Rockwell Collins has moved to dispel the branding fog surrounding its latest cabin networking products, announcing that the lightweight, high-definition television-ready system selected earlier this year for the Cessna Citation CJ4 light business jet will be designated Venue.

“Venue will take the passenger experience to a whole new level by mirroring a high-end digital home entertainment environment in the aircraft,” says Rockwell cabin systems vice-president Tommy Dodson. “Its combination of reduced size, weight, power consumption and cost really opens up the light jet market, while its scaleable architecture allows it to expand to meet the needs of larger, ultra-long-range jets.”

First deliveries of complete Venue systems are scheduled for the first quarter of 2009, although select features are due to be available as early as the second quarter of next year. It will debut aboard the CJ4 in 2010. 

Key features of Venue include high-definition capability, the new Media Center entertainment device, and integration with iPods and an entertainment server from California’s Kaleidescape.

Venue’s real-time, uncompressed high-definition distribution system delivers video at up to 1080-line resolution from devices such as Blu-ray DVDs and Xbox 360 game consoles to widescreen in-seat and bulkhead displays.

Media Center combines a wide variety of entertainment sources – a Blu-ray player, a CD and MP3 player, an audio and video jukebox function, Rockwell’s own Airshow moving map, and games – in a small, economically priced unit.

Like Lufthansa Technik’s NICE system, Venue allows passengers to plug in their personal iPods and IPhones and distribute audio and video throughout the cabin, with control through an on-screen virtual iPod menu delivered to a screen at the seat.

The Kaleidescape server, which is already common in the home entertainment market, stores DVDs and CDs on an array of failsafe hard disc drives to support the automatic viewing and organization of music and film collections. The Venue interface features a 10.6in (270mm) touchscreen controller offering picture-in-picture, preview and full-screen views of Kaleidescape content. The video output is directly connected to the cabin distribution system for viewing on any seat or bulkhead display, with audio available on cabin headsets and speakers.

In other Atlanta news, Rockwell Collins has unveiled two new iPod integration solutions for general use with cabin networks, as well as announcing upgrades to its Airshow 4000 moving-map system.

The iPod Solo Station is designed for near-seat, side-ledge installation and accommodates a single iPod or iPhone. It is due to be offered as an option on the Dassault Falcon 7X, 900 and 2000 by the end of next year. The iPod Quad Station can host up to four devices in adjoining docking slots, allowing each to route its audio and video to a different destination under independent control.

The Airshow 4000 moving-map upgrades include a new atlas-style map set, more details on existing maps, and world clock and flightdeck instrument panel pages.
The atlas maps incorporate major highways and their designations, complementing the existing topographic and photographic maps. The high-definition maps showing close-ups of larger cities now include details such as districts, museums and other points of interest.

The world clock page presents clock information for major cities around the world, while the instrument panel pages give passengers a simulated view of the current readings visible on the flightdeck. 

All of the new features are available to existing Airshow 4000 users in the form of a software upgrade package.

More news from NBAA 2007 ...


Source: Flight Daily News