In-flight Entertainment
Wednesday, June 02, 2010

New Blu-ray Disc and DVD Player for Aircraft

Flight Display Systems, a company who manufactures IFE products for the business jet market, has introduced a Blu-ray Player at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg Germany. It supposedly features Full HD 1080p, HDMI and Component Video, and Complete RS-485 Control.

Called the Next Generation Blu-ray and DVD player, part number FD932DVD-BLU Version CV, this product is available today for a list price of $5,254. This Blu-ray Disc player is packed with incredible new in-flight entertainment features, including HDMI video output up to 1080p, Component video up to 1080i, and Composite NTSC video. Multiple video outputs ensure that customers can select the best choice for their installation, including standard definition video for legacy monitors without HD support.

Engineers from Flight Display Systems have worked to add 500% more RS-485 commands to this new Blu-ray and DVD player, including all functions currently found on the infrared remote, such as Play, Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward, and Mute. These fully documented commands allow customers to integrate and control the Flight Display Systems Next Generation Blu-ray player using third-party Cabin Management Systems. The Next Generation Blu-ray and DVD player also has the ability to play Blu-ray and DVD movies from any region.

If Panasonic and Thales are the top-tier IFE players, LiveTV dominates the mid-tier players, then Flight Display Systems from Alpharetta Georgia USA is certainly among the top of the small IFE companies. We rank them in the midst of companies such as Custom Control Concepts, Rosen Aviation, and Aircraft Cabin Systems.


LiveTV and Iridium Partnership

The news of a partnership between LiveTV and Iridium caught our eye. From the press release,

LiveTV and Iridium Communications Inc. have entered into an agreement to develop an aviation antenna based on the Iridium OpenPort high-speed communications service... The solution provides up to 128 kbps and three voice channels in an always-on IP configuration.

"We expect to engage in Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) air trials by the fourth quarter 2010, with full commercial rollout early in 2011." said Mike Moeller, LiveTV's vice president of sales and marketing.

The planned low capital cost of the LiveTV Iridium OpenPort-based aviation equipment, and cost-effective airtime packages, will enable affordable ongoing, global connectivity to keep crew, operations staff and passengers in touch, according to Moeller, who also foresees a considerable market in the business jet sector.

LiveTV (a company in Florida which was purchased by Jet Blue several years ago) is certainly one of the most forward-thinking IFE manufacturers. If Panasonic and Thales occupy the top-tier of large aircraft IFE suppliers, then LiveTV leads the middle-tier. Stay tuned for details on this. Global coverage at a low cost... combined with their USA spectrum auction rights... LiveTV is certainly serious about internet access in-flight and seems to be staking a major portion of their R&D investments there. The company is notably absent from the VOD market.


IFE Services to offer Sony PSP for Airline Pax Entertainment

IFE Services from the UK has put out a press release announcing a partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) . IFE Services will begin to distribute the Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable) to airlines. As the release states,

Through this collaboration, IFE Services can work with airlines to add one of the world’s best-selling and most popular handheld entertainment systems to their in-flight entertainment. With on-board access to a PSP system and its broad gaming and entertainment offering, passengers can watch movies and television programmes and play the latest PSP games.

Custom airline branding can be incorporated on the PSP system, which is fully certified for use in-flight. The peripherals were specifically selected for use by airline passengers enabling the PSP system to be comfortably held or positioned on a seatback tray. The PSP system has a high-resolution, widescreen TFT display and a sleek, lightweight design. To provide an enhanced experience to passengers, the PSP systems will be equipped with an extended battery life offering from 5.5 to 11 hours while playing games. IFE Services provides comprehensive crew training and full logistical support and can tailor, load and refresh content to suit airline requirements.

As of 25 May 2010, IFE Services claims to have signed new supplier agreements with six airlines.


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