Live TV feeds on Planes

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Cashsuds 5 Dec 2009
at 03:31

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  • Anonymous


    Airtravel and everything Airlines have on offer to keep the passengers occupied with reruns of movies and uninteresting docos have yet to justify as to why, with today’s technology, unable to offer us “live” feeds off the satellites of TV programmes.

    The closest we get are old bits of broadcast news, and yet, spending some considerable time, up to 10 hours on long haul sometimes, we may have missed out on whether our destination airport may have been invaded by aliens or been captured by rebel forces!!

    Live TV from the satellites are free and with the struggling efforts by many airlines to curb spending with “cheap” programming, are probably a more productive way to spend time in the air being able to choose from a plethora of programmes ranging from local ones of the countries we overfly and international programmes.

    Anyone can put more light on why this cannot be done??


    It’s a good question.

    Personally, I would rather have the selected library of quality shows, movies and audio channels than the dross that usually infests airwaves, especially during the daytime.

    Then there is the issue of language; much easier to subtitle a movie than a TV broadcast.

    Continental is planning to roll Direct TV out fleetwide:

    Other US Airlines (like and ) also have this service (as BT never reviews these US Carriers, we don’t hear much about them!).

    Not certain it would work on proper intercontinental longhaul, both for technical an linguistic reasons.

    Personally, as I rarely travel without my laptop, I now take my own entertainment on board for longer trips, ironically just as IFE improves to levels approaching the quality one might expect at home.

    Tom Otley

    Oman Air is introducing live TV on its flights from Muscat to London.

    I think the challenge has been ones of cost (only new systems can offer live TV) and having (buying) sufficient bandwidth from satellites. In addition there are licensing issues as aircraft pass across different territories (something that is less of a problem in the US, obviously).


    With AVOD on most proper airlines these days, there really is no need to bored by “re-run movies and uninteresting docos” though it is annoying when you have only a main screen system which apparently still persists on some mainstream carriers (I think some LH and UA aicraft still have this on longhaul, though not certain).

    BA has some excellent features on this December, including one of my favourite movies “Cry Freedom” which is a “re-run” but one I will appreciate having the opportunity of watching undisturbed:


    Thanks for the info. This will certainly take on with time. Language is not a problem. English and Spainish are pretty universal nowadays. Auto audio and written translaters are close to perfection with recent developments in world wide internet language protocol.
    I speak particularly for FFs who, usually, depending on their routing, may use the same airline service and find the same programmes on different routes within the same month. Its the same with magazines. The airlines should use different types of media on different routing.

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