kl911
Posts: 3979
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 1:10 am

PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:48 am

Hey,

I've been reading many trip reports lately, and came across many where the PTV didn't work or had to reset 100 times. So my question is: Are they so unreliable, or is it just bad luck? Is the technology to new and to soon adopted?

Not that I care, I still prefer sleeping or reading, so for me it would be better to remove the PTV's and lower the price...  Laugh out loud

Anyone?

KL911
 
spacecadet
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:10 am

Considering the abuse these things take from passengers, it's not surprising that many don't work. They're supposed to be built pretty tough but obviously the airline's only going to spend so much on them, so I'm sure they're not as tough as they could be.

I've never had a completely broken PTV system, although I've had systems where various buttons wouldn't work, certain channels wouldn't work, volume control wouldn't work, etc. I've never had a case where I couldn't still use the system, though.

I also wonder about how these things are maintained, though. Obviously a broken PTV system at one seat is not going to pull a plane out of service. But how do these things even get logged? If 50% of the systems on a plane aren't working (which I would think would significantly affect a passenger's perception of that airline), how would the airline even know? I don't imagine there are people that go seat by seat testing the PTV systems before every flight, or even at most maintenance checks. Obviously you'd have some complaints to the F/A's, but do they actually log these problems anywhere or do they just apologize to the passenger and then forget about it?
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
kl911
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:16 am

On most trip reports I read that the FA's never knew it was broken, and if it was broken it was per row. I guess it's one powerbox per 3 or 4 seats.

KL911
 
Trolley Dolley
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:30 am

I know QF delayed the introduction of PTV's so that reliablity factors could get sorted out. My personal experience is that it is variable, but getting better. Resetting the system is a common occurrence though.
 
ramerinianair
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:14 pm

Was it on CO? For some reason, their PTVs and drop down systems have been off a few times when I flew them.
SR
W N = my Worst Nightmare!!!!!
 
LH423
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:50 pm

Yes, PTVs are tested before every flight, if only to let the ground staff know to let the passenger sat in that seat that it doesn't work. At outstations there's little to be done about fixing the problem, however most PTV problems are easy to fix and most companies that sell PTV systems to the airline also have people to fix the planes on downtime. For BA, every broken PTV is listed in the Operational Deficiency list, or OPDEF, so we can advise passengers sat in those seats that it's broken.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
ua777222
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 2:45 pm

KL911,

Long time no talk my friend.

I have been on probably <---40---> flights with PTV's and never once have I had an issue with them. The only issue being that in Coach they take up the right side of the leg room area b/c of the "box" that each requires to function. In fact it's the drop-down/monitors that have been the worst. The Airbus (nothing to do with airbus just the IFE selection the airlines with these a/c have choesn) fleet of AC that I have flown on have almost always had an issue with them be it them not closing properly or opening and closing over and over and over and over and over and over again annoying the passangers around the screen.

On approach to LAX we had a pretty bumpy ride and apon first wheels down the a/c hit HARD causing 3 out of the 4 screens in my section had their bottoms fall off. I again flew on this a/c, D-ABTA, and one of the screens glitched for the taxi and for half of the flight did not work. I had a rather long post about this but am currently unable to get the link.

I would have to say that other than the loss of legroom that with the PTV's you will be way better off. The only contender would be the flat monitors now being placed in newer a/c. These are easier to see from different angles and have much clearer viewing.

Hope this helps!

Thanks again KL911!

UA777222
"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
 
CanadaEH
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 3:30 pm

While we (Westjet) don't have LiveTV fully operational on all of our aircraft, our "major" stations - YVR, YEG, YYC, YWG, and YYZ will have LiveTV (or LiveTV contracted) employees available for every single flight to correct any problems. We currently have only 2 aircraft running with LiveTV and we haven't had any problems yet. It seems as though we are taking a proactive approach and ensuring that if there is a problem, that it can be corrected immediately.
EH.
 
mas a330
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 3:34 pm

Besides the occassional 1 sided sound in the headphones, no problems with PTV on all the flights i have taken.
 
HPnonrev99
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 3:36 pm

Im sure if a discrepancy is found with the system and reported to a cabin member it is noted in the cabin logbook. As far as the time allowed to fix it im sure varies airline to airline, however, the airline operating with the PTV may only have a contract company work on the PTV and not their own MX people, and as mentioned earlier, its not going to ground the aircraft because 1 row is having an issue.
Coming soon to an airport near you.
 
QantasffCL
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 4:59 pm

Well mate I know you live in Holland, but if I were you I would avoid the earliest airlines to install PTV's. Thats just my opinion. I mean airlines like SQ who had them back in 1996. I know that sounds stupid, but an SQ747 may still have there '96 system. SQ arent even putting all there Spacebeds on 747's!

If I were you I would consider airlines with the newest systems, like SQ's Jubillee 777ERS and QF's 747s
 
geoffm
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:38 pm

I personally have not had a PTV not working at all, but somebody next to me did. They were moved to another seat.

