Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

146 INTERVIEW Andrew Brown tells Rebecca Gibson how Maxicaster’s modular solution and partnership with Anuvu help passenger ship operators to deliver premium playout and on-demand entertainment services Exceeding entertainment expectations Most travellers see a cruise or ferry journey as the ultimate opportunity to unwind, but also a chance to catch up on their favourite series, watch sports, keep up to date with news or finally find time to watch the movie they have been meaning to see. But issues such as unstable connectivity networks, slow bandwidth speeds and limited viewing options make it challenging to consistently deliver high-quality live, playout or video-on-demand (VoD) services at sea. And this can negatively impact the passengers’ perception of the overall cruising experience. “No matter how fantastic the cruise was, passengers will focus on the fact they missed the winning goal because their screen froze,” says Andrew Brown chief operating officer at Maxicaster. “Entertainment is a fundamental element of the passenger experience and it’s crucial for operators to deliver uninterrupted, top-quality content every time if they want to retain customers.” However, many operators are hindered by legacy infrastructure, confusion about connectivity options, onboard crew that are already busy with their day jobs, and the need to control costs. Drawing on over 40 years’ experience as a video-centric software and technology provider, Maxicaster has developed a cost-effective, modular solution that overcomes these issues. “Our solution is all inclusive of software, hardware and services and can be deployed in a few days – and it’s network-agnostic so they can leverage the most optimal network at any given time, including VSAT, 4G and Starlink,” says Brown, adding that the solution can be deployed over both internet protocol and radio frequency networks and still offer a premium passenger experience. “The solution includes numerous entertainment modules, enabling ship operators to evolve entertainment services in tandem with changing market trends, operational requirements and guest expectations.” Maxicaster’s partnership with highspeed connectivity and entertainment solutions provider Anuvu ensures it can roll out new entertainment services quickly, seamlessly and cost-effectively. “We’ve combined our respective expertise to automate the content pipeline for our clients, so they tell us what services they want, and we deliver them rapidly,” says Brown. Norwegian ferry brand Fjord Line and expedition cruise line Quark Expeditions are two of many passenger ship operators that have already capitalised on the flexibility of Maxicaster’s solution. “Initially, we helped Fjord Line broadcast high-quality live and VoD content to cabin TVs and shared screens in public spaces but we’ve since extended the service to passengers’ mobile device,” says Brown. “Meanwhile, Quark Expeditions uses our playout services to create its own onboard channels populated with a mix of live and VoD content that passengers can watch at their convenience.” Maxicaster will showcase its solution at Shippax Ferry Conference in April 2023. “We’ll outline how our solution empowers ship operators to always deliver premium entertainment, wherever they’re sailing,” says Brown. “ It’s crucial for operators to deliver uninterrupted, topquality content every time”