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AA Tests Streaming IFE, Will Add Wi-fi To 757  
User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2296 posts, RR: 13
Posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7750 times:

American today announced it will test streaming inflight entertainment this summer, as well as add wi-fi on nearly all domestic a/c, including 757s. Press release is here:

http://aa.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=3231

"FORT WORTH, Texas, May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines, a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, today secures another industry first. American is the first North American airline to begin testing the new inflight streaming video product from Aircell which will offer the airline's customers a brand-new, innovative inflight entertainment option. The new product will allow customers to wirelessly stream content such as movies and TV shows from an inflight library to their personal Wi-Fi-enabled devices during flight.

"American, partnering with Aircell, is currently testing the new inflght video system on two Boeing 767-200 aircraft in transcontinental service, and plans to begin customer testing early this summer. The airline's goal is to roll out this product on Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft starting this fall pending FAA certifications.

"In addition, American will work with Aircell to further enhance onboard connectivity by expanding inflight Wi-Fi to its narrow body fleet, including additional MD80 and domestic Boeing 757-200 aircraft – successfully completing its Wi-Fi offering on all of its domestic aircraft dedicated to flying within the continental United States.

"The Wi-Fi expansion will include 93 of American's domestic 757s used for routes within the continental United States, and up to 50 additional MD80 aircraft. Installation will begin this summer and continue through 2012. In addition, American continues to install Wi-Fi service on its entire fleet of 737-800 aircraft."

[Edited 2011-05-03 09:13:33]


The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11819 posts, RR: 62
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7722 times:

Good news - the 757s need wifi yesterday.

User currently offlinemhkansan From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 710 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7728 times:

Mmmm wifi on the 757s have been a long time coming. Does AA send many 75Ls over the Atlantic? If so, would cellular wifi work on the tatl legs?

User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11819 posts, RR: 62
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7663 times:

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 2):
Does AA send many 75Ls over the Atlantic? If so, would cellular wifi work on the tatl legs?

AA has 18 757s in the 75L international (J16Y166) configuration, but not all of them fly to Europe - some go to South America, and others fly domestically and as subs throughout the system. Those planes will not be getting this wifi enhancement, although AA has said publicly in the past that they intend to ultimately equip the entire fleet with some form of wifi connectivity, but they are evaluating technology maturation for overwater sectors where some form of satellite-based system will almost certainly be required.


User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2296 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7648 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 1):
Good news - the 757s need wifi yesterday.

Agreed. I'm wondering if they've decided to go ahead with Gogo on the 757s now because of the recent announcement of Gogo's coming satellite option for over water/international flights. I'm wondering if the existing system will require a simple upgrade once the satellite option comes online, and therefore it makes sense to add the ground based system now instead of waiting for the satellite system. Either way, it's good news. And with up to 50 additional MD-80s (bringing to 200 the number with wi-fi), 93 757s and all 738s and 762s, nearly the entire domestic fleet will be equipped with wi-fi.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11819 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7592 times:

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 4):
Agreed. I'm wondering if they've decided to go ahead with Gogo on the 757s now because of the recent announcement of Gogo's coming satellite option for over water/international flights. I'm wondering if the existing system will require a simple upgrade once the satellite option comes online, and therefore it makes sense to add the ground based system now instead of waiting for the satellite system.

  

I was thinking the same thing - perhaps once Aircell has some form of overwater product, the existing installs they have done can be simply adapted to seamlessly switch between overland or overwater signals.

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 4):
And with up to 50 additional MD-80s (bringing to 200 the number with wi-fi)

I find it interesting that they are going to go ahead and upgrade the remainder - effectively - of the MD80 fleet. While I'm not sure of the payback period on each of these wifi installs - although I remember Arpey saying a few years ago that the company was really focusing on investment projects with payback periods of around two years or less - I think this points to at least some form of commitment from AA to keep the MD80 fleet going, and in large numbers, for some time. While I realize that this is a relatively small investment in the scheme of the entire cost and/or value of an MD80, it still means that AA obviously seems some form of remaining valuable life in those planes, and doesn't plan to park the fleet en masse in the near term.


User currently offlineDLMD90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7590 times:

Good News! Now maybe they'll speed up the refurb on the 757 and try and compete with everyone else.

