AIRBORNE MOVIES WITHOUT VIDEO (May, 1967)
AIRBORNE MOVIES WITHOUT VIDEO
Airlines have been showing movies on jet flights for some time. The first system used a single projector and a single screen (like a conventional theater). But it was hard for some passengers to see the screen, so a video system was tried. The film was projected into a Vidicon pickup tube (like a TV station does) and the image displayed on several picture monitors scattered around the cabin. These monitors, through a master receiver, could also pick up off-the-air TV.
Now comes a nonvideo, multiple-screen movie technique for air travelers. American Airlines has begun using Astrocolor (developed by Bell & Howell) on their 707 Astrojets. A number of viewing screens are placed around the cabin, each illuminated by its own projector. Film is shuttled from the supply reel (in the cockpit) through a special channel from one projector to the next, and finally back to the takeup reel (also in the cockpit). Each screen serves only a few passengers, who are close enough to see the images clearly.
A separate sound head is used at each projector, and audio is fed to earphones at each seat. There’s a 5-min-ute lag between the first and last screens on the loop.
Advice to air travelers: Get a seat near the supply-reel side; if you miss some action, you can step across the aisle and catch the repeat.