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BA IFE System Question  
User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3264 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3861 times:

This is a paste from the BA website.

Preview - January 2010
* Below is a list of the movies available on flights with 18 channels of entertainment in January 2010 - tape based flights only.

* Full details of the programming available will be on this site from 1 January 2009.
* Movies are subject to change.

From the UK

Glorious 39
Zombieland
Away We Go
Whiteout
The Informant
All About Steve
Disgrace
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Enchanted
Michael Jacksons This Is It
Pale Rider

I was wondering which aircraft are tape based?
Would it be the older 767's
I am flying Club from LGW on a 777 to the US, that is not tape based, correct?


you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBy188b From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 710 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3826 times:

from memory, the LGW 777 fleet has avod, but some of the LHR 777 birds dont, they have the tape based system. On some occasions a LHR bird will cover a LGW route and that is the only way you will have a tape based system. Im sure a BA expert will be able to give you more specific info.


next flights : BD LHR-TXL J, FR SXF-STN Y, SN BRU-LHR Y, MA LHR-BUD Y, BA BUD-LHR J, BA LCY-SNN-JFK J, BA JFK-LHR J, BA
User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3264 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3786 times:



Quoting By188b (Reply 1):
Im sure a BA expert will be able to give you more specific info.

Bet BAstew will know.



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineTommy212 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2005, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3772 times:

I flew on G-VIIM and G-VIIK (both 772's) to/from Dubai and both of these aircraft had the looped taped style IFE systems and the interiors were atrocious as well, badly in need of a re-fit!

User currently offlineTonystan From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 1437 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3765 times:

The 777 fleet currently has 3 different types of IFE floating around. Two of them are the Rockwell COllins system. One of these is the upgraded AVOD system and the other is the yet to be upgraded system but will be done so (if not already completed) shortly! The non avod version of this is tape based.

The third system is known as GMIS and is tape based. It cannot be upgraded to avod as the system is rather ancient and I believe the company has gone belly up! What BA have done to enhance the system is to run two different cycles of movies throughout the flight but it is still the same basic IFE of the late 90's, turn of the century style. This system is found only on GE Engine fitted aircraft with reg's starting in Z or V (G-RAES is also one of these)! Rockwell collins is on all the Y reg and some of the V reg aircraft.

Now on most of the US routes BA operates a mix of avod and non avod aircraft so could behard to tell unless you can find someone on here who works with the computer systems and can find out for you!



My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3264 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3676 times:



Quoting Tonystan (Reply 4):

VERY informative, thank you.  Smile



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3642 times:

LGW has a mix of tape-based and non- tape-based aircraft AFAIK. If you are on a 4 class route I believe these LGW aircraft have a higher chance of non-avod if I remember correctly.


Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlineScrappy27 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2008, 281 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3564 times:



Quoting By188b (Reply 1):
from memory, the LGW 777 fleet has avod

incorrect

G-VIIA/B/O/P/R are not AVOD but are GMIS


User currently offlineBOACCunard From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3522 times:

GMIS is old. (Tonystan is perhaps a bit generous in describing it as "turn of the century" - It was the first system I ever encountered with PTVs, on the first 777 I ever encountered. It was all so new and exciting. At that time the standard BA aircraft on JFK-LHR was the 747-100!

Spot the difference:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ken Iwelumo - Global Aviation Images


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ken Iwelumo - Global Aviation Images



After looking at those photos I thought myself mad as I vividly remembered there being a fold-down cup holder built into the tray table, but then I found this:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Brady Anderson



Unfortunately all the photos in the photo database of BA 772s at LGW from 2004 on show aircraft registered G-VII*.



Getting There is Half the Fun!
User currently offlineVenezuela747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1428 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3453 times:

Just hope they don't turn off the IFE like they apparently have been doing since they have to turn off the GPS Map on aircraft coming into the US


ROLL TIDE!!!
User currently offlineDaysleeper From UK - England, joined Dec 2009, 841 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3377 times:

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 8):
Spot the difference:

Maybe it’s just me, but I can't spot the difference, well other than there is no longer a woman in a pink hat  Smile. Tonystan said that the GE powered ones starting with Z or V have the older system. Well although G-VIIV is three years newer than G-ZZZA (VIIV June 99, ZZZA May 96) it is still powered by GE90-90B's.

