Emma Kelly/LONDON

Matsushita Avionics Systems' latest interactive in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, the System 3000, will enter service on a trial basis next month with launch customer and IFE pioneer Singapore Airlines (SIA).


System 3000, which follows Matsushita's market leading interactive System 2000E, will be trialled on a Boeing 747-400 before roll-out on the rest of the airline's widebody fleet once the carrier is happy with the equipment's performance. SIA was the launch customer for the System 2000E, which is now installed on the airline's entire widebody fleet and which will be progressively upgraded to System 3000.

System 3000 has undergone "a very extensive development, testing and debugging process", says Matsushita, adding: "We have great confidence in its reliability."

The equipment provides digital-quality audio- and video-on demand (A/VOD) at each seat, with a choice from over 300h of entertainment, plus video games and a telephone. The system can also support web-based browsing and airborne e-mail using the MAS-Honeywell Inflightmail system.

Planned developments include an ethernet-based system to provide commonality with narrowbody aircraft, live onboard television broadcasts and broadband communication features - being developed with Boeing on the Connexion programme.

System 3000 will provide faster full-cabin A/VOD, improved interactive capabilities and picture quality compared with its predecessor. The new system supports programming loading at 3 gigabytes per minute, allowing 300h of content to be loaded in an hour.

Matsushita has received System 3000 orders from 17 airlines, including Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Continental Airlines, El Al, Sabena, Swissair and Virgin Atlantic (Flight International, 26 September-2 October 2000).

Source: Flight International