MEBA Dubai, UAE | December 6, 2016– Aircraft operators can now stream the latest movies and hit TV shows in-flight.

Today at MEBAA 2016 Satcom Direct announced that SD and Lufthansa Technik are partnering to provide business jet operators with a wide selection of movies and TV shows. Initially available on aircraft equipped with nice® HD cabin systems, nicemedia content is delivered via an easy-to-use portable memory device that connects directly to the CMS. No internet connection is required onboard to view the content, and new movies and shows will be added on a monthly basis. SD will be showcasing the content to delegates during the event on Booth 477.

By mid-2017, the system will be available for all IFE/CMS platforms via the nicemedia Smartbox, powered by SD. The system will enable passengers to view content via the cabin monitors or stream to personal electronic devices including iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets.

“Satcom Direct’s DNA is similar to ours,” says Philip von Schroeter, Director of OEM Programs at Lufthansa Technik. “Both companies established a strong reputation in the business jet market based on superior technology and customer focus. Together we will make licensed premium content accessible and affordable to a large customer base.”

“Partnering with Lufthansa Technik allows us to provide quality inflight entertainment to passengers through a convenient, plug-and-play system,” said Ken Bantoft, SD Chief Technology Officer. “With this solution, passengers can enjoy the latest blockbusters and hit TV series.”

Content is available in English, German, Spanish and French across a variety of genres including Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family and Science Fiction. The content is DRM-secured and licensed.

The nicemedia system includes 50 movies and 30 TV shows, and is updated monthly with brand new content.

This issue starts the review of show vendors we talked to during AIX 16 but, as you know, there were over 500 IFE booths so we will do the best in the next few issues to cover those we had the opportunity to interview. Noted also, we have uploaded all our show still shots and you can find them here. Over the next few weeks we will try to outline all we talked to so hopefully you will get a better understanding of the some of the show participants and their products, whether you went to Hamburg or not. Further, we try to dig a little deeper into company products and services – no matter what size the company we talk to, because quite often new ideas spring from new talent – let’s get started.


Gogo

Hamburg really scored the visitors at their 17th annual AIX show and with well over 16,000 visitors and 180 airlines, it’s no wonder that Gogo brought their B737-500 test airplane to the Hamburg airport for demo rides on the 2Ku system. No we weren’t on it, but we got in contact with Gogo’s Steve Nolan and he had a few interesting comments that we wanted to share with our readers. Firstly, we note that the Gogo/Airbus installation partnering on Airbus Bizjets is a solution that encompasses the retrofit installation of 2Ku on new A350 aircraft. And while we are on this subject, Gogo announced that they have partnered with Airbus to install, on a retrofit basis, 2Ku on new Airbus A350 aircraft. Delta will be the first U.S. airline to launch domestic 2Ku service as its first narrow-body aircraft takes flight later this month. Currently, they have more than 850 aircraft commitments to 2Ku across 10 airlines. And why, Steve told IFExpress that connectivity is booming: “We recently conducted a global study on in-flight connectivity and entertainment and found that the demand for in-flight connectivity services continues to soar and drive passenger behavior. When it comes to Wi-Fi, wireless entertainment, Live TV, App messaging and mobile voice, all categories lead the international demand over the US/CanadaOur global study showed that when choosing a flight, more than half of global travelers factor Wi-Fi into their choice of airline. The U.S. market has become virtually saturated with in-flight Wi-Fi and wireless in-flight entertainment. But, the interest in these services is even greater for travelers in the rest of the world, where the proliferation of in-flight connectivity is still in its early stages. Outside the U.S. and Canada, 86 percent of travelers say they are interested in using in-flight connectivity vs. 75 percent within the U.S. and Canada. When it comes to wireless in-flight entertainment, 76 percent of global travelers show interest vs. 67 percent of U.S. and Canadian travelers. The percentage of passengers boarding a flight with at least one Wi-Fi enabled device also continues to climb. Today, 90 percent of global passengers brought at least one Wi-Fi enabled device on-board their last flight. When it comes to smartphones and tablets, Android is the operating system of choice among global travelers. There are more than twice as many Android powered smartphones as iPhones being carried onboard the world’s commercial aircraft but we serve iOs as well.”

We also asked Steve about their status of AeroMexico and he noted that If you don’t remember, Gogo has signed a definitive agreement with Aeromexico, Mexico’s global airline, to provide in-flight Internet and wireless in-flight entertainment service on Embraer and Boeing 737 aircraft operated by Aeromexico. They are flying with their first aircraft (more installed) and they have been touting their service.  Aeromexico was the first airline to commit to 2Ku and Gogo expects to deliver peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps to the aircraft and more than 100 Mbps to the aircraft when next generation satellites become available. They note that their 2Ku antenna is two times more spectrally efficient than other antennas in the commercial aviation market, which makes it capable of providing more bandwidth at less cost. We think “Muy Pronto” says it all!