User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6836 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7591 times:

Quoting qqflyboy (Thread starter):
"FORT WORTH, Texas, May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines, a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, today secures another industry first. American is the first North American airline to begin testing the new inflight streaming video product from Aircell which will offer the airline's customers a brand-new, innovative inflight entertainment option. The new product will allow customers to wirelessly stream content such as movies and TV shows from an inflight library to their personal Wi-Fi-enabled devices during flight.

Always taking the thrify way out, eh AA? Why would anybody pay for this when they can download movies and TV on their phone at home (often times for free) than pay for an onboard movie rental via aircell?



"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlineworldliner From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 275 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7332 times:

Thank goodness! Live tv and wi-fi are the most upcoming markets in IFE and make flights go alot quicker for me! Hope more airlines follow suit.


@777Worldliner
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6361 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7320 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 1):
Good news - the 757s need wifi yesterday.

To me, WiFi is second on the list of things the 757 needs, beyond a huge interior upgrade! I avoid those things like the plague...


User currently offlineaajfksjubklyn From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 912 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7005 times:

Amen to this, now my attention can be taken away from the horrendous interiors and reminding the Flight Attendants to "pull the CRV monitor down" up front...I hate those birds. The 75L's are great, I am talking the about the falling apart decrepit 757's used domestically.

User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2296 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6986 times:

Quoting DLMD90 (Reply 6):
Now maybe they'll speed up the refurb on the 757 and try and compete with everyone else.

Nine down, 97 to go.  
Quoting commavia (Reply 5):
I find it interesting that they are going to go ahead and upgrade the remainder - effectively - of the MD80 fleet.

I found that interesting as well. The press release does say "up to" 50 additional, so we'll see how many in the end. AA has 215 MD-80s in service, and have said they're going to retire "at least" 25 this year. So, we could see the fleet fall below 200, but stay well above 150, with every frame wi-fi equipped.

Quoting commavia (Reply 5):
While I'm not sure of the payback period on each of these wifi installs

My understanding is it doesn't cost AA anything to install the Gogo service -- Aircell bares that burden, and as a result, reaps the profits, minus a small percent to AA. The additional MD-80 installs may have been a negotiation tactic on AA's part.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlinemax999 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1077 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6766 times:

Quoting qqflyboy (Thread starter):
American Airlines, a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, today secures another industry first. American is the first North American airline to begin testing the new inflight streaming video product from Aircell which will offer the airline's customers a brand-new, innovative inflight entertainment option. The new product will allow customers to wirelessly stream content such as movies and TV shows from an inflight library to their personal Wi-Fi-enabled devices during flight.

I don't see how this is different than logging into the regular Aircell Wifi service with your personal device, then going to watch TV shows on Hulu, stream movies from Netflix, or downloading music from iTunes.

I'm sure AA is going to be charging money for the movies, music, etc so it won't be any different from the services I listed above.



All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
User currently offlinemah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33182 posts, RR: 71
Reply 13, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6631 times:

Quoting sw733 (Reply 9):
Quoting commavia (Reply 1):
Good news - the 757s need wifi yesterday.

To me, WiFi is second on the list of things the 757 needs, beyond a huge interior upgrade! I avoid those things like the plague...


The 757 interior upgrade program already began. All international 757s have the new interior, and around 6 domestic ones currently do.



a.
User currently offlineBlueJuice From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 250 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6562 times:

Quoting max999 (Reply 12):
I don't see how this is different than logging into the regular Aircell Wifi service with your personal device, then going to watch TV shows on Hulu, stream movies from Netflix, or downloading music from iTunes.

I am fairly certain the content will be cached locally on the plane. One of the major issues with Gogo has been bandwidth. During the holiday season, many airlines offered free onboard wifi with poor results. Once a large chunk of the plane jumped online, performance dropped to unusable speeds. I am fairly certain that the simultaneous use of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, and other streaming media sites played a role in bogging down the connection. With a large library of content onboard, there is no need to use precious bandwidth between the plane and towers (eventually satellite).

This should be a nice win for everyone. AA does not have to install or maintain expensive and heavy AVOD equipment. Pax can choose their own content on a device with a larger screen.


User currently offlinemah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33182 posts, RR: 71
Reply 15, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6531 times:

Quoting BlueJuice (Reply 14):
I am fairly certain the content will be cached locally on the plane. One of the major issues with Gogo has been bandwidth. During the holiday season, many airlines offered free onboard wifi with poor results. Once a large chunk of the plane jumped online, performance dropped to unusable speeds. I am fairly certain that the simultaneous use of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, and other streaming media sites played a role in bogging down the connection. With a large library of content onboard, there is no need to use precious bandwidth between the plane and towers (eventually satellite).

