Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Thu April 07 2016

Don't Celebrate That Giant Seat-Back Screen Just Yet

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | April 07, 2016

Don't Celebrate That Giant Seat-Back Screen Just Yet

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Someone out there gets us. They understand that we will take bad food, cramped confines and unkempt neighbors if it meant we could watch a giant screen that doubled as the airplane seat back in front of our amused faces.

The Points Guy’s Zach Honig spotted what would be a revolution in in-flight entertainment: the airplane equivalent of a big-screen TV.

Honig was in Hamburg at the Passenger Experience Conference where the reporter spotted what could be a game changer in the sky – if only the airlines see fit to replicate what is Thales’ glowing screen of promise.

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OK, that’s our name for the following image. Thales has seen fit to call the technology its Digital Sky, which is just as nifty.

The Digital Sky is described as a 21.3-inch HD touchscreen that will allow for the usual seat-back entertainment: movies, games and real-time maps of your current flight.

There is even room to have the in-flight magazine displayed and maneuverable through its screen.

And we have to say that there is a lot to like about having a larger screen in front of you. Those airlines who offer the latest in entertainment opportunities, we thank you. There is something about movie fare that dulls our senses to the point that we forget we are on an airplane.

So a larger screen means more fun?

Well, there are some obvious drawbacks. For one, you have to be absolutely confident in your viewing options, because this screen will most assuredly highlight that unsavory moment in “Game of Thrones” you might be watching or offer a spotlight to your horrible taste in movies.

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As mentioned in the article, there isn’t much in the way of space for a large tray table, so we hope you enjoy light snacks on the plane.

And, as the article also notes, many airlines are ditching the seat-back model for a BYOT (Bring Your Own Tablet) scenario.

So it seems this kind of innovation will have to rest in the land of other “What could have been” contraptions.

Sure, watching a few blockbusters on your way to Europe would make time fly. But we know how this industry works. Smaller seats and bringing your own entertainment on planes with sluggish Wi-Fi will have to suffice.


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