Lastly, we want to commend Gogo for their production and free distribution of their 100+ page book: “From the Ground Up: How the Internet of Things will Give Rise to Connected Aviation.” The book gathers insight from more than 30 of the foremost leaders in aviation and technology and is free here. Get one… It is a very good introductory aviation read on IoT.


Axinom

Next we move on to Axinom, the European Software folks who absolutely understand data needed to supply inflight entertainment (content management system), DRM, and content delivery. Before we get lost in their buzz word methodology, we will let Marketing Manager Sara Pepic tell their story. But before we do, you might want to download the overview of their ‘products’ in aviation. Noted Sara: “The products/services we provide to the In-flight entertainment (IFE) service providers are: Axinom Content Management System (CMS), Axinom Digital Rights Management (DRM), Axinom Content Delivery System (CDS). We concentrate 100% on software, no hardware. We do not resell hardware, we provide software running on proven-standards based commercial off the shelf hardware certified for the aviation industry.” She went on to describe their software service: “There are three areas where you can understand the need for the above mentioned products:

a. The digital rights management and players (Google Widevine, Apple Fairplay, Microsoft PlayReady) to be able to play Hollywood content (this is “premium content”) on personal devices and any digital platform basically.

b. The content management system that allows you to manage all kinds of content (movies, newspaper, magazines, crew and passenger information, flight information, shopping items, payments, health data, etc.).

c. The content delivery system you need for two purposes: to bring all kinds of digital content over different pipes (4G 3G, Satellite, USB, SD, WiFi,…) to and from the vessel, and you need it to manage this in a protected and secure way.”

“Therefore,” she continued, we recommend you watch the following video explanation. In this video, CEO Axinom Aerospace Ralph Wagner and Stefanie Schuster (Business Developer for Axinom Products) explain the entire workflow of Axinom Content Delivery System. How the content (e.g.news, magazines, live content, passenger data, aircraft and flight data, music, shop items, reporting data etc.) can be securely and robustly synchronized between on-ground and on-board storage. Some very important features of these products may be found on the following page under ‘Key Highlights’.

Assuming you have downloaded the three (3) product charts, but in case you haven’t there are two reasons why you should – 1. Because it is clearly the way to understand what software and services they sell, and what their software does…and where it does it. 2. Never have we seen the full universe of related software, hardware, and task management needed for content handling in one understandable chart (3 actually). Get them and see what we mean, if for no other reason, Axinom understands the content universe and you need a copy of it to understand how and where the content lives in an IFE system – Brilliant!

After the show, we were curious enough about Axinom to ask their CEO to answer a few questions and you can find his answers here.

Finally, here are a few links to videos that explain the whole story – study them and you will probably know more about content management software than your boss!

Please find the summary of their corporate profile here
More information and important details about Axinom products:

Axinom in the aerospace industry: 

Axinom | Kurgartenstr. 37 | 90762 Fuerth, Germany
phone: +49 911 80109-17
pepic@axinom.com | www.axinom.com

(Editor’s Note: We were really impressed with this company for at least 2 reasons. First, they were the first group that developed a cartoon layout of the IFE content world that we never understood, and secondly, they are very nice people and helped us with the story considerably – give them a call if your content is in need of help!)


