Drawing on 25 years of experience and hundreds of innovative audio/video, entertainment, IT and lighting & comfort systems installed on superyachts, Videoworks responds promptly to the increasingly specific demands of shipowners and shipyards for an Internet connection at all latitudes as strong as that of their homes and offices. The availability and stability of the yacht’s Internet connection becomes therefore fundamental, as use of multimedia content is increasingly moving from “on premise” services such as onboard DVDs and Blu-Rays to “on demand” services provided by various platforms, and at the same time people want to be able to manage web meetings while sailing just as they do in the office at home.
Videoworks has sensed this growing need and, confirming its ability to innovate and anticipate demand with proactive responses, has developed SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) software-based network technology, which, unlike previous hardware-only solutions, provides virtualised resources for connections over wide area networks via standard broadband Internet links. By applying software-defined networking principles to wide area networks, SD-WAN technology abstracts traffic management and monitoring tasks from network hardware and then distributes them to individual applications.
In practice, being able to have different connections, from 4G/5G to Starlink or dockside connections, the system automatically chooses the best solution based on the specific needs of the moment, and SD-WAN makes dynamic use of all the different connections available to guarantee an optimal user experience. For example, if you want to watch a film via streaming, Starlink will be preferred for its bandwidth potential as a brief disconnection would not be a problem, while for a business conference it will prefer the dockside connection, which may be less high-performing but is more stable, because in this case an interruption could jeopardise the continuity of the meeting.
The many benefits of the system can be summed up in seven points:
Lower costs with independent carrying over 4G/5G networks, LEO satellite and other types of connections.
High reliability and stability of the internet connection for all critical applications: if one of the connections fails, the system will redirect the internet traffic to the other available connections.
Dynamically routed application traffic with application-aware “routing” for a better user experience: as already mentioned, the system will choose the most stable connection available for a business videoconference, whereas to play an “on demand” video it will choose the one with the greatest available bandwidth.
Improvement of performance through “channel bonding” technologies with increased agility in the use of available internet connections, bringing them together in a single channel to sum their potential. Example: with 50 Mbps from the dockside line, 80 Mbps from 5G and 100 Mbps from Starlink, a single communication channel of over 200 Mbps can be created.
Possibility of connection to one or more geolocated machines through the safest VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections, to improve the yacht’s IT security and maintain a fixed geolocation point regardless of the yacht’s position in the seas of the world.
Service management with ETO Panel, a technological suite that can be used from any workstation (PC, tablet, …) unifying control of all the Videoworks systems on board in a single panel.
Possibility of creating different “user profiles” which can be called up as needed, a solution that is particularly useful for charters. Through the ETO Panel, in fact, it is possible to switch from a configuration more appropriate for entertainment and parties to one that favours business if several professional web conferences are scheduled.
SD-WAN is a new service from Videoworks, already available now.