It’s boxy actuality an analog band in a agenda world. Introduced in 1989, Sony’s Hi8 band architecture was one of the final iterations in the change of analog cine formats that began 60 years ago with massive, two-inch wide, reel-to-reel advertisement videotapes. Hi8 uses 8 mm band – beneath than a third of an inch advanced – housed in a bunched cassette. Initially developed for customer video cameras, the baby and failing architecture was absolute for in-flight use, and professional-grade Hi8 band became a accepted architecture for IFE systems.
In March 2011, a adverse convulsion and tsunami abounding Sony’s Sendai, Japan-based factory, shutting bottomward the accomplish of Hi8 and added band formats. The industry accolade for band stock, and with a about-face to agenda formats looming, Sony fabricated the accommodation not to resume Hi8 production. “Our accommodation was based on the all-embracing accelerated abatement common in 8 mm band formats as users added migrated to alternatives,” said Joe Balsam, Sony’s chief business manager, Able Media. “It was additionally based on an apprehension that the projected timeline of agile conversions to newer in-flight agreeable presentation technologies would be in band with our exit.”
But the IFE appeal was still strong, and assembly houses like CMI Cine Magnetics had to accumulate duplication casework going. “We are blessed to say that CMI has calmly managed its inventories anytime back the tsunami in 2011 and has been able to bear on all band orders,” said CMI’s CEO, Haitham Wahab.
“We are bottomward to three or four aircraft actual in our agile with Hi8 band players.” — Mark A. Smith, American Airlines
Carriers like American Airlines acclimated to use tens of bags of Hi8 band cassettes every year, but the about-face to newer formats was underway, conceivably accelerated by the band banal issues. “We are bottomward to three or four aircraft actual in our agile with Hi8 band players,” said Mark A. Smith, administrator of IFE and Interiors for American. “We originally anticipation we would be absolutely out of the Hi8 business by the end of 2016, but we had some contempo changes to our agile plan and the aftermost aircraft with Hi8 players will now be retired in 2017.”
However, there’s still activity in the 25-year-old Hi8 band format. Although Sony recognizes that airlines will eventually advancement to a agenda format, “subsequent discussions with industry leaders assertive [it] to reinvest in the accomplish of able Hi8 tapes to affluence burden on airlines still invested in band technology,” said Balsam.
Balsam expects added than 100,000 Hi8 tapes will be acclimated by the in-flight area annually, with Sony aggregate packaging the cassettes to “provide duplicators with a added able administration of workflow and abate waste.” According to Balsam, “There is a faculty of abatement that a new bulk-packaged Hi8 band for in-flight agreeable duplication is available.”
Howard has been amorous about aerodynamics back he was a little kid, and is a pilot who loves to fly gliders and aloof about annihilation abroad with wings. He’s a common contributor to aerodynamics magazines and blogs.
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