VTS

VTS is an off-shoot of Inflight Services Inc. the company which pioneered and very first to install a movie entertainment system on board a commercial aircraft about 45 years ago. Inflight was for many years the main supplier entertainment systems to the airline industry. When Inflight ceased operations at the end of 1986, the core of its senior technical staff joined in forming Video Technology Services Inc., VTS to continue supplying the customer airlines with advanced video products and the highest levels of service. The company was bought out recently, we chatted with Web Barth, one of the new management and he said: “An airline with 180 VTS DVP units on 17 aircraft has ‘documented’ a $1 Million annual savings on videotape maintenance and that does not include the savings from the videotape logistics and replacement expense.” He went on: “When you have some airline repeat for 15+ years, you get to know a lot about maintaining older systems and airlines needs with regards to maintaining entertainment quality with affordable practical solutions.” VTS’ products, we learned,  include a full range of audio, video and communication equipment for system installation on any type of aircraft configuration including individual, overhead, and Audio/Video On Demand via seat integrated entertainment systems. The company stressed their ‘lowest industry price’ more than once and it seems that it is a feature they are quite proud of… noted Barth: “VTS understands how a broken seatback system provides a huge passenger service problem, especially on older long haul aircraft, but $4 – $6,000 per seat for a new seatback system ($2-$5 Million replacement) that investment in older aircraft can be daunting. The solution is the new VTS Seatback Retrofit and Upgrade System, which simply removes the old seatback monitor and very heavy video cables and junction boxes and then installing a new VTS Streaming Server and WAPs and VTS high definition seatback, touch screens, powered by the older system’s seat power, each with its own WiFi antenna and receiver. The benefits are: Immediate IFE System Improvement, cost, weight and fuel savings; Video resolution increases 400% and with new and larger screen 7″ vs 5.6″, with modern movie format 16 x 9”. The biggest benefits are savings; 1/3 of cost of conventional system replacement and very significant fuel saving by reducing 80% of the weight (500 pounds vs 2,500+pounds), which could pay for the new and better entertainment system in 2-4 years in fuel savings alone. We asked about installation and he told IFExpress: “Now, airlines can have an affordable, super light weight In-flight entertainment system that can be installed in hours and on any sized aircraft from commuters, regional jets to Wide-bodies of any age providing the first entertainment system or IFE replacement/supplement system. Further, they can have fleet wide IFE even in their smallest aircraft or cost effectively replace/supplement an obsolete system. The VTS Streaming system server and WAPs weigh about 20 pounds and install in a few hours. For some airlines out VTS Turnkey Entertainment Content Programs can be very attractive as VTS can also provision and frequently refresh entertainment content in various languages for airlines worldwide.”  It looks like airlines that want a low cost, lightweight system have another solution, VTS – check out their website or give Web a call.
VTS Video Technology Services, Inc., 8 Aerial Drive, Syosset, New York 90000
Telephone: +1 (516) 937-9700
Contact: WebBarth@VTS.Global.com


MORE NEWS:

  • Ben Fuller is now with fts-aero and is Director of Marketing, Americas.
  • Need a new, small earphone for travel? You might wait for the SONY Xperia. It could be the future of high tech earbuds!
  • Heard about WebRTC? You might find someone on your next flight using it…legally or illegally, we guess? WebRTC – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Want a bigger seat back screen on your plane? Please Let These Meganormous Screens Be the Future of Flying | WIRED

Trip Note: Lufthansa provided a great flight to Hamburg and here’s a great DLH B747 seat tip… try to get in row 29… same leg spacing as Economy Plus but at the regular economy price!

  • Wireless Entertainment Platform for Private and Business Jets

Alpharetta, Georgia | November 16, 2015– Flight Display Systems, a leader in In flight Entertainment and Cabin Management Systems is thrilled to announce the do CAPSULE™. The do CAPSULE is the core of the do EXPERIENCE™, a full spectrum of In-flight Entertainment options including DRM compliant movies, music, photos, business productivity, moving map, and more. Connected to a Wi-Fi router, the do CAPSULE streams content to VIP passengers in-flight. The do CAPSULE has PMA and is ready to ship in early December.

Because content is stored on the do CAPSULE (mounted within the aircraft and attached to a Wi-Fi router), an internet connection is not necessary, making this a robust, reliable, and cost-effective way to serve entertainment wirelessly. Content is stored on two 1TB removable solid-state drives. The first drive is included and can be loaded with personal content. An optional second drive can be added to accommodate a brand new content subscription service, with fully licensed content delivered to your door.

Users can stream to tablets, laptops, and smart phones – any device with iOS, Android, or Windows operating systems. As many as eight passengers can each enjoy discrete streaming content, including video, audio, images, and productivity files. In addition, the Worldwide Moving Map and video content can be played back to a bulkhead monitor.

The user experience is further optimized with the Media Organizer software. Using a Windows computer, the Media Organizer aggregates video and audio files from a user’s personal library. Media Organizer attaches meta data to video and music files before transferring the files to the 1TB removable solid-state drive. Passengers have the convenience of searching for content based on title, description, running time, ratings, and reviews.

The do CAPSULE also has the ability to interface with Smart Cabin, FDS’ Cabin Management System, enabling users to control cabin amenities, video, audio, and other features through the wireless interface for convenience and redundant operation.

