Saudi airline, Thales in inflight entertainment deal
Dubai, April 7, 2009
Thales has come out with the latest version of its TopSeries inflight entertainment system, aimed specifically at the single-aisle market which will be launched by Saudi Arabian Airlines.
'Up to now we've been highly competitive and have won a significant part of the market for full audio/video-on-demand (AVOD) throughout the aircraft,' Alan Pellegrini, general manager of Thales' California-based in-flight business said, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.
'But among airlines that want something more basic for single-aisle aircraft, Panasonic and Rockwell so far dominated. So we decided to scale our TopSeries family to fit this need, while also aiming not to create a me-too product.'
The TopSeries Digital Single-Aisle (D-SA), willmake its first appearance in September aboard the first of 42 new Airbus A320s belonging to Saudi Arabian Airlines.
TopSeries D-SA is designed in basic form to provide broadcast overhead video and distributed audio while also being scalable to full AVOD.
'It's particularly suitable for airlines who want AVOD in their premium classes and overhead video in economy, explained Pellegrini.
'But even in its most basic configuration it will have functional advantages compared with existing broadcast systems. For example, D-SA is inherently interactive, offering audio on demand at every seat - a hundred channels on demand compared with a typical 12 broadcast channels today.'
'As well as offering weight and power consumption advantages, D-SA will support a huge choice of content,' says Pellegrini.
'Its single 4MCU server has around a terabyte of capacity, enough for around four hundred movies. This level of capability has already attracted a lot of interest from the market, and right now we're bidding on a number of opportunities.'-TradeArabia News Service