The World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) is contacting airlines this month with proposals for a new task force to take over cabin system standardisation efforts from ARINC/Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC).

The new task force, which was mooted last year, is needed because ARINC, which funds most cabin system standardisation activities, can no longer "keep supporting this activity to the level that we need", says the WAEA (Flight International, 13-19 October, 1999). The WAEA is seeking feedback from airlines on a proposed work programme and the expected costs.

The association warns that without a new body, cabin system standardisation efforts could cease and the industry will not be able to keep up with new technology.

Meanwhile, the association has adopted version 0.9 of its digital video/versatile disc (DVD) specification and issued it for comments ahead of its move to a final version no later than the end of this year.

The WAEA started work in 1998 with the aim of standardising specifications for the use of DVD in in-flight entertainment (IFE). The long-awaited specification is sufficiently complete for use in the development, implementation and testing of DVD products and systems, says the WAEA. "The market required us to issue it now and not wait. Everyone is anxious to get DVD and the hardware manufacturers are keen to get on with it," says Wade Hannibal, director of content technology at Universal Pictures and co-chair of the DVD working group which developed the specification.

DVD promises quality, handling, reliability, weight and cost benefits over tape-delivered IFE. The specification has been held up by security concerns regarding "early window" or first run films, which are typically issued to the in-flight market two months after US theatrical release.

Source: Flight International