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In-Room Entertainment for 30,000 Cruise Ship Cabins—UIEvolution and Wowza

April 7, 2016 by Candace Cunningham

For in-room entertainment and digital signage onboard cruise ships, reliability means everything to cruise lines, the crew, and the passenger experience. That’s why UIEvolution and Wowza teamed up to create a full-featured streaming solution that enables cruise lines—including Holland America—to securely and reliably stream content to thousands of shipboard connected screens.

UIEvolution wanted to give cruise-ship passengers and crewmembers the ability to stream high-definition movies, music, and more on demand, plus enable the crew to deliver content to digital signage shipwide to display safety videos, weather, and other information. To make the project a success, the solution needed to be hosted locally, work with any hardware the cruise lines provided (smart TVs, set-top boxes, etc.), deliver video and audio quickly and reliably in a lightly connected environment, and be flexible enough to evolve as requirements and technology change.

 

“Building on Wowza technology gives us the tools to offer video and audio streaming that’s leaps and bounds beyond standard in-room entertainment. It makes travelers happy, and therefore our customers are happy.” —Will Laslop, principal program manager, UIEvolution

 

Another deciding factor was Wowza technology's ability to stream content to just about any device in use on the cruise ships, such as smart TVs, set-top boxes, tablets, and mobile phones. ExperienceManager supports a broad set of digital screens, having recently developed a streaming app that lets passengers consume on-demand content on their personal devices as they explore the ship. The on-demand video delivery, powered by Wowza software and presented to guests via ExperienceManager, enables guests to start, pause, and resume video content whenever they choose. Using the Wowza Transcoder, built into Wowza Streaming Engine software, gives UIEvolution confidence that every viewer will get the best-possible-quality experience, as the transcoder creates various bitrate renditions for each stream and delivers them adaptively to serve the optimal version to each viewer’s device.

Additionally, using Wowza software to multicast radio-station content means devices anywhere on a ship are able to connect in seconds. Previously, some devices were taking a full minute to connect to the multicast audio-only streams. Because UIEvolution was already using Wowza Streaming Engine software for video, it was a snap to deliver audio-only streams from the same servers.

For more advanced, custom functionality, such as delivering a mandatory safety video at the beginning of each cruise, and interrupting in-room entertainment and digital sign experiences in case of important announcements, the robust Wowza APIs give UIEvolution the building blocks to enable fast rollout of features as needs arise.

Integrating Wowza technology into ExperienceManager helped UIEvolution grow from a single cruise-ship deployment in 2013 to 30,000 ship cabins in 2016. And the solution is now being deployed for in-room entertainment in hotels and digital signage at retail, as well.

To read more about this in-room entertainment and digital signage solution, download the case study. (PDF)

To read how other customers are using Wowza technology to deliver exceptional streaming experiences, see more case studies.

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Candace Cunningham

Candace Cunningham has spent 15 years managing projects and guiding content development, working with subject-matter experts in fields as varied as social-media marketing, photography, programming, Microsoft and Autodesk certification exams, healthcare marketing, and video-game reviews and strategy.