A new in-flight entertainment system due to be rolled out by Flydubai this month could make watching movies in the sky easier and greener.
The Dubai budget carrier is the launch customer for a new type of in-flight entertainment system from US company Lumexis, dubbed “fiber to the screen.”
The premise of the system is that it uses fiber optics to take information to the seatback displays instead of copper wires, in much the same way that many home cable connections have superseded traditional copper telephone lines.
While using fiber optics in planes also offers faster connection speeds just like on the ground, it’s another selling point that could make it big in aviation — it’s much, much lighter.
Lumexis says that its system can weigh up to 50 percent less than traditional systems, thanks to lighter cabling and the removal of bulky switching and zone boxes under seats that can also get in the way of passengers.
This not only reduces the cost of an installation but also means less fuel burned, which helps carriers reduce emissions and keep ticket prices down.
As the system can carry more information, it could also mean more choice for customers, with Flydubai saying that its new in-flight entertainment will be an optional extra and that it plans “to offer functionality on our IFE system that other airlines traditionally don’t have.”
With the ever-more advanced market currently dominated by in-flight entertainment systems from companies such as Thales and Panasonic, other airlines are watching closely.