V.Ships brings entertainment to seafarers after signing to KVH linkHUB

V.Ships Norway has signed up 12 tankers for KVH linkHUB, an onboard media player that provides a library of hundreds of hours of licensed premium digital entertainment content for seafarers.

Communications services provider KVH Industries, has announced that V.Ships Norway has signed up 12 tankers for KVH linkHUB, an onboard media player that provides a library of hundreds of hours of licensed premium digital entertainment content from KVH MOVIElink and TVlink services.

V.Ships Norway initially trialled the service on one ship and, following positive feedback from the crew, recently rolled it out to more vessels.

KVH MOVIElink services feature new Hollywood and Bollywood releases curated with seafarers in mind, as well as films from European, Pan-American, and Asian studios, including films in Tagalog and Hindi. KVH TVlink services include full seasons of popular hit television series. The content is licensed from copyright holders for crew viewing.

“There is an increasing focus on seafarer wellbeing especially during this past year as crews have had to endure the pandemic, which continues to make life at sea very stressful and uncertain,” said Tine Ugland, senior crew management partner, V.Ships Norway. “At the same time there has been a rapid move towards digital solutions, precipitated in part by the pandemic, with increased onboard crew demand for access to entertainment. KVH linkHUB provided the solution we needed: up-to-date licensed content in a compact, easy to install media player that did not require specialist installation. It enabled a fleet rollout to be completed quickly and easily.”

“On the vessel, everybody likes linkHUB for its flexibility and subtitles in various languages,” said Capt. Krzysztof Broka, master of Nordic Vega. “In addition to the crew deck, we are extending the service to the officers’ deck, officers’ day room, and crew day room so all living spaces on the vessel have access and signal reach to the content for seafarer wellbeing.”

Compactness and Wi-Fi access across living spaces are key to KVH linkHUB’s usability. Measuring only 20 x 20 x 9 cm, the linkHUB set-top box can be located almost anywhere and connected using HDMI cabling to any onboard TV. Multiple TV sets can be connected to the linkHUB media player if desired. No Internet connection is necessary and a Wi-Fi access point is available should ship operators permit seafarers to view movies and TV programs on their laptops and personal devices.

“At KVH, we recognised that not all ship operators and owners could easily provide news and entertainment content to their fleets due to complexities in dealing with a variety of satellite providers or a lack of VSAT broadband capability,” said Anthony Pike, KVH vice president of finance and operations, EMEA. “With our decades of experience in providing crew content in the form of videos, DVDs, and, in the 1960s, with reel-to-reel movie nights on the deck of a ship, we created the KVH linkHUB digital solution to provide crews with licensed premium content without the need for an Internet connection. It is incredibly easy to upload new selections from top Hollywood, Bollywood, Filipino, and international studios by simply inserting the linkHUB content drive provided by KVH into the linkHUB server.”

For fleets with a mix of VSAT providers across vessels, KVH linkHUB enables a shipowner to provide content for all of the vessels in the fleet. For vessels with KVH’s VSAT service, KVH also offers KVH Link, a digital content platform delivering news, sports, entertainment, and operations content via satellite with no impact on vessel data plans or Internet connectivity speeds.

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