Emirates steps up inflight entertainment

Emirates Airline has introduced a new movie subtitling and Closed Caption technology to its latest inflight entertainment system - ice Digital Widescreen.

The new technology will give Emirates travellers the option to turn on closed captioning or subtitles in various languages for selected films. Until now, technical limitations with entertainment systems have meant that subtitles for inflight movies had to be embedded in the picture.

Providing passengers the option to turn on or switch off the closed captions or subtitles - just as they do on their DVD player at home - offers a new level of flexibility and, for those wishing to watch films without any subtitles, further improves their enjoyment.

The new development extends entertainment options to ensure inflight entertainment on ice (Information, Communication, Entertainment) is both inclusive and accessible to a broader range of travellers.  The system offers the ability to embed captions in up to 12 languages, in addition to the original language. Many of the films on Emirates are also dubbed in up to four other languages. Closed Captioning (CC) is the technology used by the hard of hearing which, as well as showing the actors’ dialogue, also includes reference to sound effects used in the movie.

“At Emirates, we are committed to constant innovation in our inflight entertainment and communications products.  We endeavour to make these offerings accessible to the diverse group of travellers flying with us. Helping develop ‘on-demand’ closed captioning and subtitle technology allows us to offer our passengers more control over their entertainment choices,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates Vice President, Passenger Communications & Visual Services. “Although initially we’ve only created two films in the new format, we hope that in the future this technology will be available on the majority of the movies onboard.”


Emirates worked closely with its inflight entertainment system manufacturer, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, and Hollywood studio, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, as well as other key technical experts, to drive the development of the new technology. Emirates hopes that the solution will become an airline industry standard.

Emirates’ development of ‘on-demand’ closed captioning and subtitle technology is only one aspect of the airline’s commitment to hard of hearing passengers.  The airline also offers headsets that allow compatibility with hearing aids which are set to the “T position”.

This new technology is part of the Emirates’ commitment to helping its discerning customers enjoy the wide range of entertainment options and a more comfortable journey. In line with the programming principles behind ice, the new technology has been developed to be as simple to use as possible. Emirates’ award-winning ice system offers over 600 channels of entertainment on demand - the largest selection of programming in the skies.