back to article Kiwi airliners converted into giant iPod docks

A generation of unprecedentedly large and fast iPod docks is now on offer, and it has now been announced that firm customer orders have been placed. Air New Zealand will equip eighteen of its airliners with in-flight entertainment rigs allowing iPod users to play their video on seatback screens, listen to audio through the …

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  1. Bob Gender
    Thumb Up

    Fixed

    "Air New Zealand will equip eighteen of its airliners with in-flight entertainment rigs allowing iPod users to play their video on seatback screens, listen to audio through the aircraft system, and control their plane via the device's interface."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Are all airliners to carry an Apple sticker?

    So will pilots now be caught with a "Do you want to update your Flight anagement System to Safari?" when they start prepping for a journey?

    And do the ground crew now have to check nobody has done any illegal filesharing when they do their maintenance checks? (I can just picture it... "Yup, flaps are working, rudder's working, engines're running... hold on, some kid in Economy has just put the latest Amy Dosshouse album up for grabs!")

    Still, at least it's iPods. Just imagine what would happen if you let people plug in devices with wmp files on... <shudders> Still, it'd give Boing someone else to blame when their planes fall out the sky I s'pose. :-)

  3. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up

    Bob Gender

    That is EXACTLY how I read it, and nearly lost a gobful of coffee to it.

    Brilliant.

    Steven R

  4. david
    Happy

    Change of License Agreements

    I'm glad Apple changed the way they bill iPod Dock makers - previously it was 10% of the final retail price. Bad if you hae a £300 speaker system. Really bad if you produce 767s. now the meesly $4 they charge is fine - I wonder if its per plane or per seat?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    No doubt...

    "No doubt there's a strong firewall in place between the passenger seats (and the possible global internet hookup) and the aircraft's actual flight systems."

    No doubt there's actually no physical connection whatsoever between the flight systems and the entertainment system, with the exception of mono-directional navigation information, which is probably not even IP based.

    Use your head, el Reg.

  6. Antidisestablishmentarianist
    Flame

    @AC

    There is only one word for your little piece:

    Lame

    The article also states the USB option has been chosen to allow other players to connect. So it's not just iPods. Still, AirNZ aren't going to key their advertising on Zune connectivity are they.....

  7. Colin Guthrie
    Thumb Down

    Monopoly

    This is quite annoying actually, but it's not the fault of the Airline.

    Apple's interface is propriatory, but there should be a standard interconnect/dock system for all personal media players. The control mechanism should be open and usable by other manufacturers, like IRivier, Samsung thingies, even Zune (not that they would use it!).

    As public places adopt more proprietary interconnect, the monopolies people will start to get more interested in this particular marketing channel... and it wont always be Apple's fault, rather public demand. So how to solve this other than asking Apple nicely if every man+dog can use their interconnect design and control protocol?

  8. Spleen

    "Listen to audio through the aircraft system"

    My initial reaction was "what's wrong with your headphones?"

    Then I got it. Get the security monkeys to remove all headphones from passengers on the pretext that they could be used as a garrotte, then have the trolley dolleys hire out headphones at £20 a pop.

    The video on the back of the seat is a rather good idea, but I still maintain the airliners should stop bothering and just give every passenger over 18 what they really want to get through the flight - anaesthetic.

  9. ImaGnuber

    Viewing Choices

    "...play their video on seatback screens"

    I wonder how they'll control 'inappropriate content' or deal with conflicts over what some passengers won't want their child(ren) to be exposed to by other passengers' viewing choices?

  10. Randolf McKinley
    Thumb Up

    New device detected: Aurbus A380

    Reminds me of this:

    http://www.heise.de/ct/schlagseite/03/01/gross.jpg

    The text on the screen reads something like "New device detected: Airbus A380. Begin auto configuration?"

  11. Dr. E. Amweaver
    Stop

    OK, not flying Air NZ again...

    ...given how bad the battery life of most Apple accessories is...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @spleen & @imagnuber

    Videos in seat backs is old hat - they've been flying for years. More impressive (but not much) is the ones that fold down into the arms of the "Expense Account" class seats at the front of airliners.

    And at least that way the bloody irritating little sods would have decent headphones instead of those awful tinny things that come with the kit.

    I would guess that anyone in Cattle Class who wanted to watch "unsuitable" material would either have to sit in a 'restricted' section (ie the *really* awful seats nobody wants) or be told "Sorry sir/madam, you can't watch that here." - offenders to be dealt with in a similar manner to air-rage cases (dropped off at the nearest airport, often into the company of the local policemen). Those in the 'posh seats' wouldn't need to worry as they will be allowed to do whatever they want to (jealous, moi? Surely not! :-))

  13. Frank

    Tracking device???

    >> Flight International reports that the Panasonic X Series in-flight entertainment system, which was trailed last October, <<

    Since I doubt they dragged along, does that mean it is a tracking device?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So can I use a jailbroken ipod touch/iphone?

    And hack into the airplane systems?

    Or is it completely disconnected from the avionics?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Finally

    Apple is really taking over the world, whoohahaha.

  16. J
    Dead Vulture

    @AC

    "Videos in seat backs is old hat - they've been flying for years."

    I guess they meant video *you brought on your own device* to be watched in the seat's back. Duh.

  17. Patrick
    Unhappy

    Has anyone seen an airline video screen?

    I have flown on NZ Airlines, US Carriers, Australian Carriers, and UK Carriers. I have yet to find a seat-back airline video screen that wasn't total sheeeite quaity. Maybe if you have some other video playing device this might be good news, but I've seen my wifes ipod touch device and it beats watching an airline's screen hands down in quality, saturation, blacks.

    I end up turning off (or trying to) airline screens, more annoying than anything, especially when they leak backlighting all over the place when you want to sleep (if you can on a plane).

    Non-item in my book.

  18. Graham Lockley

    What a wonderful thought

    'No doubt there's a strong firewall in place between the passenger seats (and the possible global internet hookup) and the aircraft's actual flight systems'

    The screen flashes and up pops

    'PWNED...ALL YOUR AIRBUS ARE BELONG TO US'

    Shame real life isnt as much fun :)

  19. Charles Manning

    @Patrick

    What are you on about?

    Im my last 6 AirNZ flights the video screen could be turned off - completely no backlight bleed.

    I agree though that the UI is very sucky and slow due to the box-of-shite software that runs the entertainment things.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Airline screens...

    ...are usually all scratched to sh|t. I'd prefer my tiny iPod screen thanks.

  21. Matthew
    Jobs Horns

    iplanes to follow!

    Apple will be into iplanes next, hope there more reliable than there nanos!

    I think i would rather use my nice $100 headphones and just play it off my ipod rather than use the crap air NZ supply you with. Still, will be good for charging.

    As for quality, well.. the movies you play on your ipod aren't usually very good quality anyway so i dont see the big deal..

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