|Quoting N766UA (Reply 12):|
And I guess it's just not economical to shoot a new satellite up there just for a few airliners, especially if nobody's paying for the service.
Well, definitely not if nobody's paying for the service!
If someone wanted to they could certainly get mobile satellite data service anywhere on the planet, and then run video over that. Unfortunately that's still a point-to-point connection, and very expensive at video bitrates. And the relatively less expensive services in that genre require fairly large movable antennas, which may be impractical for most airliners.
BGAN, for example, offers about 500kbs downlink speeds, and you can move data for a mere $5-$10 per megabyte, so it would cost north of $2K to receive a two hour movie, assuming you could encode it acceptably in 500kbps. Most BGAN terminals are not suited for mobile operations (you have to set them up and get them properly pointed at a sat), and while terminals on gimbaled autoseeking platforms have been built, I don’t know if any are commercially available. Nor does BGAN support a “cell” function, so you’d have to deal with moving between satellite coverage areas at the application layer.