Seat-Centric RAVE Has Its Inaugural Flight On Sri Lankan Airlines

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Brea, CA | December 20, 2011 — The inaugural flight of Southern California-based solutions provider The IMS Company’s seat-centric inflight entertainment system RAVE™ took place on December 9 onboard a SriLankan Airlines A330 aircraft flying from Colombo to Male, according to IMS’ chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joe Renton. The event climaxes nearly four years of planning, development and production which began during the market downturn in 2008.

The airline will equip two A340 and five A330 aircraft, with options for more, and joins a long list of airlines opting for the IFE system.

RAVE capitalizes on airlines’ desire for increased reliability and decreased weight and complexity—circumstances exacerbated by that downturn, according to Renton. “Rising fuel costs and the need to eliminate excess weight continues to characterize IFE requirements today,” says Renton. “For a company like ours, reversing decades of a completely different system architecture at a time when airlines were reducing the amount of money spent on IFE was a calculated risk.”

“SriLankan is proud to be the Launch Customer of RAVE, giving priority to today’s industry needs by initiating the installation of a high quality audio video on demand system, which is also low-weight, on board its medium- long haul flights” said the airline’s Head of Engineering, Priyantha Rose.

SriLankan Airlines was the first of several airlines to choose the revolutionary systems architecture that stores content and playback functionality independently in each seatback display unit (SDU), thus eliminating the single-point-of-failure scenario that potentially compromises headend-centric systems, as well as eliminating distribution boxes and seat electronics boxes.

In this architecture, the headend contains the System Control Unit (SCU) which loads future content to the SDUs in the background while passengers watch current content that is played back from an SD card in each seat.

The result is an architecture that is inherently more reliable while significantly lighter. “RAVE accomplishes reliability through redundancy,” says Renton. “Every seat has its own store of content and playback functionality.

SriLankan’s award announcement was followed by airberlin, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Air Transat and Air Tahiti Nui. “We feel very encouraged by the tremendous market response and will have other award announcements to make very soon”, said Renton.

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