Netflix Aims to Bring More In-Flight Entertainment to Travelers

Netflix plans to extend bandwidth-efficient, mobile tech to airlines in an effort to offer passengers low-cost or free Wi-Fi entertainment. The company claims the mobile-encoding tech would allow travelers to “watch Netflix in high quality while airline carriers save up to 75 percent in bandwidth costs,” reports Variety. Netflix already has various deals involving in-flight Wi-Fi with Virgin America, Aeromexico, Qantas and Virgin Australia. On select flights with next-gen Wi-Fi, “such as those equipped with Ka-band and Gogo’s 2Ku Internet access, passengers are able to access Netflix from their carry-on devices and watch the streaming service at no extra charge.”

Passengers who are non-members have the option to register on-board for a 30-day free Netflix trial in order to access content during their flights.

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For Netflix, which rolled out its streaming service in more than 190 countries last year, such partnerships could add more subscribers. The service is now available through 40 pay-TV providers worldwide.

The company also recently “debuted an offline-viewing option for mobile devices, which was designed for users in countries with still-developing broadband infrastructure,” notes Variety.

“Netflix says the more-efficient mobile encodes it developed can deliver DVD-quality video on mobile devices at 250 kilobits per second — overall, delivering equivalent video quality while using up to 36 percent less bandwidth than its conventional encoding techniques.”