A Tripleplay digital media platform was recently integrated into Tasmania’s state-owned (managed by TT-Line), Spirit of Tasmania I and its sister ship, Spirit of Tasmania II, which last year benefitted from a US$31 million refurbishment.
“With passengers on board for 11 hours we strive to make the on-board experience pleasurable and memorable so passengers continue to travel with us,” comments chief information officer, Tim Harlow.
“Two areas we wanted to look at were passenger communications and passenger entertainment. Prior to the refurbishment we had limited on-board entertainment and all promotions and communications were on printed collateral; a costly and time consuming exercise to manage.”
The client looked into various options for its on board systems for the ships, including traditional airline TV systems and TV solutions, but determined them too costly and not delivering the service and solution they required.
“We wanted a solution we could manage ourselves that required little IT support and would be reliable,” Tim elaborates. “We looked to the market and found Tripleplay, a digital media platform that appeared to deliver both the media streaming functionality and the digital signage capabilities we needed. To have one platform for both services made it an advantageous choice, simple to manage and the quality it delivered has not let us down.”
A Tripleplay system was installed, delivering its Media Portal solution to web browsers on the mobile devices of passengers, allowing them to automatically access eight live TV channels by logging into the on-board WiFi. Channels are streamed using HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) ensuring all devices are capable of receiving the feed, regardless of browser.
“We didn’t want an App-based system, we wanted it to be a universal system so all iOS and Android users could access the content without downloading special and specific Apps,” says Tim. “The browser-based TripleChoice Media Portal allows that, meaning by configuring our WiFi network correctly we can intelligently drive passengers to the portal, making it a simple process and ensuring uptake of the service.”
Both ships carry 500 passengers on night sailings and up to 1,400 passengers on day sailings during peak periods. The solution from Tripleplay can serve all passengers from a single point.
Spirit of Tasmania is a digital signage player-free environment, with TripleSign software and Samsung Smart Signage Platform (SSSP) screens used to provide an advertising medium for key tourism partners and to promote on board services.
“Prior to our digital signage, paper menus were placed on the bar, meaning passengers weren’t able to view menu items until they were at the bar itself,” Tim reflects.
“Through the use of digital menu boards we now provide passengers with the opportunity to think about their choices in advance, meaning when they arrive at the point of sale they know what they want, they may choose to order more than what they may have done if making a decision on the spot and their transaction doesn’t take as long as it used to.
“We have a range of bars and dining options, two cinemas, live entertainment, a kids game zone, tourism information centre, a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets and the greatest benefit – passengers can take as much luggage as they can fit in their cars and drive straight on board. By adding the digital screens and the live TV services we have created another unique selling point.”
Tim adds that “Tripleplay had the functionality we needed as standard, straight out of the box, delivering the IPTV, mobile streaming and digital signage. The platform is straightforward, easy to use and requires such a small amount of servicing and support that we can focus on our core responsibilities.
“This is a genuinely innovative platform for this environment, offering a superb quality product at a competitive price and with a much better cost value,” he enthuses. “I am delighted we chose to work with Tripleplay in a unique environment like this. It is great to be using such an innovative and high quality technology.”