VIDEO: CBS Early Show broadcast live via Gogo on Virgin America

Amended to include update…

A portion of this morning’s CBS Early Show was broadcast live via Aircell’s Gogo in-flight Internet service from a Virgin America flight out of Boston.

Yep, Branson was on the plane.

ife seats - Virgin America.JPG

We know the Gogo system can handle a live broadcast. Late last year, the first ever air-to-ground (ATG) video stream occurred on a Virgin America aircraft as part of a big YouTube Live event in San Francisco.

But I find the timing of today’s CBS broadcast interesting. It comes just days after Southwest Airlines began commercial trials of Row 44′s Ku-band-based connectivity system, which has been billed by the California-based firm as better and faster than ATG.

Maybe just maybe Aircell is trying to tell us something.

Here’s what an Aircell spokesman had to say about the conventional wisdom that satellite-based connectivity is superior to ATG.

“In terms of the debate between satellite and ATG, remember that we have many years of experience working with satellite and still chose ATG as the better economic and technical choice for the US.”

Next month, an entire Early Show will be done in the air! But here’s the broadcast from this morning:


Watch CBS Videos Online

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4 Responses to VIDEO: CBS Early Show broadcast live via Gogo on Virgin America

  1. Airhead February 12, 2009 at 10:17 am #


    Good point. Have you heard anything about how the Southwest trials have gone? Any feedback from passengers in the last days? This way we’ll know if Aircell should be worried.


  2. Mary Kirby February 12, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    Good question. I’ll do some snooping (and put it out to the Twitter-verse).

  3. Steffen Koehler February 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    Just a minor point of correction: The first ATG video stream did not occur on a Virgin America aircraft. It occured on a Harris/Voyant test flight in July, 2008. Click here for a copy of that announcement. However, I believe you are correct that the first commercial, in-service ATG video stream was on a V.A. aircraft.

    Disclaimer: I’m a Voyant employee.

  4. TotallyMobile February 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    Hi Mary,

    Great to see this level of connectivity onboard! Curiously I heard Sir Richard call in to a radio station from that same flight this morning – I wonder what the authors of the HANG UP act think about that? Seems like we’re entering the era of ubiquitous connectivity in spite of the efforts of some US lawmakers… youpi