AV, Tech

June 15, 2023

Is TVRO going the way of the dinosaurs?

Television has come a pretty long way since its very first broadcast back in 1927. With recent innovations in internet bandwidth and speed through platforms like 5G and Starlink, it begs the question… Is TVRO gradually becoming obsolete?

The Evolution of AV on Yachts: How TVRO Services are Being Replaced by Streaming Media

The landscape of content consumption has undergone a pretty dramatic transformation in recent years. Traditional TVRO services which once held a dominant position in the broadcasting industry, are gradually giving way to the convenience and versatility of streaming media. Platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video have revolutionised the way users access on-demand content over the internet. Even established players like Sky, who have faced market share decline due to their expensive subscriptions, are attempting to catch up with their satellite-free offerings through Sky Glass and Sky streaming services. With the widespread availability of high-speed internet and the reliability of smart devices, streaming media has gained significant traction.

One of the primary reasons for this shift onboard yachts is the availability of low latency, high bandwidth WAN connections like 5G and LEO services. Streaming video content consumes substantial bandwidth, and VSAT was often insufficient when multiple high-definition streams were requested. TVRO, up until recently has always been a preferred choice for delivering high-definition TV content without consuming additional bandwidth.

But what about onboard media libraries?… These have been a staple in onboard entertainment systems for years and will likely continue to be so. Although trends show that crew members primarily utilise these libraries through platforms like Plex, Inc. Companies like YachtCloud have developed innovative solutions like the OMNIYON interface, which seamlessly blends onboard media libraries with online streaming services. This eliminates the need for manual application switching or the hassle of determining which films are hosted on which platform. Hybrid interfaces like this are shaping the future of the AV and entertainment space, as intuitive and user-friendly interfaces are paramount to delivering an exceptional user experience for guests.

So, should we get rid our TVRO equipment? We all know the significant space occupied by receivers, country-specific hardware requirements, system complexities, and subscription costs…. However it may not be time to do away with them just yet. TVRO still serves as an excellent zero-bandwidth backup option for yachts as a redundant system for live TV for demanding owners and guests.

The pressing question is: How much longer will TVRO equipment be included in new build specifications and mast designs? The technology is evolving rapidly and as streaming media continues to gain momentum, the need for traditional TVRO systems may decline. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. 

#technology #TVRO #yachting #5G #starlink #userexperience

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