Correct, the content will be stored on the plane as to not affect bandwidth usage. There will likely be free content and paid content, just like on Delta and JetBlue.

I personally don't agree with it - AA needs to I stall PTVs domestically - but it's better than nothing.



a.
User currently offlineNorthstarBoy From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1860 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6417 times:
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Quoting mah4546 (Reply 15):
Correct, the content will be stored on the plane as to not affect bandwidth usage. There will likely be free content and paid content, just like on Delta and JetBlue.

I wonder if the content will also be differentiated between classes? i'e. pax in F get the most content and the fewest restrictions on that content, J class pax are in the middle content and restriction wise, and Y class passengers get the least amount of content with the most restrictions.

I also wonder if AA will be installing powerports at every seat. It seems kind of useless to have the content available for a six hour flight when the customer's laptop battery only lasts two or maybe four hours at most depending on how fast the battery is being drained by the applications the passenger has running.



Why are people so against low yields?! If lower yields means more people can travel abroad, i'm all for it
User currently offlinemah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33182 posts, RR: 71
Reply 17, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6390 times:

Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 16):
I also wonder if AA will be installing powerports at every seat. It seems kind of useless to have the content available for a six hour flight when the customer's laptop battery only lasts two or maybe four hours at most depending on how fast the battery is being drained by the applications the passenger has running.

AA did this years ago (late 1990s) and the 738 and 757 fleets are switching to regular plug-in outlets.



a.
User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7699 posts, RR: 27
Reply 18, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6356 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 5):
I find it interesting that they are going to go ahead and upgrade the remainder - effectively - of the MD80 fleet. While I'm not sure of the payback period on each of these wifi installs - although I remember Arpey saying a few years ago that the company was really focusing on investment projects with payback periods of around two years or less - I think this points to at least some form of commitment from AA to keep the MD80 fleet going, and in large numbers, for some time.

DL installed wifi on the former DC-9-50s in 2010 when they brought them up to DL standards, even though they planned to retire the fleet by the end of 2013, now effectively moved up to the end of 2012. Some will be removed from service in the next few months.

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 15):
I personally don't agree with it - AA needs to I stall PTVs domestically - but it's better than nothing.

At this point, I think it is worth waiting until the next generation of IFE systems becomes available, particularly anything than can offer a significant weight savings and technology enhancements over the still somewhat clunky systems that are available today.


User currently offlineSkedGuy From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 137 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6269 times:
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Quoting mah4546 (Reply 15):
Correct, the content will be stored on the plane as to not affect bandwidth usage. There will likely be free content and paid content, just like on Delta and JetBlue.

I personally don't agree with it - AA needs to I stall PTVs domestically - but it's better than nothing.

I'll be the first to agree that AA's lack of PTVs domestically has been a decade-long disappointment, but I do think AA is on to something here. However, the irony I find in all of this is that AA may be unwittingly leap-frogging from one extreme to the other. Conceptually, as a passenger, the idea of streaming content is sound, but I wonder if it's not a few years ahead of its time. I firmly believe that streaming video / audio content will ultimately replace the existing brick-and-mortar approach to onboard IFE, but I think we're probably several years away from that happening on any large-scale basis.

If we're talking specifically about the U.S. domestic market, I guess the question in my mind is whether it really makes sense for AA to invest in the PTV hardware this late in the game, especially if full-scale streaming content will be more the exception than the rule during the next 5-10 years. It could be that AA's decision to forego the equipment might turn out to have been the right approach, albeit for appreciably different reasons. I'm guessing we'll still see PTVs in some form on the 787s, but I think this latest venture with Aircell gives us a pretty clear glimpse of the direction AA's IFE strategy will head in the coming years. Whether it turns out to be visionary remains to be seen.


User currently offlineSkedGuy From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 137 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6260 times:
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Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 18):
At this point, I think it is worth waiting until the next generation of IFE systems becomes available, particularly anything than can offer a significant weight savings and technology enhancements over the still somewhat clunky systems that are available today.

You beat me to it. 100% agreed.


User currently offlineDLD9S From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 260 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6265 times:

I would much rather watch a PTV screen than hold an iPhone or iPod for a couple hours. Also, hand held devices and laptops generally sit too low on the tray table compared to in-seat PTVs.