However, I have had sticky buttons, buttons that didn't do anything, and the occasional "blue screen of death" (well, the Linux equivalent). In no case were the FAs interested in reporting it.

Geoff M.
 
studentflyer
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:16 pm

I mean airlines like SQ who had them back in 1996. I know that sounds stupid, but an SQ747 may still have there '96 system. SQ arent even putting all there Spacebeds on 747's!

If I were you I would consider airlines with the newest systems, like SQ's Jubillee 777ERS and QF's 747s


QantasffCL,

Don't get it wrong mate. SQ has already installed its Wisemen3000 system on all 744s. Yes, all! That is, AVOD. They have been upgraded. In fact, many of SQ's 772ER (some of the older ones with reg 9V-SQ*) and 773s still have the old system installed. I would rather fly SQ's 744 than its 773s. And yes, all SQ's 744s have SpaceBeds in their Raffles (J) class.

Having said that, some of the aircraft do have glitches in their PTVs, sometimes the controller don't work etc. But you have to also take into consideration, that these PTVs are running as much as the flying hours an aircraft does, so they are quite reliable for what they are!

Regards,
AK
 
ei2ksea
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:41 pm

Possibly the inconvenience of having an inoperative PTV is a lot worse then if no PTV was installed on the plane - theres nothing worse then staring at a blank screen when you want to be playing games!

Once spent BA009 LHR-SYD and on the same trip QF from MEL-SYD-HNL and BA BOS-LHR with no PTVs on any of the flights working - bad luck or what!!!

:-(
Next Flight: DUB-BOS (EI), BOS-DEN-PDX (SWA), SEA-BOS (AS)
 
NYCAAer
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:35 pm

My experience with PTVs is that every once in a while I will have one random screen somewhere in the cabin that isn't working, but so far not the whole system. AA has a Rockwell-Collins system on its 777s, and we used to have a more complex Matsushita system on the A300s that flew transatlantic from 1997-2001.

If a passenger tells me his/her screen isn't working, I can reset it, and it usually does the trick. We used to have 4 portable DVD players on board with a selection of DVDs in case their screen still wouldn't after resetting it, but I think that's gone now, as part of the cost cuts at AA.

I did fly with another F/A recently who told me they actually had to divert on a flight from LHR to JFK because the PTVs were malfunctioning, they thought there was a possibility of fire on board. They landed in Gander, Newfoundland.

Another person I know flew JetBlue and half of the PTVs on the flight weren't working!

I usually work aboard AA 767-300s, and we still have the old-fashioned big screen on that plane, even on the 9 new 763s delivered last year, so I don't have to mess with PTVs much. When I fly as a passenger, I'd rather read and always bring a book! The only feature I like about PTVs is the AAirshow flight map!
 
ua777222
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:37 pm

The PDVD's in AA's a/c are still there but only for those up front. And it's like $20-$40 a flight if I recall correctly on our SJU-LAX flight (763(ER?)). I think that as much as the airlines hate to hack up for PTV's that passangers will select the PTV airline over the other. On my many trips to HKG I try to get on SQ or upgrade to UA Business b/c the trip is so long that no PTV's would kill me. The investment of a portable DVD (PDVD) is well worth it but I think that it's the airlines responcibilibty(SP?) to provide a decent IFE system. Airlines such as UA should, in my opinion, make some changes to their current "spending plan".

Yes some of the a/c need to be repainted but with the mandatory re-paint for TED a/c (that is just a certin number to get the TED lable out there) and this "Flower In First" $hit is all a waste of $$ but as I have said in the past in some way it makes someone's day and that person will probably be sure to "choose United for their next travel to XXX from XXX when they realized that it's Time to Fly once again" I guess it just bugs me how some airlines (IE all of if not most of the Asian Carriers) can manage to fund this added comfert yet our current Majors arn't willing to make the "cuts" to do so.


Ahhh well!

Thanks again.

UA777222
"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
 
NYCAAer
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:45 pm

AA still has DVD players for its international Business Class passengers on its 767-300ERs only, because they don't a PTV system on the 763. I was referring to the spare DVD players boarded on the 777 in case a PTV is not working.
 
VS045
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:04 am

I have experienced a few problems with virgins' v:port, but after about 45 mins they were all sorted out. There is always the odd seat that has sticky buttons, bad volume etc. I suppose that is just life.

Cheers,
VS045.
4 engines 4 long haul
 
FinnWings
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:16 am

Once spent BA009 LHR-SYD and on the same trip QF from MEL-SYD-HNL and BA BOS-LHR with no PTVs on any of the flights working - bad luck or what!!!

I have had very bad experiences twice with BA as well when the whole PTV system was broken. This happened to me on LHR-HKG flight (+12hrs) on board of B744 G-CIVS... Also half of the audio channels were inoperative. Not nice, but I thought it was just a bad luck... however, 2.5 weeks later same G-CIVS was prepared to take me and other passengers to LHR. I was amazed to see that during these weeks BA was unable to fix the problem and it was even worse: now the whole PTV and audio system was broken! What a great way to spend 13 hrs on board... The worlds favourite airline indeed....

