Exclusive: JetBlue unit working with DirecTV on wireless IFE

Saints above I’m buried in a sea of pre- and post-Paris work right now (yes, I’m even behind on pre-Paris!) but I need to stop for a few minutes to tell you the news – JetBlue subsidiary LiveTV is working with DirecTV to stream live television to passengers’ own devices where DirecTV is available.

Key quote from LiveTV’s Mike Moeller:

“We’re developing a streaming DirecTV solution. We don’t need screens in the aircraft.”

JetBlue offers DirecTV. So too does Frontier, United-Continental and WestJet. Perhaps LiveTV’s roster of clients will grow now that it intends to offer television wirelessly.

Also today Moeller  gave me some detail behind LiveTV’s new “global” live television service, which is targeted at widebody aircraft (hello Panasonic and Thales). It’s “global” in the overseas sense, of course, and anywhere there is appropriate Ku capacity. But it’s not “global” in the truly global sense. Oh, you know what I mean.

Tangent – isn’t it ironic that after years of pooh-poohing Ku for connectivity, LiveTV is embracing it to augment its global live television service? Or maybe the global TV is augmenting the Ku solution :-)

Meanwhile, these days it seems that LiveTV is less the ‘red headed stepchild under the stairs’ in JetBlue’s house, and more a member of the family. Former CEO Nate Quigley, who had been brought on board to sell the subsidiary, left last fall after JetBlue decided to keep LiveTV, at least for the time being. Will LiveTV become a major player on the international IFEC scene?

We live in interesting times. 

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One Response to Exclusive: JetBlue unit working with DirecTV on wireless IFE

  1. Jacko June 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Receiving data from a Ku satellite is easy. Transmitting to the satellite is what’s difficult. Seems like a logical (if not obvious) move.