In-flight entertainment (IFE) hardware manufacturers are aiming for around a 30% reduction in the weight and size of new interactive IFE systems for the Airbus A380.

Rockwell Collins is using its latest IFE system, ETES (Enhanced Total Entertainment System), as the basis for its hardware for the A380, but with new file servers and seat boxes. ETES has the capability to provide interactive entertainment, including audio- and video-on-demand to up to 1,000 seats, says Dave Frankenbach, director of cabin systems marketing for Rockwell Collins.

Weight reduction and improved integration with the seat is a focus of the manufacturer's activities with the new system, says Frankenbach, with Rockwell saying reductions of 30-40% are possible.

Competitor Matsushita, meanwhile, is developing a new IFE system for the A380 under its Project Kayak. The new system will incorporate elements of the manufacturer's successful System 3000/3000i widebody interactive products and the EFX narrowbody system.

Weight reduction will be achieved through better integration of functions and the use of technology employed elsewhere by parent company Panasonic, says Paul Margis, senior vice-president and chief technology officer. This includes media-oriented systems transport technology, which is used to produce car entertainment systems. Matsushita aims to start tests on a prototype system this year.

Source: Flight International