Virgin’s New Entertainment System Boasts Surround Sound?

Red Beta in-flight entertainment system
Red Beta in-flight entertainment system

In-flight entertainment has never left us with all that many options. When faced with the proposition of watching the mediocre and family-friendly popcorn flick that the airline is showing, we normally opt to read or more often, pass out.

Virgin America has made strong efforts to improve their in-flight entertainment system, culminating with its newest upgrade to the Red in-flight entertainment system: the Red Beta in-flight entertainment program created in partnership with Panasonic.

The Red Beta entertainment system runs on Panasonic EcoV2 monitors. The monitors in question have a highly developed touch screen mechanism, allowing flyers to swipe and zoom through their entertainment choices. Considering our smart phones are something akin to our inner sanctums, there should be an “at home” vibe given off by the in-flight swipe functions.

The monitors support HD content with 720p resolution rendering HD images four times faster. Guests can enjoy HD-rendered classic Atari video games like Pac-Man and Asteroids.

Leonard Zhukovsky
photo by Leonard Zhukovsky

In addition, the Red package allows for more storage capacity resulting in flyers being able to download entire seasons of television. There will be a “surround-sound” listening experience, the first of its kind in in-flight entertainment.

“As the only airline based in Silicon Valley and one known for pushing the envelope in the IFE space, we’re thrilled to launch our Red Beta product,” says Ken Bieler, Director of Cabin Systems, Product Design and Innovation

While the aforementioned upgrades will present immediately, Virgin American also has long term plans for the Beta Red platform; the airline is hopeful that the platform will eventually allow flyers personalize, connect, and expand Red in new ways. The technology is aided by Android software: “We’re really excited about the longer-term capabilities the new Android-based software foundation enables,” Bieler.

According to the company, the Red Beta is testament to the Red system’s ability to change and grow in accordance with the changing markets.

American Virgin hopes to have 18 aircrafts equipped with Red Beta by the end of the year.