I've also just spent a little time trying to find technical details on how a tape based "on demand" system would work, without success. So if anyone knows where I could find further reading I would very much appreciate it – The more technical, the better   (I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to things like that)  

Edited for crappy spelling

[Edited 2009-12-28 15:53:38]

User currently offlineTonystan From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 1437 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3312 times:



Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 10):
Maybe it’s just me, but I can't spot the difference,

Basically, the GMIS aircraft have slightly smaller screens. Also the arm rests are fixed (and chunkier) and the control unit used to be a pull out unit (still is on some where the gaurd that stops you from taking it out has come lose) with a phone on the other side.

The Rockwell Collins has a more basic control unit fixed to the armrest and a larger touchscreen. Also the armrests raise on the aisle seats.

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 10):
I've also just spent a little time trying to find technical details on how a tape based "on demand" system would work

Im no technogeek but I still cant see how this could work without there being hundreds of tapes so every passenger can watch what they want when they want. Thats the beauty of digital technology and being able to run things from hard drives onto processers!

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 8):
After looking at those photos I thought myself mad as I vividly remembered there being a fold-down cup holder built into the tray table, but then I found this:

Indeed. However these were recently removed and replaced with standard tray trables as they were a total nuisance. Their design ment that they broke off easily with only the slightest bit of pressure resulting in spilt drinks, burnt passengers, damp seat cushions and dozens of bits of plastic sliding around the floor creating trip hazards! The crew finally gave up and some would even take them off before passengers boarded and throw them into stowages just to keep them out of the way! LOL!

I should also mention that with regards the old GMIS system....dont worry, a solution is in the works. BA are to launch their 787 and A380s with a new Thales AVOD system. However extra units of this have also been purchased so that the remaining GMIS aircraft that will be left in the fleet can be upgraded also. Now with the delay of the delivery of the new fleet Im not sure if there is a plan to upgrade the GMIS aircraft before they arrive or not. Time will tell!



My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
User currently offlineBOACCunard From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3265 times:



Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 10):
Maybe it’s just me, but I can't spot the difference, well other than there is no longer a woman in a pink hat Smile. Tonystan said that the GE powered ones starting with Z or V have the older system. Well although G-VIIV is three years newer than G-ZZZA (VIIV June 99, ZZZA May 96) it is still powered by GE90-90B's.

The one on top has smaller, slightly different PTVs and a different control unit in the armrest.

It is true that not all the GE-powered aircraft have GMIS. However, all the aircraft that have GMIS are GE-powered.

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 10):
I've also just spent a little time trying to find technical details on how a tape based "on demand" system would work, without success.

I don't think it would be possible. Well, it would be possible I guess but you would have to fill the entire aircraft with tapes and there would be no space left for passengers!

Quoting Tonystan (Reply 11):
Basically, the GMIS aircraft have slightly smaller screens. Also the arm rests are fixed (and chunkier) and the control unit used to be a pull out unit (still is on some where the gaurd that stops you from taking it out has come lose) with a phone on the other side.

The Rockwell Collins has a more basic control unit fixed to the armrest and a larger touchscreen. Also the armrests raise on the aisle seats.

Are you sure the RockwellCollins system has a control unit that has always been fixed to the armrest? I think it was actually a handset like you describe GIMS having, but maybe I am getting things mixed up here.

I don't remember the GIMS control unit being removable in Y but it has been a long time since I have seen one. It was smaller than the "handset" style unit of the newer system though. As you can see in the photos posted above it does not take up as much of the length of the armrest as the RockwellCollins unit.



Getting There is Half the Fun!
User currently offlineDaysleeper From UK - England, joined Dec 2009, 841 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3265 times:



Quoting Tonystan (Reply 11):
Basically, the GMIS aircraft have slightly smaller screens. Also the arm rests are fixed (and chunkier) and the control unit used to be a pull out unit (still is on some where the gaurd that stops you from taking it out has come lose) with a phone on the other side.

Thanks for that, I could see a slight difference between the two but I thought that might be down to ZZZA having an older overall seat design. So if VIIV is Rockwell based then it's also another odd one in that it is GE powered?

Quoting Tonystan (Reply 11):
Im no technogeek but I still cant see how this could work without there being hundreds of tapes so every passenger can watch what they want when they want. Thats the beauty of digital technology and being able to run things from hard drives onto processers!

And yeah, this is what has me intrigued. If you look at the photo of ZZZA you can see that people are watching different things at the same time, the only way I guess it could work is if they had channels just like regular broadcast TV. That would be stretching the claim that it was “on demand” though.

