More From The WAEA


This is Part 1 of a series on the WAEA interviews about products and services we saw and inquired about at the WAEA Conference – September, 2009 in Palm Springs CA.

Lumexis: Generation II of the Lumexis hardware is shown here. The server delivers hi-definition 720 p images (1024 x 600). Ideal for premium class, the hi-def signals can be sent to any size monitor. The second-generation server is capable of delivering video streams to 400 seats. However, and as an example, 5 servers would cover an A380, which would cover redundancy and back-up. All drives are now solid-state and the new generation delivers a “daisy chained” architecture. The second-generation system still uses single-mode fiber with gigabit optical transceivers – there is no copper anywhere.

Goodrich (TEAC): Designed as a plug-and-play replacement for Hi-8 and SVHS reproducers, the VE-801HDD player supports (without modification) RS232C, RS485, or TTL serial interfaces. This means the new VE-801HDD delivers composite analog, NTSC or PAL, and/or digital video with 720 p resolution. Still delivering two (2) languages, the unit supports high-speed data loading, 802.3 Ethernet, and delivers 50 GB of video content in MPEG-1, MPEG-2, or MPEG-4 content. The new TEAC player features a lot of solid-state memory and a front-slot loader for media content. We expect this to be a “work horse” product for the next generation of Hi-Def IFE.

IMS: You can refer to the IFE Hot Topic of 10/19/2009 for specific information but the RAVE system from IMS is really a semi-imbedded, multiple architecture, IFE system. Noting that the system will eventually be DO160-C, etc covered the seatback unit with its replaceable video module remains on the aircraft, unlike portable units. However, the IMS engineers designed the display to be removable with a special key and we are told the unit can be removed and replaced inflight. Content can be loaded in the background via the copper-based Ethernet and the column architecture is closed-looped to provide higher reliability in case of failure. A Wi-Fi option exists that can provide content update, but is also a configurable data network option for email and Internet. The Video Presentation is probably an idea whose time has come because it relies on passenger provided data content. This means you can look at iPod movies, SD video and images, not to mention associated audio as well. We like the card reader feature and we think airlines will too because it is a potential revenue stream if an airlines ops for self contained SD card movies – pay as you play.

Row 44: Working in conjunction with five partners, Row 44 rolled out their portal application dubbed Skytown Center. Destined for airline applications that may not require a fee, the Ku-Band portal gives airline passengers a way to connect to the aircraft provided intranet with advertising supported features. For more information check out our October 5, 2009 Hot Topic, found through the homepage.

WorldConnect: One of the best things about the WAEA Conference are the “little guys”…the people who bring interesting, new travel concepts and products to the IFE industry. WorldConnect AG brought product lines from Scross and Swiss Travel Products that featured innovative and clean designs. You are looking at an AC to USB (5 volts) converter. Sure, everybody makes one, but this one (when plugged in) glows a very cool red!

eDigital: eDigital brought their new 8” touch screen eVue to the show. The unit (still with a hard drive) features a 20+ hour battery with a very responsive and intuitive touch control. The next generation machine is easy to use and we expect eDigital to eventually do away with buttons all together. At the show eDigital announced a sale to Air Seychelles via Mezzo.

Inflight Peripherals: We really liked Inflight Peripherals’ iPod docking station. The unit has virtually one moving part, which consisted of a spring-loaded iPod connector cable (Beldin, and others). The units look to be a design slated for a business jet installation. The unit we saw was a low run, CNC milled block of aluminum that was anodized a beautiful blue. IFPL never fails to demonstrate products with simple and elegant designs. We would also note that if anyone needs a gold plated LCD seat arm assembly, this is your source!

Telefonix: You are looking at the future of energy drinks developed by none other than Telefonix’s Paul Burke. Paul is holding his latest invention (concoction) called EXE. Setting aside the software allegory, EXE is a B vitamin based energy drink. You’re probably asking yourself why we are writing about this in an IFE blog and here is your answer: A couple mornings we couldn’t have made it through the interview intensive days with out this stuff! Oh and we imagine it would help a bad case of jetlag too. It is not like coffee but rather it makes you feel good all day. We understand hospitals are experimenting with B vitamin drinks and we expect you will see this product in that type of application in no time. If you want some for yourself you will have to contact Paul since it is not in distribution at this time. In fact, we wrote this blog hoping Paul will send us a case of this stuff. We will keep you posted. Oh, and last but not least Telefonix was celebrating their 20th anniversary at the show – congratulations!

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