Regards,
FinnWings
 
kl713
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:39 am

In my case, it must have been bad luck....being on my last flight as part of a long trip I made, and also being quite nervous about the fact that I was going home to my normal life again........my fellow passengers on this flight (HKG-AMS with CX), in front, behind and next to me didn't had any trouble with their systems....I was the only one, while the systems on all my other CX flights and one QF flight were more than perfect!
732 733 734 73G 738 739 742 743 744 752 763 77E 773 77W 319 320 332 333 343 388 M11 146 DH4
 
airgeek12
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:05 am

I know on airlines such as JetBlue, Frontier, and other airlines with in-seat PTVs as part of an addition customer service, if a PTV goes out they don't do to much about it- as usually the longest flight is like 4-5 hours from the southeast to someplace like SF, California. On these flights there isn't much priority on getting the PTVs fixed once they are broken.

However, I do know that some airlines with flights to Europe, Middle East, Germany, ex.., have a bigger priority, as flights can range from 8-18 hours!

Personally, I would MUCH rather have a PTV working on a 12 hour flight to europe, not a 2 hour connecting flight.

As for me, I have never had any real problems with PTVs at all.

Does anyone know what it means to "reset the PTV system"? Is it just like resetting the little (sometimes HUGE) box under the seats for you section? ...or is it something bigger than that?

I was reading an article on http://www.AirReviews.com, that said that Virgin Airways still had little PTVs no bigger than my finger on some of their old 747s! I had a friend that recently traveled on a Virgin 742, and this came true! It must be a virgin nightmare for some people :p !
 
jmc757
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:17 am

They'd be very reliable if it wasn't for one thing...... passengers Big grin

Regards to Virgin. On the 747-200s the screens are tiny. These aircraft are now owned by Air Atlanta Icelandic and operate the Charter routes for Virgin from Manchester. Bare in mind though that they were some of the first PTVs out there... just havent been upgraded. Anyway good news is, Virgin have ended the Air Atlanta contract and as of next May the services will be Virgin 747-400s with much better IFE Big grin
 
airgeek12
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:26 am

Awsome! I know Air Atlanta Ice. has some of Virgin's old planes, but I also know that Virgin still has some of the older planes.
 
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Richard28
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:47 am

The 742's that operate for Virgin out of Manchester have the Odyssey system installed - this is VS's "second best" IFE (V:Port being the most up-to-date).

Odyssey is very good, has lots of channels, nintendo games, and in-seat telephone.

Airgeek12 & Jmc757 - you are probably referring to the old "Gallery" system which was on some of the VS 742's - I flew with this many years ago to Boston (G-VIRG), it did have a very tiny screen and only 4 channels (although it was revolutionary when it was launched)

Thankfully the Gallery IFE it has long since departed the fleet.
 
airgeek12
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:49 am

Aren't you people happy!! I tuned this forum thread that had been dead for like 2 years into a *total* hit!!

GO MEA Middle East Airlines (Lebanon)">ME!!!!!!
Whoo Hoo!!
 
nethkt
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:45 pm

I just flew on LX C class the past weekend BKK-SIN-BKK.

During flight from BKK-SIN, the PTV stuck for some times but after flights passed its 40 minutes, everything is ok, I can watch Movie on demand, paused, replay etc.

But, from SIN-BKK, it's hell! Everybody in Business class section complained. Games are only option you can do. Everything stuck...and flight attendents couldn't manage to fix it. I had a terrible flight, food was cold and small. No before meal snack served no chocolate at the end of the flight.

I don't know if it's the same story about PVT on BKK-ZRH. That must be terrible to sit 12 hours without nothing to do....just read...how boring!
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
burnsie28
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 9:53 am

They are usually pretty good, but some if not all of the new systems that come out have some sort of bugs in them at the beginning. Also it depends on a lot of factors, I.E. maint, flight, landings, heat etc.
 
knoxibus
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:03 pm

Well the systems are more and more complex nowadays, bringing advanced networking busses along the line of servers with digital contents.

It's a nightmare to fix and to trouble shoot sometimes (it's my job!)

Resetting the system is usually done through specific switches, or with the most advanced system, you can go to touch-screen that operates the whole system and reset a particular port/seat of the Seat Electronic Boxes.

But indeed, these equipments do fly a lot, and are (mis-)used also a lot by the pax.
No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
 
bill142
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RE: PTV's, How Reliable Are They?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 9:01 pm

When I flew with SQ the 744's system had to be reset twice, while on the 777 which I flew on I never experience any problems. However I have only been on 1 SQ 744 while I have been on 3 SQ 777's so perhaps the problem was a glitch with that particlar aircraft (not suggesting that the rest of the fleet is glitch free)

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