Thomson Promotes European HDTV

Thomson has plans to ensure that Euro 1080, the continent's first HDTV service, is a success.

Belgium-based mobile production company Alfacam, which is launching Euro 1080's HDTV service on Jan. 1, 2004, has ordered $5.9 million in broadcast equipment from Thomson, including Grass Valley production switchers, cameras, and modular products.

Thomson is also helping to finance promotional costs of Euro 1080's launch and says it will work with broadcasters and other media companies to ensure the development of an HDTV standard in Europe. Thomson also said it is actively working to introduce "HD-level" displays for European consumers by next year.

Euro 1080 will deliver four to five hours daily of HD programming throughout Europe, including sports, music, shows and cultural events. The service will include two channels, a main channel that distributes free programming to homes, sports bars, hotel chains and other small public venues, and an event channel that distributes pay per view events to theaters equipped with electronic projection and surround sound systems.