In-flight entertainment: Bring your own device trend surges

American Airlines Is Ditching Seat-Back Displays On Its Newest Planes

In-flight entertainment: Bring your own device trend surges
31.01.2017 Sara Pepic

The world’s largest airline, American Airlines has decided to remove in-flight entertainment screens on its new fleet of Boeing Co. aircraft:

“Entertainment and connection options like these are the future of in-flight entertainment, which is why we’ve decided that our new Boeing 737 MAX will arrive later this year without seat-back video screens.”

The airline reasoned that over 90 per cent of its passengers now carry mobile phones, tablets and laptops with them on board. Video screens will still remain on planes used for international flights, and some single-aisle planes used for specific flights.

“We know in-flight entertainment is important to our customers, which is why we’ve committed to offering free, streaming high-quality movies and music, and to investing in fast satellite-based internet access and power at every seat across our domestic fleet”, the airline said in a statement.

With the increasing popularity of the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend, today´s passengers are opting to use their own smartphones, laptops and tablets on-board instead of the high-resolution screens already embedded in the seatback in front of them. For airlines, these moves mean more investing in secure and reliable IFE systems that will enable passengers to use their personal devices they’re already comfortable with.



Picture: Based on Axinom´s core products (Axinom CMS, Axinom DRM, Axinom CDS), customers can create an open digital platform for in-flight entertainment, and offer full entertainment services to their passengers, such as streaming of premium Hollywood Studio´s movies, magazines, and music, on board shopping, promotions and advertising. In addition, airlines and IFE service providers can choose to include passenger information services into their digital platform and cover passenger surveys and crew messaging services.

While American Airlines aims to leave its passengers to their own devices, other airlines will continue to provide their passengers an endless stream of movies and television shows and keep them occupied with seat-back video screens next to their own devices. “Providing seat-back entertainment in addition to the ability to access content via mobile devices on board is something Delta is choosing to invest in while competitors remove options,” said a Delta Air Lines spokesperson to The Verge. “Our customers tell us that flexibility is important to them and we will continue to listen to them.”

In order to cover the full end-to-end media workflow for wireless and in-seat IFE systems, choosing the right content management systems (CMS) as a management backend is a must.

It is necessary to identify the CMS solution with the ability to support specific industry requirements in both connected and disconnected environments (e.g. on-board of an aircraft) while working with the cloud and on-premises data centres and covering unusual synchronization and delivery scenarios for content and services.

Content Management for Wireless and In-Seat IFE Systems

Axinom CMS is an extensible content management system designed to cover the full end-to-end media workflow for  wireless and in-seat IFE systems.

It is the first full-featured content management solution for the worldwide aerospace market that enables both cloud-based and on-premises deployments for a wide set of connected and disconnected consumer scenarios (e.g. on-board of an aircraft). Based on industry-standards, it fulfills the highest requirements regarding security and reliability.

With workflows delivered in source code and a unified API, Axinom CMS provides an open development platform allowing customers to expand to platforms that may not be considered part of the in-flight entertainment ecosystem today and to connect and organise services on-ground and on-board of the aircraft.


Furthermore, the ability to provide a studio-grade DRM protection in offline environments and cover different usage scenarios on-board is one of the core requirements for modern IFE systems.

Secure Content Store for Early Window Hollywood Movies

The path to premium video content fresh from theaters provided by Hollywood studios and streamed to devices on flights features a set of stringent requirements in relation to data security in order to safeguard content copyright.

Axinom works since years very closely with leading Hollywood studios to build secure content stores for premium video content stored on-premises data centres and in the cloud.

By providing a multi DRM service with the highest security requirements (such as Microsoft PlayReady DRM SL3000), Axinom DRM gives customers the flexibility to rapidly launch video-on-demand and live video streaming and deliver high quality, secure and flexible IFE services to the widest range of consumer devices (Microsoft Windows and Apple OSX/macOS and the majority of popular client devices – tablets, mobile phones, game consoles and Smart TVs).

Axinom DRM is the first multi-DRM product that can operate in a disconnected fashion enabling premium video on board of more than a hundred aircraft in the world today.


Faster and Simplified Updates of Premium Video Content

Having the latest Hollywood movies prepared in time for on-board entertainment is vital for every service provider. Unfortunately, licensing agreements for premium content used by Hollywood studios require MPAA-grade pipelines for encoding and packaging. This is a complex and costly challenge which is not easy to solve for a majority of service providers.

This requirement led us to develop a faster and simpler video processing infrastructure that will enable our customers to deliver the latest video experiences to their passengers. Axinom Video Ingest and Processing (VIP)  is built ti bring a faster content approval by content providers, speed up the content updates, significantly reduce technical challenges related to content preparation and distribution, and allow faster time to market with reduced costs.


Content Synchronization and Delivery

Today’s services  in an aircraft have several challenges. Networks can be slow and unreliable, bandwidth can be changing or costly, data can be personal and critical. A world with ubiquitous connectivity will never exist. Traffic quotas, allocated bandwidth, availability of connectivity, storage space, computational power, data security, privacy and many other resources and requirements cannot be taken for granted.

Axinom CDS is built to transfer data fast, securely, and reliably in any environment, e.g. on-board servers and devices exchanging entertainment content and services with the management platform in the cloud. Axinom CDS is the robust solution that manages all aspects of synchronisation, including utilizing different pipes (LAN, WiFi, 3G, LTE, satellite networks), managing interruptions, prioritizing important data, and controlling data transfer cost.

Axinom is providing a set of core products (Axinom CMS, Axinom CDS, and Axinom DRM) designed for the aerospace industry which connect services, assets, crew members and passengers with proven aerospace industry-specific architectures and technologies allowing customers to build the next generation of digital platforms for management and delivery.

Discover more about digital platforms built on top of our product portfolio: