AirBaltic selects Bluebox portable IFE units

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Bluebox has secured a rollout customer for the latest model of its portable in-flight entertainment unit after cinching an agreement with Latvian carrier airBaltic

The "Bluebox Lite" unit manufactured by Samsung its 25% lighter than the previous Bluebox model, features a seven-inch screen and contains a 120 gigabyte hard drive. Average battery life of the unit is about six hours.

Bluebox joint managing director Rick Stuart says airBaltic selected the unit "after a deep evaluation of the portable IFE market space".

A specific number of units covered under the Bluebox deal with AirBaltic was not disclosed.

Company joint venture partner Phantom Media plans to handle content programming, integration and encoding. Aviation technology solutions company AvilT is Phantom's partner in Bluebox.

Previously El Al has tested Bluebox Lite, charging economy passengers to rent the units as a supplement to overhead in-flight entertainment offerings.

Bluebox's reach extends beyond strictly portable units. In October 2008 Airbus commissioned BlueBox to supply its wireless in-flight entertainment system on an A380 demonstration mock-up. The wireless audio/video on-demand system has been deployed on a Boeing Business Jet VIP aircraft.