Battery lifespans are also an issue. If AA had USB ports or regular outlets at every seat then this might be more viable, but they don't. Bring your own devices, bring your own power, pay to use our wifi, then pay to stream movies using that wifi.



717 727 737 747 757 767 777 DC9 DC10 M80 M90 M11 L10 AB6 333 340 319 320 321 ARJ CRJ EM2 EMJ SF3 146 100 BE1...
User currently onlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3342 posts, RR: 45
Reply 22, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6207 times:

Quoting DLD9S (Reply 21):
If AA had USB ports or regular outlets at every seat then this might be more viable, but they don't.

This is an excellent point. AA almost has to switch to a standard AC outlet if they're expecting people to use their own devices. I understand the new 738s have them, are they being retrofitted on existing aircraft, as well?

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineDLMD90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6124 times:

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 13):
The 757 interior upgrade program already began. All international 757s have the new interior, and around 6 domestic ones currently do.

Yeah it's been being promised for years and they've finished only a few domestic A/C. it's ridiculous


User currently offlinemah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33182 posts, RR: 71
Reply 24, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6120 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 22):
Quoting DLD9S (Reply 21):
If AA had USB ports or regular outlets at every seat then this might be more viable, but they don't.

This is an excellent point. AA almost has to switch to a standard AC outlet if they're expecting people to use their own devices. I understand the new 738s have them, are they being retrofitted on existing aircraft, as well?

Cheers,
Cameron


Yes. The entire 737 and 757 fleets are getting AC outlets. This has already started. More than half the entire original 738 fleet has been converted already, along with all new 738 deliveries. Around 25 757s have them so far, as well.



a.
25 DLD9S : Is this at every seat, or is it just every couple rows like with the old power ports? On the 737, that is only 3 rows with power between rows 15-28.
26 FWAERJ : Great idea, but I see DRM (digital rights management/copy protection) interoperability with different types of computers and mobile devices as the mai
27 aacun : Just flew on a re configured 757 last friday...... And it really looked nice. No more drop down monitor in FC and new seats throughout the airplane, n
28 qqflyboy : Every seat in First has them, every group of three seats in coach has two power ports (one between each seat). So, each row of six seats has four pow
29 beefed88 : AA will probably have to add antennas on top of the aircraft. Currently they are on the bottom to receive the cell tower signals. As to the PTV remark
30 wjcandee : FWIW, with respect to the folks who talk about insufficient bandwidth on GoGo, Aircell seems to have a solution. My understanding is that they are upg
31 TOMMY767 : Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think some are getting the wrong message here. AA is not installing streaming video via PTV, they are hosting an onboa
32 N62NA : This is great news for us here in MIA..... we don't get the chance of flying a WiFi equipped MD80 at the moment, so it's just the 737s and 757s. On my
33 Timaay419 : Does anyone have a photo of the cabin refurbishment of one of the several domestic 757s?
34 MiAAmi : I thought that AA was going to start taking delivery of additional 737s soon. Any idea when that will start up again?
35 mah4546 : To be fair, the reason is that AA doesn't outsource anything, and delayed the 757 refurb in order to do the 738 refurb. Whole the 738s were clearly l
36 MiAAmi : I know they have not taken any deliveries so far this year so was curious when they were going to start back up again
37 mah4546 : 15 this year; starts next week.
38 DLMD90 : Has the 738 refurb been completed? What is the rate @ which the 757 refurb is planned to move forward?
39 mah4546 : 738 refurb is more than half done. As of last month, 738 refurb was slowed down to speed up 757 refurb. I believe the aim for both is late 2012. As l
40 Post contains images qqflyboy : The 738s really did slow down. Of the original 76 a/c in the fleet, 44 remain with the 16F/132Y config. There are a total of 108 738s with the new co
41 Post contains links commavia : Interesting article out from FlightGlobal today. According to AirCell, they are currently in active discussions with at least one major U.S. airline a
42 CNForever : There´s something new for the 763 renewal ??
43 TOMMY767 : Good question. Something about those F seats really rub me the wrong way. They don't seem wide enough at all.
44 Post contains images fxramper : Oh this is going to make me want to use the 75L across the pond now - haha!
45 DLMD90 : They do look narrow, but they are quite comfortable, I actually found them to be roomier than DL's 75x Transcon product.
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