Like so many great plane features, high-definition television is reserved to those who fly in private jets.
The reason is simple: You need a lot more bandwidth for a plane with 200 passengers than for one with 10.
Back in 2007, Freesky Research predicted in-flight internet connections would expand, but that private jets would “be one of the leading segments of the market.”
That prediction has held true: HDTV is a common feature in new private jets, while some (but certainly not all) commercial jets offer WiFi that is at best decent.
Fortunately for those who can’t afford to own their own aircraft (or who don’t fly enough hours every year to make it worth the money), bandwidth availability is steadily increasing, Kent Statler, Executive Vice President at avionics company Rockwell Collins said in an interview at the Paris Air Show.
It’s increasing quickly, too. “It will evolve through time,” Statler said, and by 2020, “there will be bandwidth available” to give passengers on large jetliners HDTV.
So while air travel is unlikely to get any less crowded or more pleasant in the near future, at least there’s high-quality tv to look forward to.
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