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For the yachting professional on the Mediterranean

AV Technology and Entertainment Systems on Yachts

Article by Claire Griffiths

Control and Comfort

MODERN AV TECHNOLOGY, INTUITIVE USER INTERFACES AND SIMPLIFIED CONTROL SYSTEMS ARE BECOMING AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF THE ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT OFFERING

The sight and sound of the sea lapping against the side of the boat, the plop of a flying fish as it hits the water and the eery cry of the overhead gull are all you need for some moments on the boat. But recent times have taught us the value of upscaling our entertainment so we don’t need to move far (or at all) to have a really good time. And there’s nothing like

sophisticated AV to trigger some really exciting buzz into a solitary scenario. Right here the AV specialists come up with the goods that can get you in the groove to match your mood. We visit them to find out the exceptional sensations sight and sound…

Gabriette (Jetty) de Koster is Sales and Marketing Specialist at Genesis Technologies Marine and brand ambassador at nexgentec. The companies specialise in creating and distributing unique audio – video solutions, specifically for the marine marketplace.

Right now, De Koster is excited about the NGTC¬MCP4K, a miniature multichannel processor. Don’t be put off by the gobbledegook, things are getting simpler in the head-spinning world of high-tech audio. The NGTC (nextgentec) MCP4K decodes all common surround sound formats and sends them from an HDMI input to the IP network, in 8 discrete AES67 channels. This saves about 2 RU (rack units) where you would traditionally have had a very hot AV-Receiver and it allows full control for audio processing, such as downmixing, EQing, delaying, etc. with the NGTC digital signal processor (DSP). Basically, the NGTC DSP software super modules simplify the system and provide maximum flexibility for great sound performance and functionality. Especially with the NGTC software defined matrix, De Koster claims the system design and flexibility is taken to a whole new level!

Says De Koster, “Our unique approach to audio provides a system that is much smaller, with many devices powered over ethernet (PoE) so it doesn’t emit as much heat. It’s a huge saving in terms of cost (cooling and energy) and space.” To prove her point De Koster commissioned a case study comparing the nexgentec solution with a competitive audio over IP brand.

The results based on a 75 m motor yacht, calculated at 24/7 running revealed a 77% save of diesel. The Genesis bestseller is the NGTC Bluetooth Interface: the size of a cigarette packet, which means you can have one in every cabin. It supports android, iOS, PC and MAC devices, so you can stream your music conveniently from your mobile device to the speakers in any zone on board via Bluetooth. “It’s great for charters, is easy for the ETO to use and you can name the connection anything you like,” she explains.

Looking ahead she sees a future of more online interaction with clients and less international travel. “And we’re happy with that,” she says, “as it’s a more sustainable way to do business.”

Yacht Entertainment Solutions is a full service Audio-Video, HDTV, Satellite, WiFi and Automation Control Company. Based at Fort Lauderdale, its raison d’être is to ‘Make access to entertainment features on board simple’. Founder and owner Darren Coleman has been running the business for the past twenty years.

Crestron
Crestron
Marine Audio
Marine Audio

Right now Coleman is getting passionate about voice activation for automation and control. He explains, “The Internet of Things movement has made projects and integrations easier. In many cases these network based products, as well as other devices allow us to implement the owners’ desired features without dismantling the boat.” Many of these features are already available as automation control companies strive to incorporate more artificial intelligence into their products. This means that moods and ‘lifestyles’ can be adjusted at the touch of a button. Whether it’s morning time, dinnertime or party time the press of a single button can provide the setting. Interior lights, blinds, TV and lifts, underwater lights as well can all be set from a single button.

Yacht Entertainment Systems bestsellers include; Internet services using Cradlepoint cellular or WiFi connection systems to land based marina / resort provided hot spots, and Internet by way of satellite. Automation control with Crestron, RTI, and URC control systems are also currently popular.

Says Coleman, “Our design team has created a simple way for the vessel to automatically switch seamlessly between Internet sources. This design prioritises the selection based on the cost factor of each source. It eliminates having to use a PC all the time to make a selection. For example, if you have Internet available on a cell service it will automatically choose cellular over satellite. When you fall out of cellular range it will automatically choose satellite to ensure Internet connectivity. You can choose to drop any one of these out of the equation at will with the flip of a switch. Due to cost, owners may not want the satellite being used if they are not onboard.”

It’s been a while now since owners/charterers have expected the same video streaming service they have at home on their yachts and this creates a greater demand on the ‘Always On Internet Connectivity’ which comes at a high cost when out at sea. Coleman envisions satellite Internet connectivity that encourage price drops with faster speed and higher data caps. He adds, “Perhaps projects such as Low Orbit Internet access services could provide such a solution.”

With a mantra of ‘Learn once, use anywhere’, Crestron Marine designs, manufactures, and supports the full spectrum of marine systems in one all-encompassing system: Daniel Kerkhof is a Director at one of the 90 worldwide Crestron Marine offices. Kerkhof is convinced that entertainment onboard is becoming more and more important and is considered a bigger asset nowadays. He says, “Think of a complete high-end cinema, the option to turn the aft deck into a discotheque or night club, or even an outdoor cinema. We receive these requests nowadays much more often then in the past.”

In the long-term he is also looking into features like voice control and blue-tooth positioning systems. ‘Our DM-NVX product line for sure is our bestseller and we will add some exciting new models to this line-up shortly.” Crestron is particularly keen to discuss its new way to build a modern user interface with clients: “In the end the user interface is so important to deliver the right experience to the guests, and we have recently introduced new tools and options that are a leap forward.” Looking ahead Kerkhof can picture a spurt in growth in the superyacht industry as people seek to distance away from the crowds, “which of course means growth opportunities for the whole industry.”

NEXGENTECH
NEXGENTECH
Yacht Entertainment Solutions
Yacht Entertainment Solutions

General Manager Marcus Straver works at Marine Audio. The company is a leading European provider of audio and visual solutions to the leisure marine and water sports industries. It also has the largest selection of waterproof audio and visual products outside the USA and combined with the latest domestic AV products delivers AV systems throughout the boat or installation using the ‘best-of-breed’ products wherever possible.

Straver is keen to flag up marine sound system options where high performance and sophisticated style join together in perfect pitch. The system has been on the market for two years. The bestsellers from a thoroughly comprehensive catalogue of AV products available are the Polk Ultramarine DSP Speakers and with interest in the speakers on the up, Straver foresees that the future will be bright.

Entertainment systems and all the technology surrounding this creativity is booming. Devices are getting smaller, smarter, and easier to use from a consumer’s point of view. The only limitations are the pure imagination of the designers behind this industry and there seems to be no shortage of this.

Within the confines of your yacht you can literally create, access and enjoy ambiance that is limited by nothing other than the breadth of your imagination.

Trinnov Audio
Trinnov Audio
Satya Speakers
Satya Speakers
Barco Projectors
Barco Projectors
Focal Maestro Utopia Evo Speakers
Focal Maestro Utopia Evo Speakers