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Live TV on Virgin Blue

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Yada Yada

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theaustralian.news.com.au said:
Switched-on Virgin Blue beams in 24 channels of live television

Steve Creedy, Aviation writer
August 25, 2006

It may have been a long time coming, but Virgin Blue is about to become only the third airline in the world to offer live television on its flights.

The low-cost carrier's first aircraft sporting the new technology arrived in Australia last weekend from Orlando, Florida, and is expected to go into commercial service within two weeks.

Virgin has teamed with Foxtel and Austar to have 24 channels of live television beamed to its aircraft by satellite. It is believed the programs will be uncensored, meaning people will be able to watch news critical of Virgin, and even reports of air crashes.

The new "live2air" service, to be officially launched in Melbourne on Monday, will see seat-back video screens installed in every seat. It will be the first of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.

Content will include SkyNews Australia, Fox News, CNN, sports channels, children's programming and entertainment or music programs.

Virgin chief executive Brett Godfrey said the prototype aircraft was going though trials to iron out any remaining bugs before entry into service.

This would be followed by an intensive "nose-to-tail" modification program in New Zealand that would see the system introduced throughout the fleet within 10 months.

The arrival of the first plane ends a substantial delay caused by the need to provide aircraft with a bigger receiver to pick up the Australian PAL television signals.


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After stepping off my SYD-MEL flight yesterday morning, I noticed a DJ plane parked at Gate 2 with a strange looking hump on the top near the tail. It was later confirmed that this was indeed the first plane with Live TV on its maiden run. This is a very cool development in IFE in Australia and puts Virgin Blue way ahead of its competition.
 

SeatBackForward

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No doubt, next to each screen will be the coin slot, $2 will get you 30mins of any channel you choose ;)

Know of any decent slot machine companies to invest in? Actually joking aside, this would seem more fitting a joke for Jetstar rather than Virgin.
 

Yada Yada

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SeatBackForward said:
No doubt, next to each screen will be the coin slot, $2 will get you 30mins of any channel you choose ;)

Know of any decent slot machine companies to invest in? Actually joking aside, this would seem more fitting a joke for Jetstar rather than Virgin.
It is definitely a pay-per-use service. Although I am happy with that. I'd rather pay to get a muli-channel high-quality service than endure re-runs of Everybody Loves Raymond or Two and Half Chimps on QF domestic. And I've never really cared for the Channel 9 News service either, although I will admit that Sharyn Ghidella is pretty cool. ;)
 

simongr

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This sounds very interesting - sadly something QF probbaly wont do internationally given that AVOD is stil not everywhere - I dont see them implementing something else on top of that - mind you I would prefer wireless internet on board - that is somethng I would pay for personally if my company refused to pay.
 

NM

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bboy said:
is it a pay-per-use service? it's free on jetblue..
$6 per credit card swipe is what I have read. Not sure if that is per flight or per hour, but expect the former.
 

Standby

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Maybe worthwhile on on a PER/DRW trip but consider this
This is live TV..have you some of the drivel avail..before we start having a go
at re-run of mr Bean on QF just wait til you've swipped and yr offered "the Nanny" or hogans heros for yr 6 bucks.
Also on a short flight you'll get 30mins on a SYDMEL run by the time they switch it on (assume the same not avail til cruising and turned off on decent)
This isnt AVOD so you'll end up getting bits of programs and movies.
I'll keep using my non DELL laptop with DVD and video IPOD thanks
Its a big investment and I'm assuming 180 seats fitted with the weight of all the cabling/systems hardware etc could actually be a neg impact on costs
due increased fuel burm....every little bit of extra weight counts when fuel is $70 bucks a barrel and youre not hedged.
A cynic says they will go slow on the role out to guage takeup before committing to full deployment
 

kelix

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yea.. not to mention... its not digital (DVB-T) so the fleet will need a new reciever by 2010. lol... aaand impretty sure DVBTs signals dont reach out too far beyond the cities its deployed in....
 

JohnK

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Yada Yada said:
It is definitely a pay-per-use service. Although I am happy with that.
I pay for Optus/Foxtel at home and it is clearly a waste of time. Why pay for it on a flight?

What did we do on a flight to Europe/US 12 years ago? No movies, laptops, ipods. Solitaire, with real cards, reading, crossword puzzles and flight path were very popular. How times have changed.
 

jakeseven7

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Not to mention Cable is just as bad as FTA now with all the ads!

Funny thing is that both JQ and QF buy cable media so DJ will be advertising their competitors.

I think the TV idea is lame, however at least they finally have the infrastructure to take the next step and put pay per program/movie or something. That would be way better than TV.
 

bigjobs

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if Virgin is only the 3rd airline in the world to offer this who are the other 2?