Little off topic, but does anyone know what’s fitted to BA’s 744 fleet? With the first one entering service in 1989 I presume most of the early birds didn’t have anything. I’m curious as I’ve flown on them many times and never really noticed a difference in the IFE from one to another, so either I wasn’t paying attention (quite possible, in fact very probable lol) or they all have the same system.


User currently offlineAirstairFear From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3252 times:



Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 13):
And yeah, this is what has me intrigued. If you look at the photo of ZZZA you can see that people are watching different things at the same time, the only way I guess it could work is if they had channels just like regular broadcast TV. That would be stretching the claim that it was “on demand” though.

The way I would do it is you select your movie and it gives you say a 5 minute countdown until it starts and shows you promo crap in the meantime. Second person who selects it within that time goes into that same queue. So with a 90 minute movie you'd "only" need 18 copies of the tape worst case and it's still arguably on-demand.

Now if you want to have 20 different movies available, you got me there. Maybe have a deck with several heads and a takeup reel between each head. Thus you could be playing different sections of the same tape at the exact same time. Kind of a stretch but it could work I guess.



CAM-1: Aw #. We're gonna hit houses dude.
User currently offlineBOACCunard From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3220 times:



Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 13):
So if VIIV is Rockwell based then it's also another odd one in that it is GE powered?

Not overly unusual. There are a number of GE-powered 772s that are.



Getting There is Half the Fun!
User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4009 posts, RR: 33
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3191 times:



Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 13):
but does anyone know what’s fitted to BA’s 744 fleet?

All the B744 and all the longhaul B763 have AVOD.

Quoting Tonystan (Reply 11):
BA are to launch their 787 and A380s with a new Thales AVOD system. However extra units of this have also been purchased so that the remaining GMIS aircraft that will be left in the fleet can be upgraded also. Now with the delay of the delivery of the new fleet Im not sure if there is a plan to upgrade the GMIS aircraft before they arrive or not. Time will tell!

The first aircraft with the new Thales AVOD will be G-STBA B777-300 which will be delivered in July, and start service in August 2010.

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 10):
I've also just spent a little time trying to find technical details on how a tape based "on demand" system would work, without success.

It can't work unless the seats have individual players. The BA A318 and the Openskies B757 have this system.

In an AVOD system, when you select a film, the whole film is downloaded from the server to your seat box. You can then play the film in your box.

The 18 film aircraft actually have 18 tape players. The CSD loads a tape into each player and starts them all at once.


User currently offlineDitzyboy From Australia, joined Feb 2008, 718 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3176 times:



Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 16):
The 18 film aircraft actually have 18 tape players. The CSD loads a tape into each player and starts them all at once.

Qantas international 763s still feature this system in Business. At Qantas the cycles are 2.5 hours. The tapes all end at the same time and automatically rewind and restart - hence the term loop, that is sometimes used to describe the system. Apart from some airline's First (and sometimes Business) class that featured tape player in the armrest or video walkmans, this is how almost all PTV systems worked until the advent of true AVOD.

At Qantas (on the 763s) about half the movie tapes start at the beginning of a cycle and afterwards play a short feature or music video to fill the tape out. The other half of the movies start with a short feature and the movie ends precisely at the end of the cycle. This benefits those passengers who miss the begginning of the cycle. With the 'TV' (short feature) channels this is obviously not an issue. At Qantas PTV channel 9 is whatever is showing on the mainscreen in Economy.

Some systems to this day have a hybrid (of sorts) system that staggers the movie but you have to be on that channel or you get locked out until the next cycle starts. These systems are server based.

The loop IFE, although ancient, is extremely reliable in my experience.


User currently offlineELAL 744 From Israel, joined Jun 2000, 170 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3104 times:
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so, does anyone know what will be available (full list) on the BA AVOD sysytem?


Vercere bracis meis
User currently offlineScrappy27 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2008, 281 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3032 times:



Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 13):
So if VIIV is Rockwell based then it's also another odd one in that it is GE powered?

VIIU/W/X/Y are all avod aircraft (GE90)

and all YMM_ are all avod aircraft (RR) (saying that there are a couple that are waiting to be converted to AVOD still.. MMC/D are 2 of them)


User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3264 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3023 times:

This is my trip report from May this year.

BA Club, LGW-MCO-LGW Holiday,lots Of Pics (by Readytotaxi Jun 1 2009 in Trip Reports)

B777 G-VIIT that had AVOD



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
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