Airline Adds Live TV To In-Flight Entertainment Choices

in-flight

Emirates Airlines has raised the bar on in-flight services for quite some time, offering over-the-top amenities like a shower in first class, Bvlgari amenity kits, dine-on-demand service and more. Now, Emirates has figured out how to add live TV from a variety of sources.

“Installing the type of satellite communication that allows live TV on an aircraft is no easy feat,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates executive vice-president of engineering and operations, in a Breaking Travel News report.

Currently offering a choice of four live TV channels, Emirates allows passengers to choose from BBC World News in English, BBC Arabic or Euronews.

Sports 24 is a channel with exclusive live coverage of sporting events around the world. Upcoming events include English Premier League and Bundesliga football matches, coverage of the Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open Tennis, ATP Tour Masters 1000 Series, ATP World Tour Finals, US Open Golf and the British and Irish Lions Tour.

That’s in addition to information systems that allow passengers to follow the progress of their flight and see what’s going on outside the aircraft with external-mounted cameras. Already in place are in-flight phone calls both to ground and other passengers on the plane, as well as the ability for sending and receiving text messages, email and over 1,400 channels of premium entertainment.

Available on select Boeing 777 flights flying over the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and North America, Emirates live TV service is provided via expanding satellite technology, soon to be offered worldwide.

Want a taste of the Emirates first class experience? Check this video, just in:



[Photo credit – Flickr user BriYYZ]

Queens To Meet In London For Big Event

Buckingham Palance big eventThis June 5 is a big event in the UK as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 60 years on the throne. Cunard Line will bring Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations to a close with the first ever Cunard Royal Rendezvous in the fleet’s home port of Southampton, England.

Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will be brought within close proximity of each other as a fireworks and special effects display will light up the evening sky. Queen Mary 2 will then lead Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria in single file down the Solent, a strait separating the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England, as all three ships set out on their celebratory Jubilee voyages.

This is not the first time the three Queens of the Cunard fleet have met. In 2011 they met in New York City, but the first meeting of the three queens was in 2008.

“In January 2008, Cunard Line’s first Rendezvous of their three Queens took place. It was quite exciting as it was the first time Cunard had three ships with Queen in the name and all three were together,” said Stewart Chiron CEO of CruiseGuy.com. “It was the last time for many to see Queen Elizabeth 2, as she would depart the fleet later that year.”

Enrichment programming on board the ships will feature lectures by former BBC Royal correspondent Jennie Bond; Professor Herbert Kerrigan QC, one of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II‘s Counsel in Scotland; and ITN royal commentator Robert Jobson.

Also on board will be a rare collection of Royal art, including watercolors by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and lithographs by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Guests sailing on board Cunard ships will enjoy a Commemorative Dinner followed by a Grand Ball. Cunard will also screen live BBC World News coverage of the celebrations across the fleet beginning at 9:00 a.m. (GMT).



[Flickr photo by micamica]

Internet on cruise ships to improve with more content in more places

internet on cruise ship MTN Satellite Communications (MTN) provides Internet access to most cruise ships sailing around the world. This week, MTN announced the new and improved version 2 of its MTN Worldwide TV service that uses three overlapping satellite beams to supply a more reliable, uninterrupted service. The new system allows streaming to Wi-Fi enabled devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.

“With MTN Worldwide TV, passengers and crew can now access entertainment and news programming, and other content, from anywhere on the ship using personal mobile devices – from lounging by the pool or in the comfort of their room. Further, this new mobile service will keep crew morale high and help increase productivity while at sea,” said Brent Horwitz, senior vice president and general manager of MTN’s cruise and ferry services business.

Cruise lines can now integrate additional video and audio content such as shore excursions, ship and port information and onboard vendor advertising for a comprehensive and personalized line-up, anywhere.

In other words, what cruise passengers can see on their stateroom television, they will be able to see on their personal Wi-Fi enabled devices all over the ship. Think: watching a movie, catching up on a sporting event or exploring shore excursions for the next port of call, while poolside on an iPad.

MTN Worldwide TV delivers programming from eight major U.S. and international television networks including BBC World News, CNBC, Fox News, MSNBC, Sky News, Sky Sports News, Sport 24 and E! Entertainment Television. The network also includes special event programing such as Premier League Soccer and onboard events.

“Yet another first for the cruise industry that addresses the needs of Digital Natives climbing aboard cruise ships with higher content demands, MTN Worldwide TV enables passengers and crew to stay informed and entertained – making for a better at-sea experience anywhere, anytime,” added Horwitz.

MTN Worldwide TV is currently reaching more than 60,000 cabins aboard 19 cruise lines around the world. To date, the service has broadcast 770 sporting events and more than 2,000 hours of live programming on its special events channel, including: NFL games, Australian Football League Playoffs, Premier League Soccer, Rugby World Cup, the MLB Playoffs and Formula One Racing.

Flickr photo by IamNigelMorris