Not so long ago, those expensive, proprietary seat-back entertainment systems were the coolest way to entertain yourself in the sky – and a key point of airline differentiation. But the rising popularity of iPads threatens to make even the slickest built-in entertainment systems obsolete. Forward-thinking airlines are scrambling to get ahead of the trend.
Until quite recently, the prevailing school of thought was to make traditional in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems bigger and better. That’s certainly the idea behind IFE systems on new Boeing “Dreamliner” 787s.