Satellite TV is available on JetBlue flights, as well as on a limited number of flights on other airlines. Special antennas that can compensate for the movement of the aircraft are used to receive the signals from DirecTV and EchoStar satellites.
With the announcement of KVH Industries entering the commercial aviation market, it appears that we will be seeing satellite TV on more U.S. aircraft.
KVH announced that it had received a $20.1 million contract from a leading in-flight entertainment supplier. Under the contract, KVH will design, develop and manufacture new DirecTV-compatible satellite TV antennas to be used on narrow-body commercial aircraft operating in the United States.
“This new endeavor marks a significant and logical step in KVH’s evolution as a leading source for innovative mobile broadband technology on land, sea, and now in the air,” said KVH CEO Martin Kits van Heyningen. “As KVH has demonstrated in boats and vehicles around the globe over the last 15 years, live satellite television content like sporting events and breaking news is a compelling product for consumers.”
He predicted that passenger demand for in-flight entertainment, along with airline company recognition that live programming provides competitive and financial benefits, would drive growth in this area of technology.
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Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.