Video on Deplane

Continental is proudly trumpeting the installation of VOD on its 757s, about a decade after it would have been cool. This means I will get slightly less work done when I am returning from trips abroad.

The last CO flight I was on had this system, and it's a bit rubbish, actually. It crashed about 3 times during the flight (maybe there has been a "firmware" upgrade to fix this: waiting for a firmware upgrade seems to be the modern equivalent of praying). The selection of content was pretty dire: the press release trumpets "25 movies and 25 TV shows", as if half its passengers aren't already carrying that much with them in their pockets. Any half decent system needs to have at least 50 movies and 150 episodes to have a decent chance of having something worth watching. Lastly, because it kept crashing, I'm now in the position of having seen about three movies most of the way through. Like many other systems, the only way to navigate through the movie is via fast-forward and rewind. Fast-forward on that system I pegged at roughly 8x, meaning that when the system crapped out after two hours of a long movie, it would take about 15 mins to get back to where you were; not really worth it for the last five minutes of, er, "Speed Racer". (don't tell me what happened). I did this for one movie, by going to the toilet while it was running forwards. Still, fast-forward and rewind are terrible ways to seek through video content. As I've probably opined before, but can't be bothered to look for, the main actions I want to take are "Wait, I missed that bit of dialogue -- go back about ten seconds" and "Hmm, I've seen the first half of this already, jump forward in large chunks till I get to something new, then let me go back and forth a bit till I find where I want to be." Modern video clients, such as the superlative XBMC, have lots of options for doing exactly this, but other things seem obsessed with the idea that I want to emulate an almost extinct analog linear tape based system. Ffwd and Rewind are artifacts of tape, and must be destroyed. That is all.

1 comment:

AC said...

So XBMC is better than VLC? Any interesting feature comparisons to post?