konstantinkoll
Topic Author
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Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:29 am

Hi everybody,

on March 2nd 2008 I was von LH 459 SFO-MUC. I was lucky to get D-AIHP which had a PTV system installed in Y class. I was on seat 52H, and as an IT pro I'll give you a review of the installed system (right now being deployed throughout the LH longhaul fleet according to the crew). Please forgive me if it gets all to technical.

Executive summary: the system is quite okay, but still has some flaws.


The screen is a touchscreen. On some screenshots, you might see white or dark pixels arranged in a pattern. They are holes in a plastic foil that coveres the entire screen and provides the touch input. The holes aren't that much noticable in real life. Below the screen display area are two fixed buttons labeled "on/off" and "menu". The old controls for audio, TV and reading lights were still installed in the arm rests. Last thing, the screens are attached with an analog interface, resulting in slight color distortion all the time. Sorry, no DVI here folks  weeping 

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 16kb

This is the welcome screen that was visible on all screens during boarding. Please note the yellow mouse cursor: the effect is neat (better visibility on white areas), and the shape is evidence for a Windows based system.

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 19kb

After tipping the screen, the language menu appears. I've chosen German as language, although English would have been better for this report - sorry  banghead 

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 16kb

This is the main menu of the PTV system. Different areas can be accessed through the menu on the darkened area on the left side. The last menu option is "turn screen off", which does exactly that. Music or a film wouldn't play with the screen turned off.

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 13kb

Another option is the screen brightness which can be adjusted here, and only here. There are no separate buttons below the screen or in the armrest to adjust the screen brightness at any given time, like on JetBlue systems. The lowest setting for brightness does not turn the screen off, you have to use the option mentioned above for that.

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 15kb

The first option is "Fly Lufthansa", which contains information from the inflight magazine.

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 17kb

On my flight, there was a ca. 20min film about the A380 route proving program and its integration into the LH fleet. I found that video more entertaining than any other movie on offer, and actually watched it twice  biggrin . The screenshow above shows the pre-replay screen for every video and movie in the system. It contains a short description and also a language selection. The language selection did not work properly for me, mostly only one language (German) was available. Probably that was tied to the overall language selection for the PTV system.

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 18kb
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Big version: Width: 450 Height: 300 File size: 25kb
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Other options from this submenu take you to different pages that present information about Lufthansa and its fleet (click on thumbnails above).

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 17kb
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Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 23kb

This is the submenu for watching movies. Please note the unusual page bar indicator (like a scrollbar) in the top right corner. Menu pages are changed with the arrow buttons at the lower end of the screen.

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 18kb

At the start of each video/movie, the menu above appears, to change screen brightness and volume. To end a movie, you have to use the ON/OFF button below the screen, and press "yes" in the dialog box that appears. MENU takes you immediately to the submenu, or if pressed in a submenu directly to the main menu.

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 30kb

The inflight map is also available. Unfortunately, the PTV system simply switches to the TV channel for that. Your music will NOT play while watching the inflight map because of that (again that's what works on JetBlue). Instead of the previously played music, a standard lounge music is played during the inflight map. Additionally, the inflight map is not found under "Watch", but under "Fly Lufthansa" and then in the "On board" submenu. Adding a link to the "Watch" menu is definately a todo.
 
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Vasu
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:14 am

Thanks for providing this... it was a very interesting read! One question: with touch screen controls, do you constantly feel the tapping of the screen attached to the back of your seat? Does it get annoying if the person behind doesn't touch it lightly?
 
konstantinkoll
Topic Author
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:52 pm

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:30 am

No, I didn't feel anything, and I'm sure the person in 53H used his PTV.
 
kimberlyRJ
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:35 am

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:36 am

Hello

It must be a nightmare keeping the screens clean, I mean all those finger mark's...

Regards

Kimberly
 
PlaneHunter
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:57 am

Very interesting review - LH's system looks ok, though it's not comparable to the high-end products on EK or SQ.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
konstantinkoll
Topic Author
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:34 am

The displays are actually coated, so finger marks aren't too bad. They can easily be wiped away with a cloth during turnaround.
 
wilco737
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:54 am



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Very interesting review - LH's system looks ok, though it's not comparable to the high-end products on EK or SQ.


PH

Well, at least there is some PTV now in Y......... So, now the A.net community can start flying LH again!  duck 

Quoting Konstantinkoll (Thread starter):

The one in Y looks a bit like the one in C class! So far so good!  thumbsup 

THanks for sharing  Wink

WILCO737 (MD11F)
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BMIFlyer
Posts: 8064
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:05 am

Nice report, touch screen technology is good aint it Big grin



Lee
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
thegivenone
Posts: 181
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:26 pm

Hi Konstantinkoll,

Thanks for the review (as you had promised Big grin)

The system looks good, and I hope Lufthansa will iron out some of the flaws soon. It's interesting that they went with the touchscreen interface as opposed to the remote controlled one they were testing. It's weird because they obviously laid value on the touchscreen system, even though the remote control has almost become a "standard" for most airlines. The only time I have really experienced in-flight touchscreen system was on an Emirates A330, however, this was a hybrid system (with a remote control) so I didn't really end up using the touchscreen at all!

Interesting also that the monitor is connected to an analogue video port. Does anyone have any idea whether some of the top AVOD systems (ICE, KrisWorld, V:Port etc) are connected to digital video busses?

