NextGen IFE system is next up for Thales

I’ve got to give a shout out to Thales, which intends to introduce the next generation of its TopSeries in-flight entertainment (IFE) platform in the second quarter. Korean Air is among the carriers that have agreed to adopt the system. You can read my full piece here.

Korean Air 777.jpg

But here is a key quote from Thales VP media services Stuart Dunleavy about the new system:

“From a media point of view, the architecture is becoming much more web-like in its implementation and that creates huge opportunities for my team to be innovative. Additionally, the server has a lot more horsepower, and can hold nearly a terabyte of storage. And the screens have much faster processing ability. They are essentially like mini-laptops.”

A terabyte of storage? Seat-back systems that are like mini-laptops? Lovely stuff. We’ll have more from Dunleavy later. Oh, okay, here’s a taste.

Thales continues to champion the SwiftBroadband aeronautical service (it is integrating OnAir’s email service into its latest IFE system for a customer). However, the firm assures it is keeping its eye on the KU-band space thanks to its network of solutions in that arena (it owns Thales Alenia Space, a leader in Ku-band satellite systems).

Additionally, Thales has “had communications with air-to-ground [providers] in the USA”, says Dunleavy. “As commercial models mature, we can use any communications platform as necessary.”

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