Delta Airlines TV FAIL! Plus my Streaming TV over Internet Workaround

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Delta Airlines TV FAIL! Plus my Streaming TV over Internet Workaround

I was on a Delta Airlines flight a few months ago and was excited to see each seat has a TV on the back of each seat. Jetblue was the first airline to carry live TV on all their flights and I've loved flying Jetblue ever since. It makes the droning hours pass by much quicker if you can watch TV. So in any case, I was pretty excited to see my Delta flight had TV.

After we took off, I pressed the touch-screen to see what channels were available.

My only choices were On-Air 1, On-Air 2, Movie Trailers, and Dish Network. The On-Air 1 and On-Air 2 were preset shows that I had no interest in. I next checked out the Dish Network option, but it merely was a video promo for Dish Network. It didn't actually give me access to Dish Network's satellite TV service.

Then I thought I'd check out the main menu which features Movies (on demand) and video games. When lo and behold my screen and every other screen on the plane does this simultaneously:

Well, now we know what operating system Delta's entertainment system uses - it's Linux. Isn't Linux supposed to be more bullet-proof than Windows? Well after it took 5 minutes to boot up, it crashed again and then a THIRD time. Sure this isn't running Windows? smiley-wink

Check out the video of the crash and reboot, note the Linux boot-up phase and penguin:

The entertainment system did have a TV "on demand" feature. But you have to pay for it. Check out this message I got when trying to check out TV on demand offerings:

Jetblue doesn't charge anything for TV shows and yet Delta does? Considering Delta was 2nd to offer TV viewing in-flight, you would think they'd want to entice frequent flyers to their airline by offering the TV service for free. You can't be 2nd to market and offer less than the market leader!

Undeterred and since I already paid for the WiFi service to check email, I decided to try and stream TV from my HTPC (home theater PC), which sports a TV tuner card and the free Orb streaming service. Orb runs on my PC and gives me streaming access to my videos, music, and even live TV via my TV tuner card. It even supports IR blasters to be able to change the channel via it's web interface.  Think of it as a PC-based Slingbox, only more versatile. So after connecting to the Delta WiFi, I launched my browser, logged into Orb, and streamed Fox News.

Make me pay for TV, when it should be free? I don't think so! Game, set, match! Here's a video of streaming live TV over the Internet in action:

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