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Continental begins new TV and connectivity roll-out

23rd April 2009 - 17:49 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Continental Airlines has begun installing LiveTV inflight television and a passenger messaging and email capability in its Boeing 737NGs and 757-300s and aims to have more that 200 aircraft equipped before the end of next year. 

The combined service will comprise the LiveTV second-generation television offering, with up to 80 channels of DirecTV direct broadcast satellite (DBS) programming, plus free communications based on LiveTV’s 1MHz of air-to-ground spectrum. The same combination is also being implemented by Frontier Airlines and LiveTV parent company JetBlue.

Designated LTV3, the inflight television system is an upgraded version of the one currently fielded by JetBlue, Frontier, Westjet of Canada and Australia’s Virgin Blue. As well as offering more than double the amount of content compared with the original service, the new system delivers it to bigger in-seat screens – 8in, 16:9-aspect-ratio versus 6.8in/4:3.

Advantages for the airlines include a significant reduction in system volume and weight, the ability to add extra channels without putting in more hardware, and installations in two to three days compared with four to five days before. It is reported that LiveTV has struck deals under which it foots most of the installation bill and then keeps the pay-per-view revenues.

The free communications service, called Kiteline, is based on ATG frequencies bought at auction in 2006, along with the ground infrastructure of the now defunct Verizon. The current three customer airlines could also opt to add a new offering called Oasis, being developed to use LiveTV’s WiFi-based Wireless Aircraft Data Link (WADL) to deliver up-to-date Web content to aircraft servers during ground turnrounds.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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