learn more please visit our website at: www.polatis.com

About Thomson; World leader in digital video technologies

Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides technology, systems and services to help its Media & Entertainment clients — content creators, content distributors and users of its technology — realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The Group intends to become the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and Thomson brands. For more information: www.thomson.net.

Thomson's Systems division develops video and film technologies, products and services sold to all major Hollywood studios, all major television, satellite, and cable broadcasters under the Grass Valley brand-name 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.grassvalley.com

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Abbie Clarke
Marketing Coordinator
Polatis Ltd
332 Cambridge Science Park
Cambridge, CB4 0BZ, UK
+44 (0)1223 394807