The Evolution of In-Flight Entertainment

By Conrad Theisen, Avionics Sales Manager

Historically, cabin entertainment systems have been very heavily reliant on hardware. They have required several cabin monitors, potential cabinet modifications to accommodate other monitors, DVD players and large receivers to run the system. In addition to bulky equipment, older systems included complex and expensive repair to mounted in the drink rails and armrest. Many times, when a switch was added, interior had to be sent out for plating adding additional cost and downtime.

Also, many membrane type switches were notorious for going bad and could be very expensive to replace. Eliminating all of the switching saves literally hundreds of hours in engineering, custom design and installation.

Luckily, cabin avionics has evolved with consumer electronics to allow streaming entertainment, nearly eliminating the need for a heavy and expensive cabin entertainment system for many customers.

Gogo Business Aviation recently announced business aviation’s first turn-key, on-demand in-flight entertainment system, Gogo Vision. Gogo Vision is an in-flight streaming entertainment system that works directly with your laptop, tablet or iPhone to give you a full library of movies, TV episodes, news, destination weather, flight progress and moving maps.

This service is available with the installation of the Gogo Business Aviation UCS 5000 smart router and media server, which can be purchased for about $40,000 plus installation cost and requires Gogo Biz or Swift Broadband on board.

Compared to other cabin entertainment options, Gogo Vision is lightweight and affordable. In addition to equipment and installation, the Gogo Vision service fee is $395 per month and includes 3G/4G modem service, mailed USB updates, unlimited content updates at participating Gogo Cloud locations, news, weather, flight progress and moving maps. Each movie is $10 extra and each TV episode is an extra $6. Gogo Vision’s costs will be in addition to your monthly data provided by your Gogo Biz or Swiftbroadband package.

Comparatively speaking, the Gogo Vision can be cheaper, lighter weight and easier to maintain than most cabin entertainment options out there today.

Conrad Theisen has been with Elliott Aviation since 1996. He started his career as an Avionics Installer and was promoted to Avionics Manager in 2001. In 2009, he led the Customer Service and Project Management teams for all in-house aircraft. He joined the Avionics Sales team in 2012.