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Thomson Signs CHILA Pact

Louisville, Colo. – Thomson, which continues to develop set-top box devices despite other divestment plans, became the latest consumer electronics manufacturer to sign a license agreement with CableLabs for its CableCARD-Host Interface License Agreement (CHILA) specifications and associated intellectual property, CableLabs announced.

The CHILA agreement will help Thomson get an early start on the development of next-generation Digital Cable Ready (DCR) set-top devices with CableCARD slots enabling two-way interactive capability.

CHILA defines the interface between a digital cable receiver or set-top box and the CableCARD module distributed by the cable operator, providing a standard platform for two-way interactive devices, CableLabs said.

Thomson joins Samsung, LG and Panasonic as CE manufacturers as CHILA signatories.

Those who have signed the license will eventually be able to sell bi-directional DCR devices at retail outlets across the country. Local cable operators will then sell or lease purchasers a removable CableCARD that will slip into a slot on the product to deliver premium digital cable channels and interactive features and services, such as video on demand.

This agreement follows on the heels of Thomson’s new residential cable product line-up launched last month comprising a triple play residential gateway, a hybrid cable-IP set-top box and VoIP wireless cable modem. The system will deliver voice, video, and data applications to their cable customers.