Oh, and Konstantinkoll, is there a big IFE box under the seat?
 
konstantinkoll
Topic Author
Posts: 44
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:48 pm

In my row (that is, sitting in 52H with a display at the back of 51H) there was no box whatsoever. I haven't seen one in any of the rows, but haven't looked out for them either. I guess we'll have to wait what's on seatguru in a few weeks.
 
Tkfan
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:52 pm

Thank you for the pictures @ Konstantinkoll!

Do you also have pictures of the whole seat, to compare the size of the screen? and isnt there also a remote control???
I think its not convenient to use it by touching the screen all the way if one makes it comfortable in his seat?
 
vtmaa
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:57 am

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:11 pm

Nice one Konstantinkoll.

Do any of you know what the schedule is for the installation on their aircraft. I am flying LH in May to Turkey PHL-FRA-IST (343), IST-MUC-ORD (346) in Y and was wondering if there would be PTV during my flight
 
konstantinkoll
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:58 pm

Sorry, I don't have pictures of the entire seat. The screen uses about 95% of the real estate in the previous "hole" of the seat, the remaining 5% are the frame.
 
sevenair
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:39 am

I had the PTVs flying the 333 a few weeks back. It was great!!!!! It really set the trip apart from all the other tatl flights ive taken. Really good size screen, easy to use, and a good selection. Particulaly liked the documentaries and videos about LH. Just a shame about the moving map.
 
FlyboyOz
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 10:05 am

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:28 am

Oh cool...I'm flying LH as well. It's my first time to fly on LH and can't wait to see about my new experience about LH inflight service. I hope that they will have one on my flight. Are LH crew (pilots and crews) friendly? I need to do some a bit research on LH inflight service. Doesnt LH have the cup of noodles or other small food as a snack?
The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
 
konstantinkoll
Topic Author
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:52 pm

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:03 am

Depends... on flights within Germany, you usually get a drink only in Y class (and not even that in DUS-FRA; just look at the distance). Other shorthaul flights give you a sandwich or similar, and on longhaul you get quite a good meal and another snack before landing.
 
wilco737
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:52 am



Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 14):
Are LH crew (pilots and crews) friendly?

Of course we are all friendly Big grin

WILCO737 (MD11F)
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stylo777
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:11 am



Quoting VTMAA (Reply 11):
Do any of you know what the schedule is for the installation on their aircraft. I am flying LH in May to Turkey PHL-FRA-IST (343), IST-MUC-ORD (346) in Y and was wondering if there would be PTV during my flight

the chances to get an equipped plane on your routing is the highest on the MUC-ORD segment as this one is operated with A346. PHL-FRA is operated most times with A343, so no chances! but on some weekdays the switch to A333, in this case 100% PTV in Y for you  Smile
just PM me 1-2 days before, I can tell you than if you are lucky or not  Wink

Quoting Thegivenone (Reply 8):
is there a big IFE box under the seat?

I don't want to advertise my trip report, but I made some pix in which you can see the IFE box under the seat (at least on the A333) LH/333 With PTV In Y/Cl. (FRA-MUC-PRG-HAM-FRA) (by Stylo777 Feb 5 2008 in Trip Reports)
 
BrianDromey
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:01 pm

It looks like a good system, I think it would be a good feature to be able to turn off the screen yet still be able to listen to music, etc. ICE (EK system) offers this oppertunity, and its a great way to save the battery of the iPod on a long flight. Of course, EK will soon be able to plug in our own iPod and watch our own selection and charge simultaneously , which will be great!

Overall, looking good LH!
 
stylo777
Posts: 2750
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:55 pm

for all who are interested in, actually following aircrafts are....

A330-300

D-AIKA
D-AIKC
D-AIKD
D-AIKE
D-AIKF
D-AIKG
D-AIKH
D-AIKI
D-AIKJ
D-AIKK

A340-600:

D-AIHA
D-AIHB
D-AIHE
D-AIHM
D-AIHN
D-AIHO
D-AIHP
D-AIHR
 
StefanPAD
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:15 pm

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:48 am



Quoting VTMAA (Reply 11):
Do any of you know what the schedule is for the installation on their aircraft.

I've been to the ITB (the world's leading travel trade show) in Berlin this weekend and a friendly LH f/a showed me the PTV. She told me that the installation on the A333 fleet and on the half of the A346 fleet is completed. The remaining fleet of the A346 and all the A343 fleet will be installed until summer 2009. The 744 will not be equipped with PTV.

Stefan
 
B747forever
Posts: 13814
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:58 pm

Nice TR.

Kinda rare.

Cant you change language when you have choose one??

Hopefully LH will develop their IFE system, but this is a excellent start!! Maybe I will now go back to fly with LH, now when they have PTVs.



Thank you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
stylo777
Posts: 2750
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:54 pm



Quoting B747forever (Reply 21):
but this is a excellent start!! Maybe I will now go back to fly with LH, now when they have PTVs.

according to your flightmemory profile LH is already your 1st choice, isn't it? Big grin
 
konstantinkoll
Topic Author
Posts: 44
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RE: Lufthansa PTV On A346 - Tech Review

Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:13 am



Quoting B747forever (Reply 21):
Cant you change language when you have choose one??

Of course you can, there is an option for that in the main memory. I just didn't think about it...

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