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DISH Lends Out iPad 2s for In-Flight Entertainment

by November 04, 2013
DISH Lends Out iPad 2s for In-Flight Entertainment

DISH Lends Out iPad 2s for In-Flight Entertainment

As I was flying back from a recent event, I was thinking that I had several movies and shows stored up on my DISH Hopper back home. Of course, I could stream that content using the plane's Wi-FI and my laptop, but what about people who don't already have DISH? What if they don't have a Hopper or a means of accessing something good to watch? Have you flown across the country with nothing good to watch? Ugh...boring doesn't begin to describe it. And you can't exactly take a nap, because the latest trend in flights is to jam the seats so close together, the person in front of you might as well be sitting on your lap.

DISH is starting a "pilot program" (pun intended, darn it!) inviting passengers to experience “TV on the Fly” in Chicago-Midway, Denver and Oakland airports. The program issues an iPad 2 from a lending library that is connected to a system offering them live and on-demand TV. The program is currently free via DISH on Wi-Fi-equipped Southwest flights.

These DISH “Watch TV on the Fly” libraries are located in Southwest terminals at Chicago-Midway International Airport (MDW), Denver International Airport (DEN) and Oakland International Airport (OAK). How it works is that passengers can visit each location and check out an iPad for their flight. Those who check out an iPad will be get to use free live-TV content on their Southwest flight. The iPad 2's are then returned at the destination airport’s corresponding library.

Currently, this program is free for those traveling between MDW, DEN and OAK on WiFi-enabled Southwest flights. As with any program like this, I believe that eventually the "test run" will give way to a pay-per-use model, but it will likely be something that is sensible for those taking longer flights and we'd expect the program to expand to more and more airports once DISH and Southwest iron out all the details.

A similar program has been in place since July which provides somewhere around 75 different on-demand shows on over 400 Wi-Fi-enabled Southwest aircraft. The system actually works with Apple, Android and most other Internet-ready personal devices as well, so you can imagine offering a lending library of devices will make the service available to nearly all passengers.

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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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