United Airlines Is Adding 4K OLED Screens, High-Fidelity Audio, and Programmable LED Lighting for Passengers

Image: Panasonic Avionics

Panasonic Avionics, the world’s leading supplier of in-flight entertainment and communication systems, has announced that United Airlines will be the first U.S. airline to adopt Astrova, the company’s latest, premium in-flight engagement solution. According to a press release, Astrova will offer customers 4K OLED screens, high-fidelity audio, and programmable LED lighting, and while none of that may be enough to shut the adult crybabies up, the system will begin showing up in select Boeing 787 and Airbus A321XLR aircraft in 2025. Panasonic’s 4K OLED screens will be available to airlines in five sizes: 19, 22, 27, 32, and 42 inches, according to another press release that explains how the technology offers “cinema-quality colors and perfect black.”

“Our customers tell us that they want to be engaged, entertained and productive in the air. Our new partnership with Panasonic Avionics will make that possible and enable us to set a new standard of in-flight excellence as a key part of United Next. Together United and Panasonic will drive new standards of engagement when customers come onboard a United aircraft,” said Mark Muren, Managing Director – Identity, Product, and Loyalty at United Airlines.

“Our partnership with United Airlines reflects our shared vision to take the passenger engagement to a whole new level,” added Ken Sain, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation. “We are confident that Astrova will connect passengers to United more effectively than any other IFE solution, and we will continue to optimize passenger engagement with a cabin experience that keeps pace with innovation in the consumer technology space. Panasonic Avionics will perpetually update the passenger experience, introducing new products that bring enormous value and a major competitive advantage to United Airlines.”

From a Panasonic press release:

Astrova is the first IFE solution to offer 4K OLED technology. The image quality is sharper, clearer, with an infinite contrast ratio, which delivers cinema-grade colors and the perfect black. It also creates a fully immersive experience for passengers with high fidelity 3D spatial audio delivered by Panasonic Avionics’ latest Bluetooth technology — together creating the pinnacle of IFE experiences, unmatched in the industry.

United’s passengers will also enjoy up to 100 W of DC power via USB-C at their seat, providing the ability to fast charge the latest phones and tablets, and laptops through all phases of flight.

Astrova’s unique and modular architecture makes it easily upgradeable throughout its lifecycle, and with minimal re-certification efforts and costs. Key hardware and software components can be replaced over time to meet changing market requirements and satisfy ever-increasing passenger expectations.

A prime example of Panasonic Avionics’ ability to keep the technology of its Astrova seat end solution in pace with current consumer technologies is a removable peripheral bar. This proprietary and patented technology from Panasonic Avionics will give United the ability to easily add and upgrade features like Bluetooth and many others. This unlocks the ability for United to quickly adopt the technology and capabilities passengers expect and use in their daily lives. Astrova also offers significant weight savings compared to other seat-end architectures, which will help United to reduce fuel burn.

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