back to article In-flight movies via BYOD? Just what I always wan... argh no we’re all going to die!

It’s sunny outside, which can mean only one thing: I am about to go on holiday to a place where it will be pissing down with rain and sleet for the next fortnight. My globetrotting exploits have been limited this year, so I’m looking forward to enjoying my first experience of in-flight entertainment via Wi-Fi to my own device …

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  1. chivo243 Silver badge

    5 years?

    Because most of the prognosticators will likely be gone by then, having not correctly predicted the future, and not seen that their jobs were at stake?

    1. Ian 55

      Re: 5 years?

      Either fans of David Bowie or our hero and leader, the great Stalin?

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: 5 years?

      I thought 5 years was the elegant balance between safely being able to predict the state of things to come and a 'Tomorrow's World' level of idiotic fantasy; the sort of fantasy where we all drive electric cars, use something called the 'interweb', can travel to another country cheaper than using our own public transport and no longer talk to each other except via small devices we call 'cellphones'.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Wouldn't touch their app, or their Wifi.

      Honestly, how hard is it to just get Google Play or similar, download a couple of series or a movie, and then sit back and relax with a device that:

      - you can write on.

      - you can read loads of books on.

      - you can play loads of games on.

      - you can watch loads of movies on.

      - you can watch loads of TV series on.

      I don't need live Internet streaming with YouTube comments, just give me a phone and half-hour in an airport lounge on 4G to preload what I feel like watching.

      The actual "you might have to wait a couple of hours to send an email" is a blessing, surely. And messing about with third-party apps to watch the in-flight dross? Not a chance.

      But I'll happily pay you £50 extra to leave me alone and stop bothering me about everything from lottery tickets to drinks to perfume (If I want that stuff, I'll ask, but I'll gladly pay for a "DO NOT DISTURB" sign to hang on my forehead that the crew respect).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Childcatcher

        Sorry Lee: Deleted my splaff before your reply landed, on account of heinously b0rked spelling for which the pedants would have murdered me. (The annoyingly inadequate 10min editing window had just lapsed).

        The corrected effort:

        "Oh, and of course airlines need to provide us with an app for our ODs with which to enjoy their ghastly selection of MOR music and middle-class TV murder mysteries."

        Why? Pray tell?

        Couldn't they just provide us with a URL? Or simply DNS hijack* us directly onto their system, as "hotspots" do so enjoy doing? Don't they know our newfangled electronical thingies already have perfectly functional remote media browsers/players? *Or could they, possibly, have some other motive for wanting to shove their quarter-baked crapware into our devices?

        Still, nice to know that a handy wodge of those ever-more-malignant baggage charges is being squandered on malignant crapware with which they can further abuse us.

        1. MrXavia

          DLNA

          Surely this is what DLNA should be for...

          Wifi and a DLNA box somewhere full of content...

          Although DLNA is a bit of a mess with terrible interfaces usually and a poor menu system on all the free servers I've used...

          What I wonder is how can WiFi handle 400+ passengers all streaming HD video at once??

          My 300Mbs WiFi struggles at home sometimes with a single family using it for video and audio streaming....

          1. Oh Matron!

            Re: DLNA

            Agreed. Although I have no problems when flying Delta using a BYOGB (Bring your own Goggle Box)

      2. Brenda McViking
        Megaphone

        Do not disturb

        Is available, in the form of bose QC-series noise cancelling headphones. Several shades more than £50, and if you're an audiophile then you'll probably want to throw yourself out at 37,000ft due to their inability to reach ultrasonic, "unfaithful" 14.7kHz frequency response or some other reason I don't understand.

        However, they are incredibly good at blocking engine noise, cabin announcements, screaming babies, and usually the dollies get the hint that you're completely oblivious to any attempt at communication whatsoever whilst you remain blissfully unaware. They don't stop you being tapped on the shoulder, but you can avoid that by not sitting in the aisle. Assuming you get a choice.

        1. NumptyScrub

          Re: Do not disturb

          Is available, in the form of bose QC-series noise cancelling headphones. Several shades more than £50, and if you're an audiophile then you'll probably want to throw yourself out at 37,000ft due to their inability to reach ultrasonic, "unfaithful" 14.7kHz frequency response or some other reason I don't understand.

          However, they are incredibly good at blocking engine noise, cabin announcements, screaming babies, and usually the dollies get the hint that you're completely oblivious to any attempt at communication whatsoever whilst you remain blissfully unaware.

          I got a pair of (refurbished) QC-20 as an impulse Vegas purchase a while back, and the active noise cancelling is indeed superb. They utterly wiped out any trace of engine noise on the flight back, and the sound reproduction is pretty good (I'm not an audiophile so I couldn't give a shit about perfection).

