Panasonic bringing live TV to intercontinental flights

The service will carry international news channels and piggy-back on the in-flight broadband service launching this year

Panasonic Avionics, a unit of the Japanese electronics giant that specializes in in-flight entertainment systems for aircraft, is launching a new system that will provide live broadcast television on intercontinental flights.

The company has initially signed agreements with BBC World News, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg Television, Euronews and France 24 and said deals with additional broadcasters are expected to be signed soon.

In-flight satellite TV is already available on some domestic flights in the U.S. but its use is restricted both by the coverage area of the satellite and broadcast rights deals that typically allow a TV station to offer programming to a defined geographical area.

The Panasonic system will use the same satellites that carry the company's ExConnect broadband Internet offering for aircraft so aircraft should remain in range of the signal throughout their flights. In terms of programming, news channels are often available internationally and don't pose copyright problems. However, getting entertainment programming onboard might be more problematic.

Panasonic has yet to announce any deals but says five airlines have signed up for the ExConnect service. They'll be announced when equipment has been installed on aircraft and the service is ready to be offered to travellers, which will probably be in the latter part of this year, said spokeswoman Theresa Yeoh. Panasonic is currently in discussions with several airlines for the live TV service, she said.

It's promoting the service to airlines as a way to earn extra revenue from passengers, either with pay-per-view service offerings or through insertion of advertising into the live TV streams.

ExConnect is the first intercontinental, high-speed Internet service available on aircraft since 2006, when Boeing's Connexion service was shutdown due to mounting losses. Connexion also carried some streaming television.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?