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WAEA2009: Lumexis open to in-flight connectivity, TV partnerships

In-flight entertainment (IFE) firm Lumexis is open to partnering with connectivity service providers such as Aircell or Row 44, as well as live television provider LiveTV.

Bringing Lumexis' fiber-to-the-screeen (FTTS) IFE system together with Aircell's air-to-ground (ATG)-based connectivity or Row 44's Ku-band service could create "a dynamite system", Lumexis CTO Richard Salter told ATI and Flightglobal at this week's annual World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference and exhibition in Palm Springs, Florida.

The Lumexis executive also says he could envision a partnership with LiveTV, a subsidiary of JetBlue Airways that can supply multiple channels of live television through its partnership with DIRECTV.

Lumexis, meanwhile, has introduced a second-generation iteration of its fiber optics-based FTTS platform, which is slated to be installed on an undisclosed full-fleet customer.

The first generation product, trialled on a single US Airways Airbus A320, "flew flawlessly and never required even a single system reboot in nearly 300 revenue airline flights", notes Lumexis CEO Douglas Cline.

But for the second generation system, Lumexis' team of engineers decided to push the envelop further, adding high-definition, widescreen 8.9in VDUs that weigh less than 2lb and are "priced well under conventional, standard definition monitors from competitors weighing nearly twice as much".

Importantly, Lumexis was able to substantially increase processing power and move to high density solid state drives (SSDs) storage in its server switch unit (SSU).

"As a result, only two SSUs (as opposed to an original eight) will be needed to serve a single or twin-aisle aircraft of up to 270 seats, notes Salter.

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