Which world would you rather be flying in? (The Astrovision one, clearly.)
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Which world would you rather be flying in? (The Astrovision one, clearly.)
Credit: Astrovision promotional materials

See the silver screen in the friendly skies

"When this movie's over, the audience will be halfway across the country."

This is not because they'll have fled the scene. Instead, it's an introduction to Astrovision, American Airlines' 1960s answer to other airlines' dominant single screen. It allowed individual film choice and a view of the skies - with consequences that ranged from the dangerous to the absurd.

In-flight entertainment has a much longer, more elaborate history than you might suppose. And the mechanics of flight govern everything from how you watch films to how much it costs to buy wifi on that red-eye flight.

University of Washington professor of cinema and media studies Stephen Groening stopped by to fill Bill Radke in on Astrovision, Astrocolor, and why George H.W. Bush is the reason we have live streaming television at 10,000 feet.