APEX Insight: IdeaNova’s Inplay Live provides live in-flight content streaming directly from the ground, with minimal investment in IFE infrastructure required by airlines.
IdeaNova Technologies has added Inplay Live, a new content streaming technology, to its portfolio of in-flight entertainment and digital rights management solutions. The software-based system can integrate with an aircraft’s existing IFE and connectivity systems and leverages the available satellite bandwidth to deliver a dozen or more channels of live- or library-stored programming to passengers.
“Unlike traditional video-on-demand where the content is pre-loaded on the aircraft, Inplay Live provides live content streaming directly from the ground,” IdeaNova’s CEO, Juraj Siska, told APEX Media. Inplay Live can also easily connect with IdeaNova’s Inplay content playback system, delivering content to both seatback monitors and passengers’ personal electronic devices.
“Unlike traditional video-on-demand where the content is pre-loaded on the aircraft, Inplay Live provides live content streaming directly from the ground.” – Juraj Siska, IdeaNova
“Our technology, because we have been in this space for so long, is bandwidth sensitive,” Siska explained. “We have built a lot of functionality into the way we package the content on the ground and how we send it to the aircraft and stream it to the passengers, to be sensitive to the cost of connectivity.”
Using Inplay Live, when a passenger is the first to select a specific channel of programming, the request goes to a ground-based content storage or integration facility. The content is then securely uplinked to the aircraft and cached in the onboard IFE server. There is only a short delay before the content is delivered to the passenger, and if the same programming is requested by another passenger, it will be immediately delivered from the cache.
Inplay Live has been designed to be highly flexible and configurable, and to work within any existing IFE infrastructure, according to Siska. “If an airline has an existing content provider and they have data centers where the content can be streamed from, our platform focuses on the necessary encoding and encryption and the added level of security in streaming the content to the IFE customers in the aircraft. If the customer doesn’t have that capability, we have a cloud-based offering that provides encoding and encryption as well.”
Although dependent on an aircraft’s specific IFE and connectivity specifications, Siska said that Inplay Live can be installed in a matter of minutes and may be a unique future-focused streaming solution in the market. “I think there are components or similar solutions out there, but we don’t think anyone has built a platform that is so configurable and lightweight as ours,” he said. “As we are moving to increasingly connected aircraft, the cloud-based technology and solutions like InPlay Live are going to be important pieces of the overall puzzle in the way to address the passenger’s entertainment needs.”