‘Entertainment Systems’: It sounds so simple, but it is an essential element of the superyacht experience and requires a clever balance of electronic components combining the fields of AV, IT and comms to deliver the owner and guests with…

·       Up to date/ live television, with crystal-clear picture and sound

·       A wide choice of audio and video, easy to navigate and select

·       Stable, speedy internet with uninterrupted access to services including TV on Demand, banking/financial secure sites and news/current affairs

·       Reliable phone coverage

… and all delivered whenever and wherever the yacht may be!

Making these things happen all of the time, on something which floats, anywhere on the globe, surrounded by saltwater, metal, sunlight and glass, is no mean feat.

Therefore, I would recommend the following:

·      Choose your systems integrator carefully

Whether during new-build, refit or retrospective upgrades, a selection process is necessary to find the right integrator. Over the last decade or so the superyacht ‘business’ has, understandably, become exactly that. It is typical to have many tiers between the owner and the delivery team, and who serves these tiers is often swayed by the owner’s team.

It is so, so important that the integrator fully understands the owner’s needs and is able to transfer this into the delivered systems. Communication between owner and integrator early at the design stage is also vital. A good integrator might ask an owner questions such as, ‘What TV shows do you and your family most enjoy? Do you watch sport? Films? Where will you take the yacht?’ This is a much better line of questioning than, ‘Do you want one of our custom ENet, Linux Embedded, IPTV decoders with external multi-mode switching PSU?’

·      Communicate directly with your integrator as early as possible

Good integrators are also good communicators and will quickly understand the things most important to you and your loved ones, and this in turn influences how they deal with the technical delivery.

Taking VSAT as an example, it is so easy to be drawn into a long complicated discussion - Ku versus Ka, cost per GB, when, and when the ‘guaranteed’ speed delivered. Yet the smartest of VSAT providers realise that what counts in the owner’s eyes is the ‘delivery of the internet experience’. Yes, the integrator knows that shrewd design, correct internet matricing, firewall and bandwidth management tools coupled with user priority configuration is needed to deliver a stable, seemingly fast internet experience … but it just needs to work. 

The simple truth is that integration of AV, IT & comms is hugely technical, and I have watched the eyes of ship-building professionals roll - all too aware of the complications these systems cause when poorly designed or installed.

·      Enjoy…

You are on board one of the finest vessels ever built exploring many of the worlds most exotic locations, watching the faces of the ones you love, enjoying everything on board, because it works!

This transcript is a preview of the full feature, appearing in issue 25 of The Superyacht Owner.