Posted on: 10 March 2011 by Ross McSweeny
airberlin has selected The IMS Company’s RAVE “seat-centric” inflight entertainment system for the carrier’s A330 long-haul fleet with installation due to commence in the fourth quarter of 2011.
airberlin will utilize the 9-inch high definition Seat Display Unit (SDU) with touch screen at every seat and the 12-inch crew panel. IMS claims that RAVE is a new concept in inflight entertainment that improves upon traditional IFE systems by leveraging the best attributes of traditional AVOD systems with the characteristics of portable-players.
Each seatback display unit (SDU) contains all of the content, applications and playback functionality to provide the passenger with audio and video on demand—just like portable solutions, storing content locally in SD (secure digital cards). The simplified network eliminates seat-boxes and provides slim, light-weight, low-power seat displays.
RAVE’s autonomous SDUs avoid the “single point of failure” scenario as the unit in the seat does not depend on large, complex networks and media servers to stream content. The SDUs are fully interchangeable and easily replaced by a flight attendant in the event of service failure with no impact on any other seat.
In RAVE’s architecture the system control unit (SCU) provides the interface to the aircraft Passenger Service System. It performs bulk content loads in the background while the current content is played back to the passenger via a separate SD card. The SCU also distributes video in real-time such as safety videos and boarding music via the fault tolerant gigabit Ethernet cabin network.
Chief Product Officer at airberlin, Thomas Ney commented, “We evaluated the systems available on the market today and chose RAVE because it provided the most reliable solution at the lowest cost to own and operate.”
The SCU has 12 Terabytes of storage whilst the SDUs will have 128 GB of storage, upgradeable over time to 4 Terabytes of capacity.