Content Management Systems

Content Management Systems

The quality and accuracy of the IFE content is of paramount importance and the process by which it is derived must be managed well and must reflect a careful, proactive and Customer oriented-ethos.

L3 ASA has proven capability in providing Content Management Solutions for Passenger Entertainment Systems and has delivered services to both the Rail and Air Transport market for over ten years.

The L3 ASA intelligent Content Management System, (iCMS) is a turnkey solution for content management and the features include:

  • Secure web portal
  • Role specific login
  • Content upload (non provider specific)
  • Metadata creation
  • Release creation
  • Instant updates
  • Logs and system reports

L3 ASA offers the additional benefit of a fully managed service, including Content Provisioning and formatting. This complete Service Provision includes:

  • Pricing menu for different levels of content
  • Provision of film, TV, regional information
  • Audio
  • Web content – magazines & newspapers
  • Automated updates – news, business, entertainment, headlines, sport
  • Games
  • Advertising

System Overview

The L3 ASA intelligent Content Management Systems (iCMS) is an integral part of the Passenger Information and Entertainment systems in service on Heathrow Express, Gatwick Airport Inter Terminal Transport and Swiss Airlines. The secure web-based application enables users to upload and create content that is shown onboard the aircraft/train.

iCMS features a programme management page where it is possible to edit, release as a draft and formally publish a programme. The draft release enables the user to verify the correct rendering of all content on the L3 ASA system, by publishing to a local copy. Publishing will then post the content onto the L3 ASA staging site or directly to the trains, if connectivity is provided.

The system will allow the upload of content including, video files, audio files, web content, news updates and separate web-based content e.g. magazines. The system allows the upload or creation of each specific metadata associated with the content type. Each item is assigned a unique identification number so the content and metadata is sent to the appropriate page and position within the system. This process is repeated for each content type to produce a full content release.

Reports and logs are key to the system management and L3 ASA collects all data relating to usage of the content and successful upload of the programmes and the automated updates.  iCMS provides HTML and Excel-based spreadsheet reports of key metrics.

Programme Creation

Content Upload

The main content material is uploaded via the iCMS which includes audio, video, text, images and web content.

Content can be uploaded from multiple suppliers and accepts all industry standard formats e.g. mpeg2, 3, 4; wmv; jpeg, etc.

Metadata and Synopsis

The elements required to describe the content are collected or created within iCMS. Text can be created within the system and jpegs allocated. Each uses the unique identifier and has validity set to them.


It is possible to create route and class-specific releases so that the system offers different content dependent on the destination and class of seat.

Automatic Updates

iCMS allows the user to set specific content to be automatically updated when available.

Logs and Reports

Reporting is vital to provide details on the effectiveness of the content and particularly if the system contains advertising. Reports can be filtered to enable users to select either content or advertisements. This is vital for winning advertising revenue and negotiating prices for content. It is also possible to report on the content uploads to show adherence to any Service Level Agreements.


iCMS utilises LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) and AJAX and action script to improve performance. The application will run on most reasonably specified servers, but does require a specific build of Linux, which is released by L-3 ASA. iCMS is web-compliant and will run in most commonly used web browsers.

Managed Service for Content Provision

L3 ASA, through its intelligent Content Management System (iCMS), has developed a complete solution for the provision and management of content for its customers, accessed through their personalised branded web portal.

The content provides a rich mix of cached and live content which can be sourced directly from L3 ASA. It is tailored specifically for passenger demographics whilst matching file size and bandwidth upload requirements. L3 ASA also works in close collaboration with the customer to ensure their budgetary needs are met.

The service can cater for different content specific routes in each class of travel. For example Passengers in Premium class can benefit from a wider choice of programmes and films than those in standard class, Premium class passengers may have free access to media, whereas those in standard class may be charged.


L3 ASA has a long standing relationship with In-flight Productions (IFP), a specialist in audio and video on demand services, and with News providers, such as Sky and BBC. In-flight Productions provides L3 ASA with a one stop shop for the content acquisition and media formatting. Their extensive client list includes Air France, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, KLM, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

The department has acquisition managers responsible for:

  • Sourcing new programmes
  • Negotiating best prices
  • Manage the Hollywood distributors and other media providers relationship
  • Agree the associated media licenses.

Content Updates

L3 ASA can offer content updates using a variety of communication methods, such as wireless, satellite, 3G or through a manual update. Content can be updated at a frequency set by the customer, automatic, hourly, daily, weekly and monthly.


L3 ASA with its service partners offers an Advertising Sales service. This includes media to be played on the system and also seat back literature, poster promotions and experiential advertising campaigns.