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mickwrites Nov 15, 04 11:25 am

"Entertainment in the Palm of Your Hand"
I know this has been discussed in a speculative, roundabout way in other threads, but it seems worth noting that later today, American will announce "Personal Entertainment Devices" on board.

Here are some preview images of the device "in action" (as much as that can be the case):

Close view:
"Easy Payment" method:

And here is what AA is expected to announce, more or less:

American Airlines today premieres a wide variety of on-demand entertainment content, including movies, TV shows, games and electronic newspapers and books, packaged in a new, hand-held Personal Entertainment Device. This inflight entertainment concept will be tested on select flights in several markets during the next three months as part of American's ongoing effort to provide customers what they value.

"We are very excited to share this new solution with our passengers as they evaluate the latest in inflight entertainment," said Mary McKee, Managing Director-Inflight Products for AA. "We believe our customers will value the ability to choose from a wide selection of entertainment options and will find that their flight is too short to enjoy all that these devices offer. The content is designed to have broad appeal from the seasoned road warrior to families flying with their children."

The easy-to-use technology allows American to offer a large selection of entertainment options including:
- Early-window movies (after-theater release, but before DVD or video release)
- Music videos
- American's award-winning inflight audio programming - 12 channels offering a variety of musical genres and business programs
- TV comedy and drama programming, such as Cheers, Law & Order, and Without a Trace
- Animated children's programs
- Digital newspapers
- Audio book excerpts
- Card games, such as Solitaire and Black Jack
The lightweight, portable devices have an 8.9 wide Super Video Graphic Array (SVGA) Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen, support continuous play with a battery life of approximately five hours and offer two output headphone jacks.

During take-off and landing, the devices will be housed in a special cart that doubles as a content loading and charging docking station while on the ground. Digital newspapers will be updated daily and other content, including movies and TV programs, will be updated on a regular basis. The secure, digitally encrypted content will be stored on the hard drive of each device.
During the test, the devices will be distributed at no charge to passengers in the First Class cabin. Passengers in the Main cabin can rent the devices for a fee of $10 to $12 (depending on the market) by simply swiping their credit card on the portable unit. All of the "on demand" entertainment options will be available for that one flat fee. There will be no cash transactions for the devices.

The units will be available in selected Chicago/Los Angeles, DFW/Seattle, Fort Lauderdale/Los Angeles and Chicago/Seattle routes. The test will run through early February, 2005.

LewDog Nov 15, 04 11:49 am

Great, great, great.

Clean the aircraft first. :rolleyes:

Spiff Nov 15, 04 12:07 pm

Entertainment... Palm of my hand.

Don't go there, Spiff... :D

andyman1080 Nov 15, 04 12:26 pm

Mick can you post the full URL to the photos? I'm seeing dalla...p in the url for the pictures and it's not working...


mickwrites Nov 15, 04 12:51 pm

Originally Posted by andyman1080
Mick can you post the full URL to the photos? I'm seeing dalla...p in the url for the pictures and it's not working...


sure, Andy. not sure what happened -- the URLs were fine in Preview Mode. Let's see if this works:

Close view:
"Easy Payment" method:

If it still gets truncated, the file names are DSC_6928a.jpg and DSC_6912a.jpg and you can attach those to the end of this URL:

SNA_Flyer Nov 15, 04 12:58 pm

Hmmm, looks to be a modified Fujitsu Lifebook P1000 laptop:

I bring my own entertainment. Can I swipe my credit card and have a hot meal and an attentive FA instead? ;)

JonNYC Nov 15, 04 1:43 pm

Originally Posted by SNA_Flyer
Hmmm, looks to be a modified Fujitsu Lifebook P1000 laptop:

In the photo it says "fujitsu P-series lifebook" ( so that's what it is, obviously.

I bring my own Vaio TR on all trip, but if I didn't, I'd be thrilled to have access to one of these things.

tismfu Nov 15, 04 2:15 pm

I think it's great that AA is doing this. While on most domestic flights I've got enough work to keep me busy it's nice to have the entertainment option, especially gratis in First (What?! AA is adding an amenity... FOR FREE?!)

Where I'd really like to see these devices in on 763s in Y. Is that going to happen or are they assuming we're content with the one-video-programing-type-fits-all approach?

As long as I'm being whiney, I would also like to see a revamp of the audio/video system on 777s. It's poorly designed. AVOD would be nice. And, here, let me write the check for AA to upgrade its T7 fleet.

FWAAA Nov 15, 04 2:47 pm

Here's the press release:

CO FF Nov 16, 04 9:46 pm

Originally Posted by Spiff
Entertainment... Palm of my hand.

Don't go there, Spiff... :D


Pakse Nov 16, 04 10:11 pm

Thanks Spiff ^ - I needed the laugh :)

Keep the faith,


PapiTheWriter Nov 16, 04 11:13 pm

I have found that on long haul flight I pick up the entire season of whatever TV show I have not been able to watch, Sopranos, Sex in the City, Alias, and that, with my laptop and iPod are enough. I gave up with AA's entertainment since most of the movies are of lesser quality than Network drama.


sluggoaafa Jan 25, 05 11:49 am

Great Device
Hey everyone,

Well, don't know how many of you want to hear my inputs on this, but just in case.... ;)

I had the chance to promote this yesterday at LGA for the 4pm LGA-DFW flight. Since I was stuck at LGA all weekend with the snow, I was able to play with the device and find out more about it.

It's awesome. ^ ^ I believe it's the best thing AA has put together and will offer to it's pax.

A few things about the device:
It has 13 full length movies (could add more)
It has 14 daily newspapers (USAToday, Wall St Journal, Miami Herald, Washington Post, New York name a few)
It has several sitcoms on it
Music Videos, the regular AAtractions audio (more selections though)
Audio Books, Childrens Books
and a Survey.

For the testing period, there are 40 devices loaded on a flight. Each First Class passenger receives one if they choose. After First Class has been given theirs, then they are rented to those people in main cabin. Just like anything else in main cabin, it's first come first serve.

There are charts, just like the transcon IFE DVDs, the F/A marks off what seat the device was given, then picked up later...same thing in first. Since main cabin passengers swipe their credit cards to activate the device, I doubt there will be people walking off the plane with them. If you require a receipt, one can be emailed to you within 72 hours.

Like another thread mentioned, there are many bugs that will pop up off the back and during these test flights, but once they are standard on flights, hopefully most of them will be worked out.

Most test flights were on the S80s, but there were a select transcon flights on the 757s as well. One set of headphones is provided with the device, and if you have your own set, especially the Bose, you will enjoy it even more. There are two headphone jacks on the device. However, if you require a second set, the headphones are the standard $5.

So, if you combine the price of all the daily newspapers, and all the movies, I feel that the rental price is reasonable (at least the price that we rented them for the LGA-DFW flight) The device is still in testing for another month, so there may be a different testing fee. (reason why I'm not including the rental fee)

The device is charged for 5hrs 45minutes. I'm sure as the time comes to actually have them on flights, the battery life will hopefully be more. If you have had the chance to test one of these, I would love to hear how you enjoyed it, and if you thought it was a good idea or not.

(now, the B.O.B. thing is something even I don't want to discuss..... :td: )

ByrdluvsAWACO Jan 25, 05 12:00 pm

Let's hack in.
I assume the ports on the back have been removed as well. If not, attach a small PS2 keyboard and have fun. This is also assuming the things run on a Windows platform.

tismfu Jan 25, 05 12:01 pm

Any schedule of routes where this new product will be rolled out?

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