Article by Chris Clifford
Streaming seems to be simple but fulfilling this expectation can be a real technical challenge, especially where only satellite internet is available and the bandwidth is limited
Airmont is a French technology company which develops innovative software solutions and services to enable seamless on-the-move digital experience on sea, land or air throughout the world. Their patent ‘Data Casting’ represents the cornerstone of its technology aimed at making passengers’ streaming a reality on yachts, aircrafts and trains. The service ‘STREAMING OPTIMIZATION’ based on this technology, focuses on seamlessly optimizing the video streaming experience by relying on the popular ‘cast’ icon user interface of the passengers’ streaming apps. It is particularly beneficial to drastically reduce the cost of streaming over expensive internet connections like VSAT and HTS satellite links.
So with Airmont’s Streaming Optimization service, owners and guests on the yacht can both enjoy uninterrupted quality ‘screen time’, and use much less internet bandwidth thanks to the data compression technology.
But what is the technical background of casting your content?
Applications on smartphones and tablets remain the easiest way to select streaming content. Companies have designed their applications for intuitive user interfaces tailored to a touch screen. Accessing this streaming over a TV can often be more complicated without this touch screen ability. However, there is a simple solution to get the interface of smartphones and tablets on a big screen and this is where the Airmont technology comes in to play.
Casting makes use of your smartphone, tablet or even computer to select the content shown on the TV screen. But even if the end goal is the same, the user should understand that there are two types of casting: mirroring and application cast.
Mirroring sends the content of your personal device to the TV screen but it suffers from two major drawbacks. First, users can only mirror their whole screen including virtual keyboard and all control panels rather than just projecting a dedicated
application. Second, the personal device is the one getting the content and transmitting it to the user. This limits the resolution of the stream and forces the user’s device to be permanently connected.
Application cast is a much more efficient way of casting video streams. The portable device only sends information about the desired video. The Chromecast will then open the right application (Netflix, YouTube, Disney+ etc.) with the ID sent by the portable device and will get the stream. The portable device is not needed after that, users can disconnect it from the local network or use their phone for other purposes without any interference on the TV broadcast. The resolution is also set to fit the target screen.
Application cast is preferable but how can you use it? What do you need to configure it on your phone or tablet to be able to cast? That is the beauty of it – nothing. Everything is done automatically once the user’s smartphone is connected to the local wifi. When an application that can be cast is started on your device (like Netflix, YouTube, Disney+… ), the device will discover the cast compatible devices on the local network and the following cast icon will appear on the personal device:
The user just needs to press the cast icon to ask the cast device to get its content. It is that easy to access to your streaming content on a TV screen. But with limited internet connection, like on the satellite internet link of a superyacht, guests may suffer from buffering, disconnection and inefficient bandwidth sharing between streaming applications. For example, Netflix requires 5 Mbps for HD streaming and 3 Mbps for SD streaming.
With Airmont’s patented solution, by subscribing to “Streaming Optimization” service, yacht passengers can benefit from the cast user-friendly interface and enjoy their streaming content in Full HD at only 2 Mbps, or in SD at 700 kbps, while all streams are managed using minimal bandwidth, limiting satellite internet costs.
To learn more about Airmont’s streaming technology
please visit: www.airmont.com