KVH linkHUB provides licensed digital entertainment via encrypted content drives to vessels
KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), announced today that V.Ships Norway has signed up 12 oil tankers for KVH linkHUB, an onboard media player that provides a library of hundreds of hours of licensed premium digital entertainment content from KVH MOVIElink™ and TVlink™ services.
V.Ships Norway initially trialed the service on one oil tanker and, following positive feedback from the crew, recently rolled it out to a total of 12 tankers.
KVH MOVIElink services feature new Hollywood and Bollywood releases curated with seafarers in mind, as well as films from European, Pan-American, and Asian studios, including films in Tagalog and Hindi. KVH TVlink services include full seasons of popular hit television series. The content is licensed from copyright holders for crew viewing.
“There is an increasing focus on seafarer wellbeing especially during this past year as crews have had to endure the pandemic, which continues to make life at sea very stressful and uncertain,” says Tine Ugland, senior crew management partner, V.Ships Norway AS. “At the same time there has been a rapid move towards digital solutions, precipitated in part by the pandemic, with increased onboard crew demand for access to entertainment. KVH linkHUB provided the solution we needed: up-to-date licensed content in a compact, easy to install media player that did not require specialist installation. It enabled a fleet rollout to be completed quickly and easily.”
“On the vessel, everybody likes linkHUB for its flexibility and subtitles in various languages,” says Capt. Krzysztof Broka, master of oil tanker M/T Nordic Vega. “In addition to the crew deck, we are extending the service to the officers’ deck, officers’ day room, and crew day room so all living spaces on the vessel have access and signal reach to the content for seafarer wellbeing.”
Compactness and Wi-Fi access across living spaces are key to KVH linkHUB’s usability. Measuring only 20 x 20 x 9 cm, the linkHUB set-top box can be located on almost any shelf or tabletop and connected using HDMI cabling to any onboard TV. Multiple TV sets can be connected to the linkHUB media player if desired. No Internet connection is necessary and a Wi-Fi access point is available should ship operators permit their seafarers to view movies and TV programs on their laptops and personal devices.
“At KVH, we recognized that not all ship operators and owners could easily provide news and entertainment content to their fleets due to complexities in dealing with a variety of satellite providers or a lack of VSAT broadband capability,” says Anthony Pike, KVH vice president of finance and operations, EMEA. “With our decades of experience in providing crew content in the form of videos, DVDs, and, in the 1960s, with reel-to-reel movie nights on the deck of a ship, we created the KVH linkHUB digital solution to provide crews with licensed premium content without the need for an Internet connection. It is incredibly easy to upload new selections from top Hollywood, Bollywood, Filipino, and international studios by simply inserting the linkHUB content drive provided by KVH into the linkHUB server.”
For fleets with a mix of VSAT providers across vessels, KVH linkHUB enables a shipowner to provide content for all of the vessels in the fleet. For vessels with KVH’s VSAT service, KVH also offers KVH Link, a digital content platform delivering news, sports, entertainment, and operations content via satellite with no impact on vessel data plans or Internet connectivity speeds.
KVH is a mobile tech innovator that provides connectivity solutions for commercial maritime, leisure marine, and land mobile applications on vessels and vehicles, including the award-winning TracPhone® and TracVision® product lines, the global mini-VSAT BroadbandSM network, KVH Watch® maritime IoT solutions, and AgilePlans® Connectivity as a Service. The company’s KVH Media Group provides news, sports, and entertainment content through such brands as NEWSlink™ and SPORTSlink™.