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Thomson and Panasonic Sign Accord on DVD-RAM Playback and Content Protection
Aug 28, 2003
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Thomson and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., announced plans to strengthen their strategic relationship with the signing of an agreement regarding optical disc playback (DVD-RAM format) and content protection (SmartRight(TM)). Beginning in 2004, Thomson will add DVD-RAM format playback capability to its future DVD players and Panasonic will work with Thomson on content protection systems, including the SmartRight(TM) content protection system for digital home networks, according to the companies. Charles Dehelly, chief executive officer of Thomson, and Fumio Ohtsubo, president of Panasonic AVC Networks Company and senior managing director of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that details the new accord.

Thomson DVD-RAM compatible players will reportedly begin to reach European and North American markets early in 2004, with the first DVD-RAM-compatible players to be previewed at the IFA Fair in Berlin, Germany (Aug. 29 to Sept. 3). Thomson and Panasonic have agreed to cooperate so that Thomson can further support the DVD-RAM format. Additionally, Thomson said that it will work on developing optical components through its Storage and Digital Modules (SDM) activity to be available on the market as early as 2004.

Regarding content protection, Thomson and Panasonic will also work together on content protection, including SmartRight(TM), a smart card-based digital home network content protection system that is being proposed to various standardization bodies, such as the Digital Video Broadcasting group (DVB) in Europe.

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