I read some research once that watching TV during the formative years actually has a negative effect on young children's speech development. In fact, new federal guidelines in Australia go so far as to calling for a ban of any screen time for under two's.
Under normal circumstances I would carefully consider such research and take on board the key messages, knowing full well how critical language development is in the early years.
clearly these guidelines were not written by a parent of a said 'under two', who was about to embark on a 16 + 6 hour flight. Screen time is our friend and so is the various forms that it takes. The short one talks just fine, thanks! In fact...too fine! In fact...I'm all for stunting a bit of speech development at the moment!
We have successfully converted at least 6000 hours of Play School from DVD to mpeg so that it may be viewed on our laptop, as well as his and her iPhones. With a bit of research into our airline, we have even worked out how we can feed the viewing through to the in-seat screens as well. We can have surround sound ABC for Kids! I even found Bananas in Pyjamas on iTunes - the best $2.99 I have ever spent!
I am forever indebted to the Early Childhood program developers from the ABC. You deserve every cent of my daily 8 cents!