Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Internet Protocol Television Provides a New Way to Entertain and Educate Seafarers

Technology Aimed at Tanker, Bulk and Container Vessels
Shipping News Feature

NORWAY – SINGAPORE – WORLDWIDE – Long gone are the days when crew entertainment meant a pallet of plastic boxes each containing a dozen video cassettes showing old movies, TV series and a selection of football matches played months before from around the globe, going aboard with the rest of the ship's stores.

Now, at a time when the very sanity of those seafarers may depend on constantly replenished sources of entertainment, information and education, modern technology is able to deliver an instant mix of these no matter how long the crew may have been trapped aboard by the pandemic, as it continues to make crew exchanges especially difficult.

With online contact patchy at best for some vessels Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), that is the system of streaming source media instantly with no reliance on traditional terrestrial, satellite, and cable television formats, may provide an answer. While crew welfare in the form of modern IPTV entertainment is now expected in some maritime segments, this is not the case in typical ocean going tanker, bulk and container vessels.

So at least says BazePort, a company headquartered in Norway with an office in Singapore which supplies such entertainment systems and believes the slow uptake on merchantmen may be caused by IPTV installations being considered too complicated and costly for the purpose.

In a bid to address the problem the company has launched launching a new service that has been bespoke built to the requirements that deep-sea vessels demand. It is established under the name BazePort Seea (yes, the spelling is correct, that is Seea with two e-s).

The system does more than just entertain, with the potential for ship owners and operators who want a more modern and faster way to communicate than the printed emails on message boards. BazePort Seea allows for cloud publishing of text, pictures and videos, enabling the crew to be constantly updated on safety, training and general information.

The producers say video-on-demand entertainment on BazePort Seea is like the Netflix experience, however offline and not dependent on using the vessel’s bandwidth. All major Hollywood studios are represented, as well as some independent ones. BazePort Seea includes thousands of hours of content to watch. Also, Baze works with renowned news providers like BBC, CNN, Euronews and TV Patrol. BazePort Seea also allows for RSS news and Podcast.

Seamen working at sea for months at the time are experiencing difficult times with Covid19 adding to the burden. For ship owners and managers, it is a challenge to create the best possible working and leisure time environment on board their vessels. An entertainment system with an at-home user experience is a boost for all aboard. The included set-top box allows the crew to socialise while watching a movie or the news together on the installed TV set.

BazePort says it will launch a bespoke service for the deep-sea fleet. More than 8500 subscribers take the service already with users in Offshore, OSV and the Ferry segment operating worldwide. Baze Technology claims extensive experience in supplying its IPTV system to the maritime and offshore community. They added movies and news on-demand content as part of their delivery portfolio in 2012 while BazePort IPTV is approved as content provider by all the major studios and a range of news and live TV providers.