          It's a lot of money for a tiny pair of in-ear headphones, but if you have a use case for turning the outside world off they certainly fit the bill :)

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Do not disturb

            I picked up a pair of Sony noise canceling headphones at the big box store for £30 that work nearly as well as the Bose. I spent the extra wonga on drinks which improved the quality beyond measure.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do not disturb

          As Mach points out above, the main audiophile complaint against Bose isn't that they're necessarily bad headphones/speakers, just that you can get the same quality for cheaper or better quality for the same price. And no matter how perfect the sound replication is, some "audiophile" will still hate it.

      3. Adam JC

        I believe the idea was that content would be hosted locally, aboard some sort of storage device on the plane itself and distributed locally via WiFi. No internet access required. :-)

        And yes, no e-mails for any period be it 30 seconds or 2 hours is a blessing!

  3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    my biggest concern with a newfangled byod system on a plane would be that you'd spend most of the flight looking at a little hourglass(rip win3.1) / please wait / buffering type icon.

  4. Nixinkome

    Bank Hols.

    Hope you're not going Stateside for your rain session - TSA QUEues may eat into your quality time ... while your OD goes through the body and bomb scanner, telling all the location of your smartphone/tablet/laptop files.

    P.S. Red Dwarf Series XI and XII coming this year and next [Wikipedia]. Yay.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Bank Hols.

      Yes they are, and they are good. Very good.

      Nice one Dave.

  5. AndrueC Silver badge
    Meh

    Pre-flight checks?

    Back in January I and a few other people sat on the apron at Birmingham for an hour and a half while engineers tried to fix a fault in the cockpit. Eventually they left and we were told that although they hadn't been able to fix the problem it wasn't an important instrument so they'd cleared us to take off.

    So..important enough to spend an hour and a half trying to fix but not important enough to cancel the flight.

    I see :-/

    1. Brenda McViking

      I'll introduce the concept of a Minimum Equipment List - i.e. what can fail on an aircraft and how quickly it should be fixed (a period usually between Cat D - 120 days to Cat A - immediate). I'm guessing it a was a Cat B if the engineers tried for a couple of hours but then let it go (they might have 3-10 days under regulations) - something like a radio or autoland button. Not necessarily needed as pilots are qualified to fly without it's use but certainly a nice-to-have.

      There is an example here Cessna Citation 560XL MEL

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Devil

      Oh, I'm sure it really wasn't anything vitally important to the flight - probably something of no consequence like that fuel gage reported and neatly labelled "out of order" on that plane that would have told the pilot he's going to run out of fuel mid-flight because he's being refuelled in metric instead of imperial (or something like that) and doesn't have enough naphta to stay up there for long enough...

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    I'd only use the on-board WiFi to log on to Flightradar anyway...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gimp

      For a spot of DIY ATC? Sounds stressful...

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      I'd only use the on-board WiFi to log on to Flightradar anyway...

      Although if you've got a beard or any melanin in your skin there's a good chance that the moron you're sitting next to will think you're trying to down the aircraft by remote control...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

    ....and left uncorrected indefinitely never fails to amaze and appall"

    Or as we like to call it, El Reg! :)

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

      Indeed!

      However, I would like to bet that Mr Dabbs spent an inordinate amount of time proofreading this article, just so his comments didn't come back to bite him :)

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

        Muphry's law: "If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written"

        (and yes, it's Muphry's law, not Murphy's)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Gimp

          Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

          Timeliness?

          :o(

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

            Personally, I object less to mistakes in comments than in main articles if only because the latter should have been proofread by another party, where the former may have been dashed off on a mobile device with a perverse autocorrect feature whist sitting on the loo.

            Well, that and Murphy's Law, of course.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Gimp

      Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

      To be fair to the Hun, there's a button for tips and corrections, helpfully labelled "tips and corrections" and placed at the foot of every article... it spawns an email with subject and body handily pre-populated... and using it works! In fact they've been quite hot on the timelyness of corrections of late.

      As long as your tip/correction is reasonably useful and polite they'll even shoot you a little thankyou... although I didn't get one yesterday (can't think why). Nevertheless, the object of my objection was addressed in no time:

      re: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/05/26/a_billionandahalf_years_ten_seconds_wrong_optical_clock_moves_closer_to_reality/

      How did this pass proofreading as a complete paragraph?...

      "Their work, published in full in the journal Optica here, sets out how the second, currently standardised against the operation of cesium fountain clocks."

      ..sets out how the second (currently standardised against the operation of cesium fountain clocks) [...what? is measured?].

      Looks like someone confused themselves by attempting to abuse commas where they SHOULD have been using parentheses... presumably because their English teacher told them to "avoid using too many brackets, mmmkay"

  8. Tabor

    5 is the new 10

    Excellent. I'll dig up my Windows 2000 install disks.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but why

    why would I want to f... about with wifi (dis)connection, (failure of) authentication, and then despair over their (obvious) selection of crappy movies half-hidden by the ads injected by the airline's carefully selected business partner, when I can despair / enjoy my own selection of (crappy) movies on my Own Device?

    p.s. given that no matter what I try, I can't connect - wirelessly - my camera to my phone to my telly to my laptop (three out of four being by the same manufacturer), unless I also connect them to the router, perhaps it's all my fault and the article describes a perfect solution for perfect people.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: but why

      And you know it's going to be an open AP with routing between clients.

