Mariners Get World Cup Coverage from KVH
Merchant mariners watched the entire World Cup Final while at sea as a result of the advanced technology of KVH’s IP-MobileCast content delivery service
KVH Industries, Inc. said it achieved a maritime first by delivering the entire World Cup Final to more than 1,000 seafarers via the IP-MobileCast content delivery service while the match was still in progress. The coverage of the final match followed a month in which video highlights of all World Cup matches were delivered via multicasting technology as part of KVH’s IP-MobileCast SPORTSlink service.
The coverage provided a morale boost for crewmembers worldwide, many of whom are keen football fans, KVH said. The crew members of the BW Prince, for example, a tanker transiting the Atlantic Ocean at the time of the football series last month, gathered daily to watch the international sports event.
“With IP-MobileCast, the crew experienced something they’ve never had before: watching the World Cup while at sea!” says Eugene Diongzon, Master of the BW Prince. “They are big fans, and even before the matches started, they knew the names of all the star players, the team standings, and the game schedules. The quality of the picture was excellent – we actually noticed no difference from when we had satellite TV along the coast versus out at sea, watching with the IP-MobileCast service. This was a first for all of us!”
Similar reactions were expressed by the crew of the merchant vessel Bison Express, who were able to watch the final match from the Solomon Sea off Papua New Guinea. Their captain sent word: “Officers and crew salute you for this great endeavor!”
On the Iver Experience, a chemical tanker managed by Vroon, Captain Ernst Spier conveyed the entire crew’s gratitude for making “the impossible possible by providing this excellent service for watching highlights of the soccer matches of the world championship while sailing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is really a huge step forward in feeling more connected to your family and friends at home and a true and new sensation of not feeling alone and disconnected from the rest of the world while sailing on the far side of the world.”
For the World Cup Final, KVH engineers and technicians on two continents guided the transmission of the game, which was multicast to onboard media servers, where it was available for viewing during the match. “This was an incredible engineering achievement, with 4 GB of game data multicast to vessels around the world including far out to sea, with no issues in the transmission. Mariners have never had this kind of coverage on their vessels,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer.
The World Cup coverage was a special event from the IP-MobileCast SPORTSlink channel, which provides sports coverage from around the world and is available by subscription as part of the IP-MobileCast news and entertainment content offerings for mariners. KVH launched the IP-MobileCast content delivery service in May; the service offers a wide range of commercially licensed content in addition to SPORTSlink, including: NEWSlink, which provides digital print and TV news daily from around the world; MOVIElink and TVlink, which provide new-release Hollywood and international movies and television programs; and MUSIClink, which provides a variety of music channels onboard.
In addition to the multicasting delivery of the entire World Cup Final and highlights of all World Cup matches, KVH also provided mariners worldwide with thorough coverage of the entire series via NEWSlink’s “World Cup 2014” news bulletins, which were emailed daily to vessels subscribing to the NEWSlink digital newspaper service for mariners. “Our World Cup English-language Special Edition was produced every day for 32 consecutive days and broke all records in terms of numbers of subscribers,” says Kate Hart, KVH Media Group’s editor in chief. “A special team of editors stayed up until after midnight every day to cover the event and ensure the special edition was in vessels’ inboxes promptly.”
KVH’s IP-MobileCast content delivery service is available to all vessels using KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband service, which provides satellite Internet and phone services to commercial ships, government vessels, and pleasure yachts around the world. A leading global consulting firm recently reported that KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband service is the market share leader in maritime VSAT. The mini-VSAT Broadband network uses a combination of 19 Ku-band transponders and 3 C-band beams to provide total global coverage. KVH’s line of antenna systems designed exclusively for mini-VSAT Broadband service includes: the TracPhone V11-IP, a 1.1 meter diameter, dual-mode C/Ku-band antenna for global VSAT connectivity; the TracPhone V7-IP, a 60 cm diameter enterprise-grade antenna for Ku-band service worldwide; and the TracPhone V3-IP, a 37 cm diameter Ku-band antenna that is the world’s most compact maritime VSAT antenna.