APEX TC Round-Up… and Rumors!


News from Burbank and the APEX TC has been trickling in and we have a few inputs that are a result of the two-day work there. The meeting was hosted by Technicolor in its on-site theater, and the topics and speakers were great – here’s a sampling, and you can see most of the presentations posted online:
·         The keynote was presented by Vince Pizzica, Technicolor’s Head of Corporate Parternships and Ventures.   Among other things, he highlighted the increasing usage of “second screens” (using Internet while watching TV, etc.), especially among the younger generation.
·         A panel for the topic of “Content is Still King” focused on non-traditional audio and video content, such as GeoRadio, MondoWindow, Royal Geographical Society, as well as in-flight gambling.   Dan  Harris of FlightBet said that losses should be capped at about $350/flight and winnings capped $3500/flight… cha-ching!
·         Andy Beer of Inflight Productions gave a very insightful presentation that explained the possible tele-cine artifacts that can get into MPEG movies.
·         Eric Diehl of Technicolor gave an excellent overview of the types of security used to secure content: control, protect, trace, and scout.
·         Bryan Rusenko led the session on HD Video specs being added to APEX Standard 0403.   The TC adopted this spec (version 1.3) and it has now been forwarded to the Board of Directors for adoption consideration. (Editor’s Note: The Board did not approve the spec when we went to press as they wanted to give them sufficient time to review. It will be voted on during the next Board meeting in June (via teleconference) so we are told.)
·         Sam Carswelll of IMS gave an excellent presentation on IMS’ RAVE system and its installation status on 10 airlines.
·         “How do Satellite Systems Really Work” was presented by Dave Brunnenmeyer of Boeing Space and Defense, and Peter Lemme of Mobile Prime Time.
·         Stephan Shulte of LH Technik and Anthony Pilcher of Armstrong Aerospace gave a nice overview of the challenges with integrating and certifying wireless systems onboard.
·         “Payment Technologies” continued to present new ways to use smart cards, and Google Wallet and Dynamics Inc. showed the latest and greatest in electronic credit cards.
·         The meeting wrapped up with a large panel discussion on “Wireless IFE and Portables” led by Mary Kirby of APEX Media.
One conference-goer wrote IFExpress; “This was another great meeting for educational content, with equally great networking and a most enjoyable setting in the Technicolor theater.  The theater was ideal for the playing of movie trailers from the major studios, preceding each of the breaks – making it one of the most memorable TC meetings in recent memory.”

See what you missed!

(Editors Note: On another interesting and somewhat related note that came in from a reader read as follows: “Technicolor, the sponsor of the APEX TC Event is apparently pursuing handheld device patent violators aggressively, according to CNN?”)

Rumors, Rumors, Rumors!

This rumor is so juicy, we had to resurrect our old feature: News from Europe tells IFExpress that IMS has closed a deal for almost 100 wide-body IFE systems. You know how sources exaggerate, however, we think the buy is over 80 planes. Imagine, almost 160 wide body aircraft sales in the last 18 months, and if so, the old IFE paradigm is shifting. Here’s how: If the IMS RAVE product is a considerably less expensive than current inseat video systems (some say up to 50% cheaper) there are two interesting possibilities. One: If IMS has a banner year, those industry total-year- revenue-prognosticators will have to ratchet down their total $ estimates, even though the number of seat IFE sales stays roughly the same. Two: On the other hand, if per seat price for IMS RAVE IFE is lower, bringing new customers (regionals, etc.) into the fray, we might see a jacking-up of the yearly total revenue numbers. If you get hung up on Keneysian economics, this might break the model – lower price competitors and new market entrants could cause the supply and demand equilibrium point to go either way. Having said that, all we know for sure is that a new paradigm shift in IFE is very likely on the way if the IMS troops can deliver what they say. Stay Tuned! “

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