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Thomson, Matsushita Ink DVD Pact

Thomson and Matsushita Electric Industrial have signed an agreement on optical disc playback for DVD-RAM and content protection.

Beginning in 2004, Thomson will add DVD-RAM format playback capability to its future DVD players and Matsushita will work with Thomson on content protection systems, including the SmartRight content protection system for digital home networks.

Thomson DVD-RAM compatible players will begin to reach European and North American markets early next year with the first DVD-RAM-compatible players being previewed at the IFA Fair in Berlin this week.

In a joint prepared statement Thomson and Matsushita said both companies have agreed to cooperate so that Thomson can further support the DVD-RAM format. Additionally, Thomson will work on developing optical components through its Storage and Digital Modules (SDM) activity to be available onto the market as early as 2004.

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