Alpharetta, Georgia | November 16, 2015– Flight Display Systems, a leader in In-flight Entertainment and Cabin Management Systems, is thrilled to announce do 360™, a subscription-based entertainment solution for private air travel. do 360 is part of the do EXPERIENCE™, allowing VIP passengers to do it all in-flight. do 360 includes movies, television, music, ebooks, magazines, and games. All content is digital rights managed and provided in cooperation with major studios and content publishers. FDS’ goal is to provide a full spectrum of entertainment options to VIP passengers.

do 360 gives passengers an extensive selection of in-flight movies. Enjoy the latest Hollywood blockbusters, and classic titles, and independent films. Relationships with all major Hollywood studios and distributors ensure that our in-flight movie lineup is always DRM compliant, current, diverse, and interesting.

With thousands of programs and licensed content from hundreds of global distributors, do 360 will also provide passengers with a wide-ranging selection of TV shows in all genres from around the world.

No matter what their tastes, passengers can immerse themselves in the on-board audio experience. do 360 covers every style and genre of music from all over the world, including pop hits, classical, chill-out, easy listening, and jazz.

For those who prefer to read, do 360 allows passengers to enjoy digital publications wirelessly on their own portable devices.

Whether they are playing solo or challenging a friend, passengers love on-board games. do 360 includes games from some of the best-loved brands.

One of three tiers, do 360 is the highest, offering hundreds of movies, television shows, songs, ebooks, magazines, and games. do 180™ delivers movies, television shows, music, and magazines, while do 90™ provides movies, television shows, and music.

The content will arrive every other month on a solid-state drive, which inserts into the do CAPSULE™. Apple, Android, and Windows users will need a special application to view DRM content.

Additional details about the do 360 subscription-based content service will be highlighted during Flight Display Systems’ press conference at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas on November 16 at 11 a.m. in Room N115. FDS team members will be on hand in Booth C7824 to demonstrate.

Alpharetta, Georgia | November 16, 2015– Flight Display Systems, a leader in Cabin Management Systems, In flight Entertainment, and Military Special Mission video solutions, has redesigned the user interface of the Smart Cabin CMS control modules. The new interface is designed to give users a more streamlined experience. Updated graphics and intuitively organized icons on the main screen provide users with the ability to quickly control their cabin environment. The new CMS Controller Interface allows VIP passengers to adjust in-flight entertainment options, access and share productivity files, and control cabin amenities like temperature, lighting, shades, and more.

In addition to better functionality, the interface designs are now available in an array of schemes including blue, silver, charcoal, and gold, to integrate into existing cabin décor.

NBAA, Las Vegas | November 16, 2015– Lufthansa Technik AG announces a High Definition (HD) video system upgrade for the Challenger 300* aircraft. The update is designed specifically to integrate with the current nice® system and existing Ethernet backbone. The HD upgrade requires limited wiring and hardware changes and provides support of the latest consumer interfaces and HD digital video streaming on the nice® network.

The enhanced HD package will increase the current video source selection from one standard definition DVD to three High Definition sources (Blu-ray, USB, and HDMI) with an Audio and Video on Demand (AVoD) fourth source coming free-of-charge in Q1 2016 (field loadable software will enable the AVoD function).

The upgrade is certified by a Bombardier Business Aircraft Service Bulletin and can be installed at any one of Bombardier’s wholly owned seven Service Centre facilities: Singapore, Amsterdam, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Tucson and Wichita. To have the upgrade installed at one of Bombardier’s diamond-award winning facilities, contact a Bombardier Regional Manager from the Customer Service Centre network.

The update was designed for easy installation and minimal downtime. Wiring changes are kept to a minimum and consists of the addition of the HDMI, USB and Ethernet ports. All wiring is contained within the LH Wardrobe Closet and removal of the Wardrobe is not required to facilitate the installation.

Technical features of the Challenger 300* aircraft nice® HD upgrade includes:

-Two 20″ HD Smart Displays with internal decoding for noise-free high resolution picture;
-Media Center Unit includes Blu-ray Player and AVoD server hardware;
-USB media port for media playback on the forward and aft displays;
-HDMI interface for consumer device connection to the forward
display;
-Upgrade software compatible with industry standard audio and video formats (including, but not limited to, .mp4, .mov, .wmv);
-Software Update and advanced Color Graphical User Interface;
-AVoD server software (available Q1 2016) – allowing stored
content to be individually streamed and controlled on the network to the forward and aft displays.

Alpharetta, Georgia, November 16, 2015 — Flight Display Systems, a leader in In-flight Entertainment and Cabin Management Systems, is thrilled to announce do 360™, a subscription-based entertainment solution for private air travel. do 360 is part of the do EXPERIENCE™, allowing VIP passengers to do it all in-flight. do 360 includes movies, television, music, ebooks, magazines, and games. All content is digital rights managed and provided in cooperation with major studios and content publishers. FDS’ goal is to provide a full spectrum of entertainment options to VIP passengers.

do 360 gives passengers an extensive selection of in-flight movies. Enjoy the latest Hollywood blockbusters, and classic titles, and independent films. Relationships with all major Hollywood studios and distributors ensure that our in-flight movie lineup is always DRM compliant, current, diverse, and interesting.

