Airlines have reached a crossroad with their efforts at improving in-flight entertainment, columnist Joe Sharkey says. Do they continue to add pricey hardware needed to show movies in a seat back or do they face the fact that a fast-growing number of travelers come with their own viewing screens -- in the form of iPhone, iPads and laptops -- and work to improve the Wi-Fi that will stream entertainment to those devices?
Microsoft's first Surface tablets will come equipped only with Wi-Fi connectivity, according to a published report, which quotes analysts as pointing to an abridged spec sheet for the device. They also note that Wi-Fi-only tablets sell better because many buyers don't want to pay for data plans on both smartphones and tablets. Separately, a top Acer executive predicts that the Surface will not succeed because Microsoft's decision to enter the hardware business will put it in direct competition with its PC partners.
It's time to put to bed the Wi-Fi charge for hotel guests, this feature notes. But the times, they may be a-changing. "Getting charged each night for 24 hours Wi-Fi seems like pure profiteering on their part, but I think hotels are starting to realize that they will lose valuable customers and valuable business by charging crazy amounts for Wi-Fi," said Juliana Shallcross, managing editor at HotelChatter.
Although reality TV has been hot this past season, networks should be wary of losing the 12 to 34 demographic, analysts say. "Reality is here to stay, [but] there was such an over-reliance on it in the past 12 months on everyone's part. The advertisers have spoken up, and what they want is quality scripted programming," says Jeff Zucker, NBC entertainment president.