2:04 am - Saturday July 30, 2016

By Plane or By Car; On-Screen Entertainment Travels With You

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TV screens, installed on board of an Airbus A350 XWB flight-test aircraft are pictured during a media-day at the German headquarters of aircraft company Airbus in Hamburg-Finkenwerder

Entertainment and travel are more integrated today than ever before. In fact, two airlines, JetBlue and Song, are using in-flight entertainment as a top selling point with consumers.

JetBlue was the first carrier to debut up to 24 channels of live DirecTV programming in-flight in 2000 and remains the only carrier offering satellite television free at every seat.

JetBlue also plans to offer customers first-run movies, sports and news programming, plus other original entertainment developed by Fox.

These features arrive just as Song Airlines is announcing the addition of pay-per-view to its existing live television on flights.

For those not traveling by plane, there’s good news: On-screen entertainment is rapidly expanding to automobiles. According to J.D. Power & Associates, 28 percent of new 2003 full-size sport utility vehicles were equipped with a passenger entertainment system, and 46 percent of consumers are interested in adding rear-seat entertainment to their next car.

Because satellite’s broad coverage area reaches not only planes but also automobiles in motion throughout the United States, live satellite television is a new, fast-growing trend in vehicle entertainment. It’s made possible by companies like Rhode Island-based KVH Industries.

KVH Industries has created the first in-motion satellite television system, called the TracVision A5, especially for use in passenger vehicles. The system contains a rugged, low-profile antenna and a compact satellite receiver.

The TracVision A5 system can support multiple video screens and receivers and is designed to be a part of a versatile entertainment system that can include DVD players, VCRs and console game systems. It is compatible with DirecTV service; KVH plans to also offer a Dish Network-compatible receiver in the future.

The system is available at more than 800 U.S. retail locations and costs around $2,295. The monthly satellite service fee varies depending on the package selected but is similar to home programming.

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