With thousands of programs and licensed content from hundreds of global distributors, do 360 will also provide passengers with a wide-ranging selection of TV shows in all genres from around the world.

No matter what their tastes, passengers can immerse themselves in the on-board audio experience. do 360 covers every style and genre of music from all over the world, including pop hits, classical, chill-out, easy listening, and jazz.

For those who prefer to read, do 360 allows passengers to enjoy digital publications wirelessly on their own portable devices.

Whether they are playing solo or challenging a friend, passengers love on-board games. do 360 includes games from some of the best-loved brands.

One of three tiers, do 360 is the highest, offering hundreds of movies, television shows, songs, ebooks, magazines, and games. do 180™ delivers movies, television shows, music, and magazines, while do 90™ provides movies, television shows, and music.

The content will arrive every other month on a solid-state drive, which inserts into the do CAPSULE™. Apple, Android, and Windows users will need a special application to view DRM content.

Alpharetta, Georgia, November 16, 2015 — Flight Display Systems, a leader in Cabin Management Systems, In flight Entertainment, and Military Special Mission video solutions, has redesigned the user interface of the Smart Cabin CMS control modules. The new interface is designed to give users a more streamlined experience. Updated graphics and intuitively organized icons on the main screen provide users with the ability to quickly control their cabin environment. The new CMS Controller Interface allows VIP passengers to adjust in-flight entertainment options, access and share productivity files, and control cabin amenities like temperature, lighting, shades, and more.

In addition to better functionality, the interface designs are now available in an array of schemes including blue, silver, charcoal, and gold, to integrate into existing cabin décor.

The new user interface for the Smart Cabin CMS will be at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas from November 17-19, 2015 in Booth C7824.

  • The new EDGE SERIES 4K Displays for Private and Business Aircraft

Alpharetta, Georgia | November 16, 2015– Flight Display Systems, a leader in Cabin Management Systems, In flight Entertainment, and Military Special Mission solutions, announced today the launch of two new EDGE SERIES™ 4K Ultra-thin, Lightweight High-definition displays.

Measuring only two inches thin, the EDGE SERIES 4K displays provide brilliant image quality, while taking up less space on an aircraft. Designed to enhance image quality with increased color accuracy, contrast, and clarity, the new displays provide a 3840 x 2160 4K resolution to precisely reproduce over one billion colors.

The EDGE SERIES 4K displays are the result of years of research and development and have been engineered from the ground up to meet and exceed the most rigorous standards. FDS first introduced 4K displays for business and private aircraft in 2013.

Initially, FDS will be launching the EDGE SERIES 4K in screen sizes 27″ and a 32″. The displays offer flexible installation configurations from flush to proud. An optional front bezel attaches securely and seamlessly with magnets and can be custom finished upon request.

Montierchaume, France | September 8, 2015– Astronics PGA Avionics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO) and an innovator of in seat motion systems, lighting systems, In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity systems (IFEC) and Cabin Management Systems (CMS), announced today that a Boeing 747-8 VVIP aircraft was outfitted by a completion center in Switzerland with a comprehensive, customized IP IFEC/CMS solution.

With Astronics PGA IP system controlling the entire cabin, the aircraft includes the latest suite of IFEC technologies including full HD screens, touch screens, audio/visual sources and passenger control units. The CMS simplifies control of the cabin environment from lighting and temperature to door closures. Astronics PGA has also integrated the latest technologies for DRM (Digital Right Management) and games into this innovative solution to offer passengers a unique in-flight experience.

Astronics PGA Avionics is well known for its innovative engineering and manufacturing of in seat motion, lighting and in-flight entertainment systems for commercial, VVIP and business jet aircraft. In seat motion systems are specifically designed for first class and business class seating, and consist of linear or rotary actuators, a control module and a range of custom wiring harnesses, all of which satisfy the latest standards for B787 and A350 aircraft. Seat lighting systems are customized to accommodate various lighting scenarios for reading and ambiance, and designed to suit a broad array of décor. As a leading manufacturer for the corporate and VVIP aviation market, its full-HD audio/video in-flight entertainment and cabin management system solutions are flexible and convenient with a user-friendly interface that gives the user control over all in-cabin features from lighting to the hostess call function, door closure, satellite TV, security camera, moving-map systems, and power management systems.