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Home > Technology Update > IPTV & 4G on board Superyachts

IPTV & 4G on board Superyachts

IPTV (television streamed over the internet protocol) and VOD (video on demand) is the new norm onboard yachts. Live IP streaming platforms – such as the NBC Sports Gold, ESPN live, Fubo TV, BT Sports, SkyGO, Amazon Prime, Netflix, ATT Now, BBC iPlayer – have enabled us to stream live IPTV without having the need for satellite TV antennas and set-top boxes.

Now more so than ever, live IP streaming is set to be a major distribution platform for broadcasters because of its accessibility, reach and lower costs.

With the lightning-paced development of IPTV services, let’s look at some of the factors holding IPTV back on-board Super yachts.

While a yacht is underway, VSAT (very small aperture terminal) is still the most reliable means of internet connectivity that is able to provide a guaranteed bandwidth, or internet speed. VSAT bandwidth is expensive, especially at the speeds required for high-definition IP video streaming.

With many cruising yachts remaining in close proximity to land, high-speed cellular services can be, and are, used. Cellular 4G connectivity is growing exponentially, and providers are able to offer higher internet speeds at a fraction of VSAT costs. The higher 4G bandwidth, however, are not guaranteed, and reliability is dependent on location and network congestion at the time. During peak congestion, the network throttles back to ensure even distribution / usage of network resources.

Cellular 4G equipment / antennas are very important and essential to fast and reliable performance. ETOs / AVIT Engineers and cellular providers have come up with neat and elaborate solutions to enable high speed internet with varying levels of success. The most popular solution is to load 2,3 or 4 cellular sim cards into a specially designed cellular 4G modem where sim cards are either bonded together to form a specially aggregated connection or have the modem send / receive data across all sims cards in a round robin approach.

Owners and guests using 4G connectivity will instantly appreciate the increased response of the internet because 4G connectivity has a much lower latency than VSAT. Latency is the time it takes for an internet packet of data to travel across the internet and back to your device. On average the latency on a 4G connection is approx. 60 milliseconds, the latency on a VSAT connection is approx. 700 milliseconds.

New developments. 5G (5th generation of mobile cellular connectivity) succeeds the 4G (LTE/WiMax), 3G (UMTS) and 2G (GSM) systems. 5G performance targets include high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity and massive device connectivity. Theoretical 5G speeds are in 10’s of Gbit/s, real world test speeds are likely to be around 500Mbit/s to 1Gbit/s.

By comparison real world 4G / LTEA networks consistently deliver speeds of 6 – 12 Mbit/s and peak at 50 – 100 Mbit/s.

Conclusion: IPTV delivered onboard Superyachts via VSAT and 4G systems work provided the IT infrastructure (Firewall with bandwidth provisioning) and network bandwidth is available.

Who are MIMO?

MIMO Connect is a business constructed of experienced yacht connectivity personnel, from shore side support, engineering and onboard ETO / AVIT experience. MIMO Connect has been created to deliver robust and high speed 4G connectivity to its clients, the technology was developed for the military, moving into the transport sector and now maritime. The modems are delivered with a 5-year warranty as standard, which exceeds the standard 12 months expected, delivering a military grade and long-life unit. MIMO Connect have been created to deliver market leading service, proven exceeding results over all comparable products and user experience.