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I will be flying through United later this year on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. I see that each of the seats comes with "personal device entertainment" which seems to be a display with streaming services and such loaded on it.

Do these displays include an HDMI port that I can access in order to extend my laptop display?

  • 1
    Note that in United's terminology "personal device entertainment," means you bring your own personal device (smartphone or tablet) with the United app installed on it prior to departure, and then you access United's library of streaming entertainment from your own device through their app once you're on board. This is different from "seatback on-demand" entertainment (also available on United's 787—you can use both), where you use an airline-provided screen to access a somewhat different streaming catalog. – Zach Lipton May 14 at 21:28
  • Terminology: "Personal Device Entertainment": you need to bring your own tablet or phone to watch content streamed from a server. In my experience United has a lot of reliability problems with that, and it works decently only about half of the time. "Seatback Entertainment": There is a screen build into the back of the seat before you. These days available only on United international flights but the reliability is much better. Selection is more or less the same. – Hilmar May 15 at 13:19
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It's not unheard of but I don't think United has them. For example, Emirates does on their 'new generation in-flight entertainment system product':

Other new features on ice includes enhanced handset controllers, USB ports and PC power outlets on all seats across the three cabin classes to allow passengers to charge their own mobile phones and portable devices.

[...]

All PC power outlets equipped with HDMI & USB ports for charging of portable devices

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    Not unheard of but still quite rare, IMHO. – jcaron May 14 at 21:22
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    @jcaron that's very true. In fact, I'm not sure if it adds much. I bet they thought that while they were redesigning they might as well put that in too. USB and power sockets are much more useful, IMHO. – JJJ May 14 at 21:27
  • Back around 2008, some airlines including United experimented with a special port that you could buy a fancy adapter for to connect an iPod to the entertainment system to use the screen. It wasn't exactly popular: Apple-only, usually only available in first/business, required the purchase of a special adapter, soon obsoleted by the popularity of devices with large screens, eventually entirely obsoleted by Apple dropping hardware support, etc... – Zach Lipton May 14 at 21:40
  • @ZachLipton the only use case I can think of is to do some gaming / movie watching on a screen that's higher up than the tray table. Even then you need to be mindful to bring the right cables. But then, the extra port won't hurt anyone. ;) – JJJ May 14 at 21:42
2

No. I've never seen an HDMI port on an airplane, and this one is no exception. It has USB ports in all classes, but no HDMI ports.

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