German carrier Air Berlin has become the latest operator to select The IMS Company's RAVE seat-centric in-flight entertainment (IFE) system for installation on widebody aircraft.

The deal calls for IMS to install 9in RAVE high-definition touch-screen seat display units (SDUs) in every seat of 12 Airbus A330s, and provide a 12in crew panel for each aircraft, says IMS.

Retrofits of RAVE will begin in the fourth quarter of this year. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

A new concept in IFE, seat-centric RAVE differs from traditional "server-centric" systems in that each seat-back SDU contains all of the content, applications and playback functionality to provide the passenger with audio/video on demand - just like portable solutions, says IMS. Unlike the server-centric model, RAVE stores content locally in secure digital cards and is not dependent on large networks and media servers to stream content, it adds.

"We evaluated the systems available on the market today and chose RAVE because it provided the most reliable solution at the lowest cost to own and operate," says Air Berlin chief product officer Thomas Ney in a statement.

The RAVE deal is part of a broader Air Berlin "comfort" initiative, which will see the carrier bring new seats to the A330s, reports The Financial news agency.

Last year SriLankan Airlines emerged as the first publicly-announced launch customer of RAVE. Installs are part of a broader refurbishment of the carrier's widebody fleet.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news