DirecTV + Redeye = bad combination

Old Dec 6, 09, 10:09 pm
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DirecTV + Redeye = bad combination

Flew SFO-EWR on flt 1829 last night; the aircraft was a 739 with DirecTV. While I didn't see the point of paying the $6 for TV on a redeye (when many of the channels are off the air or running paid programming), I did play with the system a bit during the free preview period (better known as 'boarding'). I was impressed with the video quality and the selection of channels (BBC America!), although I was a little surprised to see that CO didn't offer a channel that would have replicated the standard IFE for those who didn't want to spring for the premium product.

My issue with the system, however, came after takeoff. As I was the first elite to board in Y, I had some time to experiment with the controls - including figuring out how to turn the seatback display off entirely. I figured that if I was going to try to get some sleep (I didn't, BTW), I didn't want a 7" screen flashing video at me for 4.5 hours. I did a quick scan of the seats around me, and I saw maybe one or two people who actually spent the $6. The others, tho, didn't kill their screens. On a daytime flight, this wouldn't be so bad, but on a redeye, where the cabin is intentionally dark and many passengers are trying to sleep, the video screens create a lot of excess light.

I'd never suggest that CO should shut the system off entirely on overnight flights (although I wouldn't mind it either - I usually bring my own entertainment, so it's no skin off my back) - especially since there ISN'T any free IFE on DTV flights, but I'd love to see the FAs make an announcement on future redeye flights requesting that passengers deactivate their screens after takeoff if they're not planning on buying DTV.
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Old Dec 6, 09, 10:16 pm
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It would be good if people knew they could hit the brightness button to nothing and it woudl go off....most people simply don't know but WANT to during redeyes.
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