      Watch a film on Wi-Fi, then leave the airport with 8% battery and the Monarch app using location services and building up an ad profile. What could possibly go wrong after that that would need you to have a phone with a full battery?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but why

        well, I guess if I need a new battery, then I get spare one I usually carry around with me when I travel, no?

  10. david 63

    Last time I looked (about a year ago) Norwegian Air was offering free wifi...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Norwegian Air was offering free wifi...

      Yeees. I'm pretty sure I tried it on 'wegian a couple of years ago, and it looked an awful lot like they were injecting extra stuff into the web pages I was trying to browse. Also it was slow, which was perhaps understandable, but I just thought 'sod this' and gave up.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good old Chuck Y's Air Combat

    The mission builder was brilliant. To this day can always remember the last option -

    "And the guys in those planes were .... Amateurs"

    1. Darryl

      Re: Good old Chuck Y's Air Combat

      That was the only flight sim that I ever enjoyed

      And every time I played it, after I got bored, I'd humour myself by seeing how fast I could fly a jet straight down into the ground.

      "Left wing ripped off"

  12. srochford46

    I flew with Transaero to Mosco a few years ago; the plane had 2 SSIDs available. One gave you paid for wifi (but the sign up text was in Russian with a price in Roubles), the other allowed you to connect to what looked like a NAS with a bunch of (possibly) pirate videos - complete seasons of Game of Thrones, for example.

  13. Arctic fox
    Terminator

    "All they have to do is ensure the Wi-Fi is secure enough to stop Reg readers from...........

    hacking in and reprogramming every video channel to loop reruns of Red Dwarf I-X."

    Oh the temptation!

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: "All they have to do is ensure the Wi-Fi is secure enough to stop Reg readers from...........

      Series I-VI for the plebs in Economy, series VII-X for the posh wankers in Business and First. Serve 'em right.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: "All they have to do is ensure the Wi-Fi is secure enough to stop Reg readers from...........

        Actually, I didn't think Red Dwarf X was too bad, and my boys, who were introduced to RD when they were perhaps 10 and 12, quite enjoyed it, though I think their favourite episodes all come from series II to V, with the notable exception of the "Rimmer Experience" scene from - erm - series VII?

        Put it this way, we are all looking forward to series XI and XII :-)

        M.

  14. moiety

    "An' 'e pulled it out and there was a bit of sweetcorn on the end"

    "nyaaa hahahaha!"

  15. Marc 25

    Preflighting

    Incidentally, the production process of checking print pages before they go to press, or are published digitally, is known in the industry as a “preflighting”.

    Are editing and Preflighting the same thing?

    What you have described, to me is "editing". As I understand it, editing is the act of checking the content is valid, understandable, meets the agenda and has no spelling or grammatical mistakes.

    Preflighting is the act of checking that all the required digital pieces are together before printing. For example Indesign has a preflight feature which checks that all of the images and fonts are gathered so that when an output is done you're not missing bits from the PDF.

    Either way, Editing is an age old probably that seems to have gotten worse as the digital era has matured

    1. Nixinkome

      Re: Preflighting

      Accepted Marc 25.

      Typos are more widepeed tool.

      "nyaaa hahahaha!"

    2. Darryl

      Re: Preflighting

      Marc, Dabbs is right. Editing is done before you get to the paste-up/typesetting stage, and checks the original copy. Originally, preflighting was checking the final product for errors made by the typesetter. It migrated into digital preflight as you describe with DTP

    3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Preflighting

      "

      As I understand it, editing is the act of checking the content is valid, understandable, meets the agenda and has no spelling or grammatical mistakes.

      "

      IIUC all you have described, apart from the "meets the agenda" bit, is known as "proofreading". Editing is where the content itself is altered, perhaps to make it more interesting, to introduce a bias, or merely to fill the desired number of column-inches.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Angel

    TYPE SOME SHIT IN HERE PLEASE

    HOW did I miss that one?

    I can only think that I skipped the whole thing because Paint Pot 2 was too babyish compared to Deluxe Paint 3.

  17. Old Buccaneer

    Prey vs. Pray

    AC that'll have Mr Dabbs grinding what's left of his teeth!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prey vs. Pray

      Quite. Thought I'd better correct it for fear of having my commentarderate membership revoked.

      Sorry I leapfrogged the reply and messed up the thread though.

      Can't we have 1/2 an hour Reg?

  18. Old Buccaneer

    Screens & pringles

    Noshin' and boozin' while watchin' means I need somewhere to prop up my device. What about a screen in the back of the seat in front of me? Oh, wait...

    & don't get me started on wifi "entertainment" on trains. Bloody airline style seats bloody can't see out of the window mutter mutter....

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