Jet Blue is mentioned and i reckon the other one is Westjet.

let me know if i am incorrect, as i am sure folks will :mrgreen:
 

Yada Yada

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You guys are kidding, right? You'd prefer to watch the drivel served up on QF domestic than have a multi-channel system when you can select what to watch? :confused:

I don't know what channels will be available but it has to be better than what's offered by the competition.
 

serfty

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Many Saturday/Sunday afternoon flights on QF, I have been listening to the footy on Ch2 (ABC). It's a real PITA when, say, somwhere over Dubbo it get changed to the ABC of another state and the footy code being broadcast changes. :-|

For me I reckon the ONLY thing I would part with my ready $$ in flight for would be a live sport cast.

(Go Hawks, Storm ;) )
 

crazydave98

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serfty said:
Many Saturday/Sunday afternoon flights on QF, I have been listening to the footy on Ch2 (ABC). It's a real PITA when, say, somwhere over Dubbo it get changed to the ABC of another state and the footy code being broadcast changes. :-|

For me I reckon the ONLY thing I would part with my ready $$ in flight for would be a live sport cast.

(Go Hawks, Storm ;) )
Serfty, I reckon you will be pretty well catered for. The sports channels will be
FOX SPORTS 1
FOX SPORTS 2
FOX Footy Channel
FUEL

How pissed off will Qantas be, sponsoring the Australian Cricket Team and only being able to show canned highlights of yesterday's news when you will be able to see every ball of the Ashes from 40,000 feet?

Other channels will be
Sky News Australia
FOX News
CNN
THE COMEDY CHANNEL
The History Channel
UKTV
FOX Classics
MAX
The LifeStyle Channel
Discovery Travel & Adventure Channel
Animal Planet
LifeStyle FOOD
FOX8
Channel [V]
Club [V]
Arena TV

I've left off the kids channels.


NM said:
$6 per credit card swipe is what I have read. Not sure if that is per flight or per hour, but expect the former.
special introductory rate of $6 for all flights. The every day rate will be $6 for unlimited viewing on most sectors and $9 on flights over three hours.

Standby said:
Also on a short flight you'll get 30mins on a SYDMEL run by the time they switch it on (assume the same not avail til cruising and turned off on decent)
A cynic says they will go slow on the role out to guage takeup before committing to full deployment
live2air will operate from the moment the aircraft pushes back to the moment it pulls up at the gate, maximising viewing time. And the cynic is speaking out his exhaust pipe - we're committed to full deployment with aircraft time in the hangar already confirmed and build into our schedules. This isn't going to be half-arsed.

kelix said:
yea.. not to mention... its not digital (DVB-T) so the fleet will need a new reciever by 2010. lol... aaand impretty sure DVBTs signals dont reach out too far beyond the cities its deployed in....
It's satellite not terrestrial broadcast. The reason for the bump on the fuselage that Yada Yada referred to is to accommodate the antenna necessary for full national coverage. Receivers angle is covered - do you really think we can't plan ahead? (don't bother with an obvious answer - see if you can come up with something original and witty and I'll arrange for someone send some merchandise).

cheers

CrazyDave98
 

Yada Yada

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crazydave98 said:
live2air will operate from the moment the aircraft pushes back to the moment it pulls up at the gate, maximising viewing time. And the cynic is speaking out his exhaust pipe - we're committed to full deployment with aircraft time in the hangar already confirmed and build into our schedules. This isn't going to be half-arsed.
That is so cool. Looking forward to trying it out.

Will the headsets be same as existing or is there something new?

Thanks for the info crazydave98.
 

garyjohn951

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Well anything could be better than the dribble QF had on Mel-Bris the weekend. On Sat on way up was the earth shattering Planet Earth for 90 mins, and on the return on sunday, again the SAME BLOODY show.
Thankfully I needed a bit of shuteye.
 

NM

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crazydave98 said:
special introductory rate of $6 for all flights. The every day rate will be $6 for unlimited viewing on most sectors and $9 on flights over three hours.
Do you get to look at the programming schedule before paying? If I knew I could get a few hours of Mythbusters, I'd have my CC out faster than Jamie can grab the switch to detonate an explosion :D. But if all that was on offer was crab fishing on the Bering Sea, and no cricket being played, then I'll be content to listen to a few Goonshow episodes on my PPC.

Perhaps a scrolling programming guide covering the next few hours on display in the gate lounge may whet the appetite?
 

Yada Yada

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NM said:
Do you get to look at the programming schedule before paying?
I have Foxtel Satellite Digital at home so maybe I can just take my guide from home!
 

serfty

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Hmm... wonder what state? Standard Foxtel Available programming varies somewhat depending upon the 'State' you are registered under.
 

markis10

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Didnt Foxtel announce the fotty channel would cease at the end of the year?
 
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