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HUGHES SELECTS THOMSON AND NEWS DATACOM TO PROVIDE DIRECTV (SM) RECEIVING SYSTEM

 HUGHES SELECTS THOMSON AND NEWS DATACOM
 TO PROVIDE DIRECTV (SM) RECEIVING SYSTEM
 Quality, Security and Flexibility Are Key Features
 LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Hughes Communications Inc. achieved a significant milestone toward developing the nation's first high-power direct-to-home satellite system by contracting with Thomson Consumer Electronics Inc. and News Datacom to provide the transmission system, encryption system and initial consumer receiving units for its DirecTv (sm) entertainment distribution system. The DirecTv consumer receiving units will be sold under Thomson's RCA brand name. The DirecTv system will be capable of providing more than 100 channels of entertainment programming to 18-inch antennas installed at consumers' homes across the United States beginning in 1994.
 Thomson Consumer Electronics, headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., will provide the vital digital compression technology, satellite receiving antennas and set-top decoder boxes for the DirecTv entertainment and information delivery system. Digital compression allows multiple video signals to be transmitted through a single satellite channel. Thomson is the fourth largest consumer electronics company in the world and largest manufacturer of television sets in the United States with its RCA, GE and ProScan brand names. In 1991, Thomson produced more than 26 million consumer electronic items and U.S. sales approximated $3 billion. For DirecTv, Thomson is committing over $50 million to produce the new system.
 The selection of Thomson two years prior to the launch of DirecTv ensures that the small receiving dishes and set-top terminals will be readily available to consumers throughout the United States by early 1994. The receiving units for DirecTv will be sold through a variety of distribution outlets, including retail consumer electronic stores and home satellite dish dealers. The retail price for the system is expected to be approximately $700.
 "The selection of Thomson and News Datacom achieves a major milestone in our DirecTv program," said Eddy W. Hartenstein, senior vice president for Hughes Communications. "Thomson provides the experience and heritage of the RCA brand, along with the ability to manufacture, market and deliver a quality product at a reasonable price to consumer outlets in time for the start of our service in early 1994. In addition, News Datacom's security system will provide programmers with unprecedented protection against signal theft."
 News Datacom, a London-based company, specializes in advanced data security and is one of the world's leading providers of conditional access systems. Access to programming through the DirecTv terminal will be controlled by News Datacom's innovative smart card-based security technology.
 News Datacom has previously joined forces with Thomson Consumer Electronics in the successful development and marketing of the VideoCrypt (tm) system for pay-TV scrambling and security. News Datacom successfully maintains its security system in over 2 million consumer units in 13 major pay-TV services around the world.
 The highly secure and replaceable nature of the smart cards allow for frequent opportunities to introduce new business features and protect against obsolescence through the incorporation of advancements in smart card technology. News Datacom will guarantee the effectiveness of its system-wide security for DirecTv through a proactive approach.
 The receiving equipment planned for the DirecTv system will provide consumers with unprecedented convenience and access to a wide variety of entertainment programming. Features of the system include:
 -- Digital compression ratio of four live video signals or eight
 movies per satellite transponder
 -- Easy-to-install 18-inch receive antennas
 -- High quality picture similar to S-VHS tape
 -- CD-quality audio with multichannel capacity
 -- Remote control/menu-driven selection of programs by category.
 -- Virtual theft-proof scrambling and security of the TV signals
 -- Compatibility with existing and advanced television formats
 including 16-by-9 widescreen formats and HDTV.
 Thomson Consumer Electronics, presently a unit of Thomson S.A. of France, maintains major manufacturing facilities in four states. Engineering, product development and sales and marketing activities are headquartered in Indianapolis. The Thomson corporate lineage includes RCA's consumer electronics business which pioneered television service, including the introduction of color television to the United States. Thomson, S.A., acquired RCA Consumer Electronics in 1987.
 News Datacom is a subsidiary of The News Corporation Limited, the multinational media and communications company headed by K. Rupert Murdoch. Under the technical supervision of Professor Adi Shamir, News Datacom applies the results of the latest academic research in cryptography to produce state-of-the art solutions to a wide variety of data security problems.
 DirecTv, a separate business unit of Hughes Communications, will operate the United States' first high-power direct-to-home entertainment system. The first DirecTv satellite, carrying 16 120-watt transponders, is scheduled for launch on an Ariane rocket in December 1993. In June 1991, Hughes announced the sale of five DBS transponders on the first DirecTv satellite to United States Satellite Broadcasting Inc., a subsidiary of Hubbard Broadcasting Inc. of Minneapolis.
 Hughes Communications Inc., a subsidiary of Hughes Aircraft Co. and a unit of GM Hughes Electronics (NYSE: GMH), is the world's largest private commercial satellite owner and operator. Hughes Communications owns and operates five C-band Galaxy/Westar satellites and three SBS Ku- band satellites used for cable and broadcast television, audio and business data distribution. GM Hughes Electronics is traded under the GMH symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.
 -0- 2/3/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas M. Bracken of Hughes Communications, 310-607-4003/
 (GMH) CO: Hughes Communications Inc. ST: California IN: CPR TLS SU:


CH -- LA012 -- 6116 02/03/92 11:06 EST
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Date:Feb 3, 1992
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