PONANT cruise line passengers can now watch their favorite live TV channels everywhere

VideoFlow’s Digital Video Protection makes VSAT Internet links reliable for delivering high quality live TV to every ship around the world
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PONANT, the only French cruise line and world leader in Polar cruising, is now able to provide its passengers with live TV broadcasts wherever its ships are in the world. This new service came on stream just in time to simultaneously broadcast the 2015 American Super Bowl live to all of its cruise liners that were located in the four corners of the world. Paying attention to even the smallest details, PONANT matches the content it broadcasts to each ship according to the passengers on board, for example US channels and news for American passengers, French content for French passengers etc.

“Sometimes we have the chance that all the work we do in the back-end and all technologies that we deploy in the 'shade' appears in the sunlight,” said Jean-Louis Cambert, PONANT CIO. “It is the case for all VideoFlow technology that we deploy on our vessels linked to our headquarters that allowed PONANT to make the live broadcast of the last edition of the Super Bowl in Antarctica. This amazing service has been highlighted by one correspondent of the Washington Post that was on board,” added Mr. Cambert (http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/02/02/watching-the-...).

The live content is gathered at PONANT's headquarters in Marseille where it is encoded using a Sumavision encoder. The content is then sent to each ship via VSAT Internet satellite connection. PONANT is planning to add another cruise ship to the fleet, which will happen in a couple of months. Ensuring that passengers will enjoy excellent quality live TV is a simple matter of replicating the proven VideoFlow DVP (Digital Video Protection) solution.

Herve Peuaud, Technical Manager at SAV, VideoFlow's French distributor, explained, “An important feature of the VideoFlow DVP solution is that it provides detailed diagnostics in real time. If there is an issue with a stream, you can't easily go and investigate as the other sides, the ships, could be anywhere in the world from the Arctic to Australia. The VideoFlow DVP in Marseille and in each ship monitors the stream in real time hence it is very simple to determine if the root cause is in Marseille, in the ship or in the VSAT link connection enabling a fast detection and isolation of problems reducing dramatically the time it takes to regain high quality service.”

Adi Rozenberg, VideoFlow's CTO, added, “This is an example of why TCP-based technologies like HLS, RTMP and SMOOTH do not deliver. The issue is TCP sensitivity to both packet loss and round trip delay. If a ship is cruising near Australia then the roundtrip time easily reaches more than 650ms. Adding the packet loss caused because of the VSAT sensitivity to changes in weather, fog, ship movement etc. and the bit rate drops to levels that are not suitable for live video broadcast. VideoFlow technology is using the professional video transport technology - UDP. VideoFlow's 8 layers protection scheme makes sure that no packets are lost, jitter is eliminated, and bit rate fluctuations are compensated to ensure uninterrupted, high quality, live TV broadcast.” Eran Shalev, VideoFlow's Vice President of Marketing, concluded, “We were very excited to be working with SAV and PONANT on this project. Now, PONANT's guests on board do not have to choose between staying at home to watch important sports events like the Super Bowl or to go on a cruise as now they can have the best of both worlds watching their favorite TV channels at the quality of their living room TV while on an exotic cruise.”

VideoFlow technology

Live video broadcast are sent as a continuous bit stream, which IP networks were never designed to handle, resulting in artefacts caused by packet jitter, and packet loss. More than a couple of seconds of latency is unacceptable by customers expecting to enjoy the excitement of live events like sport as they happen. VideoFlow's technology ensures that no packet is lost and the packet jitter caused by transiting the IP network is nullified. By doing so, it affords the opportunity to lower the costs of uninterrupted, live high, quality video service in place of existing, expensive solutions. The DVP comes as a “Plug and Play” pair - a Protector, which stores the packets until it is certain that they have been correctly received, and a Sentinel which monitors the health of the video stream by watching for packet loss and requests packets to be resent from the Protector's cache only if required. This is ensured by VideoFlow's patents, which cover techniques to minimize the number of packets that have to be resent. VideoFlow's solution is highly flexible working with internet connections as slow as 200Kb/s or as fast as 800Mbps yet delivering the desired high quality. VideoFlow's patents also covers techniques to reduce bandwidth overhead to the minimum possible and to keep any delays at less than the two seconds, which is the maximum tolerated for true live broadcasts. VideoFlow's DVP family of products enables the reduction of bandwidth requirements cutting operational costs compared to the current solutions. Video demo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9ZjpjIlonU&feature=player_embedded

About Ponant www.ponant.com

PONANT specializes in luxury cruising aboard its fleet of intimate yacht-style vessels (32 to 122 staterooms) embodying a lifestyle “à la française.” These elegant, small-capacity yachts offers chic cruising without the crowds, being small enough to reach ports that are inaccessible to bigger ships with destinations to Antarctica, Alaska & the Arctic, the Caribbean, Central & South America, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe & the Baltic, West Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The latest eco-friendly technologies, attentive five-star service, bilingual crew, luxurious staterooms and suites, a gourmet cuisine and meticulously planned excursions guarantee a voyage that is unique and full of emotionally moving experiences.

VideoFlow www.video-flow.com

VideoFlow is a leading provider of proven, cost effective, easy to use, and scalable solutions to ensure uninterrupted, secure, live, broadcast-quality video delivery over any IP network. It provides continuous service from OB Vehicles to the NOC, reduces International TV channel/network distribution costs, improves teleport margins through higher network utilization, slashes OTT video contribution costs and reduces access costs to cloud-based video services. The VideoFlow product portfolio guarantee highest video quality over any network or infrastructure, managed or unmanaged, including fibres, DSLs, satellite links, microwave links, Wi-Fi, and cellular. It is encoding/decoding technology as well as video resolution independent handling MPEG2, H.264, and HEVC, at any resolution including SD, HD, 4K, and 8K. VideoFlow solution is equipment vendor independent, working with any broadcast equipment vendor of your choice. VideoFlow product portfolio is a solution widely adopted worldwide.

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