Each day we are getting out of bed, listening to the news, surfing all our update sites and making plans for the week ahead. In this fast-moving world what we know today could well change by tomorrow. What we are all hoping to see is a number of small consistent trends all going in the right direction. I am so happy that we are beginning to see these now.
I have seen a lot of positive news over the last week indicating the recovery will start sooner than we thought a month ago. Ten days ago, I saw the results of a survey of super yacht owners, 70% of whom said they intend to use their yachts this year. Today, Spanish local and federal governments have stated they expect international flights to resume for tourism starting with “safe corridors” in July. The French authorities have opened up navigation for French flagged vessels up to 54NM from port. I hear St Tropez is already booked solid for July. The Cannes Show organisers have announced that the Show will go ahead in September. The Italian borders are opening up in early June, and Croatia has opened up for charter yachts with no quarantine requirements. Also, live sports are just starting again with the Bundesliga on BT Sports this last weekend!
Following on from my March and April special column entitled “Managing Owners and Guest Expectation by using the Correct Communications solutions” the next part is now very relevant.
Part 3: Making sure you’re prepared for that essential live sports event!
How important is watching live sport on-board? Do you know what events are happening before your guests arrive? Do you know how to watch them where you are going?
Have you been asked for specific programming of events? In what languages? Basically, are you prepared?
This part of my column was delayed from the May issue as all live sports had effectively been cancelled. As I mentioned earlier there has been the start of live sports events, with the first Bundesliga match being televised on BT Sport and Driving Relief on Sky Sports. Over the next month we are expecting Premier League Football, Champions League, Live Boxing and Motor sports to resume in one form or another.
Ordinary TV receive only (TVRO) is immensely popular and still growing but reception areas are very limited for some programming. Did you know TVRO has a limited future? There is a gradual shift to internet TV (IPTV). When Sky UK launch their 2nd generation Q Box it will only connect to the internet, DirecTV USA are not manufacturing new decoders. The way people watch TV has changed.
So, what about IPTV or streaming TV in general? What are the Pros and Cons?
The main Pro is that it works anywhere with a good data connection. The main Con is that streaming video uses a lot of data and that can be expensive.
How to control data consumption and cost.
Let’s start by understanding the rule of thumb for IPTV data consumption, which is that it consumes 1GB/h, and the bandwidth used defines the quality of the picture. The lower the bandwidth the poorer the picture. Our recommendations are:
- Connect using 4G. You will need a Big Data contract, but it’s much faster than VSAT and considerably cheaper. Also, most mornings and evenings, when TV is needed most, the yacht is usually within 4G range. 4G is charged by the quantity of data used.
- If you use satellite the data use is unlimited but you get charged by the bandwidth. You pay more for a higher bandwidth which gives you a better picture. Therefore, we recommend using an IPTV server that can control the bandwidth at source.
- Use an intelligent IPTV server such as e3 IPTV or Jetstream. These options can control the bandwidth at source down to 300-500Mbps, so lower speeds cost less using satellite with unlimited data. Neither require a national IP address.
- We provide 800GB of free 4G data per month with our VSAT contracts – that’s 800 hours of IPTV streaming per month.
- So, the best option is to use an IPTV server where you can control the bandwidth at source and then to use our VSAT service with 800GB of free 4G data per month. With this recommendation you get the best of both the worlds connecting with 4G & satellite and, as such, can watch TV absolutely anywhere.
- What’s new? Apple TV box loaded legally with BT Sport, BBC iPlayer, ITV, All4, Sky News, Netflix, Amazon etc. Very nice but there is no bandwidth control and you need a UK VPN.
- Also new is DISH TVRO in US & Carib, with a bigger footprint, new decoders and shorter contracts.
- Beware dodgy IPTV boxes: totally illegal content which can be and are switched off at any time when the providers get caught and imprisoned! They also eat your bandwidth, which is not good on a yacht.
What can you watch and where?
We produced this analysis at the beginning of the year, which is still relevant. It provides an indication of what is available and where. It is not exhaustive. Also refer to the European footprint map.
Sky UK – 128 Premier League matches – West Med
Sky Italia – 6 EPL matches per week (ie most matches) – all Med
BT Sport – 52 Premier League matches – only south of France
Now TV (this is the Sky UK App) – 128 Premier League matches – global
BT Sport – 52 Premier Leagues matches – global
Amazon Prime Video UK – 20 Premier League matches – UK only
e3 IPTV – sport on all UK free to air channels – global
Jetstream – whatever you subscribe to- global
Kartina – whatever is available, Russian – global
Meet Ana Espallardo – Product Manager at e3
I joined e3 Systems in 2012 although I have lived on the island since 2001. Prior to that I had spent some of the best years of my life working in London and I was enthusiastic to join a fully English-speaking company, languages being one of my biggest passions. As I still like to say, going to the office is like taking a plane to the UK every morning, both for the language and for the relaxed work atmosphere. We all work as a team and I have a huge respect for all my colleagues who are very professional in what they do. I feel privileged for this and to work for a company that truly cares for their staff and treats them as family. I believe this is the key for productiveness.
I came straight into the Airtime department, and my position naturally evolved into Product Management, as I was able to put all my pricing and revenue management experience into practice straight away. I am very curious and love analysing and monitoring performance and results to identify areas for improvement. My role requires a global vision of the business, as well as a great attention to detail. I brought this skill with me from my previous job, which was as Head of Pricing for an airline. A completely different business but very similar job profile.
e3 Systems is one of the only independent advisors for yacht communications. We listen to our clients; we know what they need and continuously work to get the most suitable services for them. Our big network suppliers and service providers do not specialize in yachting like we do, and the biggest challenge I came across was to make them all aware of the peculiarities of the yachting industry and convince them that they needed to adapt their products to the flexibility our industry needs. It is very rewarding to see how this has been achieved and we have, over the years, been able to get better and more flexible conditions for our clients across all our products, being VSAT, 4G and L-Band. We are proud to have a complete portfolio of products and services to suit every yacht’s needs.
At e3 it’s always been business as usual, but now we’re all raring to go to help yachts get ready for the new, delayed start to the season!
Let us know how we can help.