In the realm of luxury and opulence, superyachts symbolise the pinnacle of exclusivity and technological sophistication. Therefore, frustratingly for some, past connectivity options on superyachts were limited to basic internet and telecommunications. Thankfully, this scenario has taken a 180-degree turn in recent years and seamless connectivity on board superyachts is now not only possible and realistic, but it’s become an essential feature for both owners and charter guests - and even crew.
Today, with the help of TSM Superyacht Technology, we’re taking a dive into the latest trends in connectivity and digital entertainment on board superyachts.
Increasing bandwidth demand
As the need for high-speed, reliable internet connectivity grows in our daily lives, it’s no surprise that the trend has extended to the world of superyachts. The increasing demand for bandwidth on board yachts represents one of the latest and strongest trends in connectivity at sea. High-speed connectivity is no longer a luxury but a necessity for superyacht owners and their guests.
The demand for higher bandwidth has mainly been driven by activities that necessitate substantial volumes of data, such as streaming 4K/8K media content, video conferencing, cloud-based software, and heavy file transfers.
Consequently, new LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite technologies like SpaceX’s Starlink are stepping in to fill the gap, providing faster connections than existing tech. Starlink especially has substantially disrupted the superyacht connectivity market, making it possible for superyacht owners, guests and crew to access high-speed internet at sea on a relatively affordable basis, enabling a variety of applications beyond basic web browsing.
Additionally, TSM’s optional provision of marine VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) systems as a fallback to Starlink allows for flexible, reliable - albeit reduced bandwidth - connectivity, especially in locations not currently served by Starlink, fulfilling the need for continuous communication and data transfer.
The advent of Starlink and the upcoming entry of other LEO providers such as Amazon’s ‘Project Kuiper’ and ‘OneWeb’ in addition to the MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) SES 03b mPower offers have proved to be such a watershed moment for not only the yachting and maritime sector in general, that it has already begun reflecting in crewing dynamics. We’re told that some crew have begun specifying that Starlink or similar internet connectivity be available on board a yacht before they’ll sign a contract, for instance.
TSM has been providing customers VSAT Services for many years and with the advent of Starlink, has been integrating that, too. Currently, TSM is also able to offer OneWeb services and in due course, it looks forward to being able to offer the SES 03b mPower service.
Integrated entertainment systems
Superyacht connectivity has reached a point where guests now enjoy fully integrated entertainment systems. These systems include immersive audio and video technologies, often encompassing 4K/8K ultra-high-definition movie streaming, advanced gaming systems, and even virtual reality experiences.
TSM Superyacht Technologies is kept busy with a steady stream of owners of superyachts, both old and new, looking to overhaul outdated onboard entertainment systems with the latest and greatest on the market.
Moreover, thanks to the improved connectivity from Starlink and similar, owners and guests can stream their favourite content from popular streaming services without worrying about buffering or quality degradation, thanks to high-bandwidth connections. The boundary between home and yacht entertainment is finally diminishing as these digital amenities become commonplace on superyachts.
An additional benefit of this revolution in onboard entertainment is the reduced physical footprint of the yacht’s entertainment systems. Where previous generations of entertainment hardware required many racks of hard drives for movie storage, satellite receivers and related equipment, much of that is often no longer needed on board vessels with reliable high-speed internet.
Smart yacht automation
Smart yacht automation technologies introduced possibilities for managing and controlling various aspects of the yacht. Superyachts integrate systems such as lighting, climate control, window shading, and security systems into a single, user-friendly interface.
Users can control these systems from either static, built-in controls, their smartphones or onboard tablets, with some systems providing voice control options. The integration of predictive maintenance technology also represents a significant advancement in the field.
In certain cases, sensors can monitor various equipment and alert the crew about potential problems, thereby avoiding unexpected breakdowns while enhancing safety and efficiency.
Internet of things (IoT) integration
IoT technology is transforming superyachts into smart, connected environments. This connectivity extends from entertainment systems to kitchen appliances, from lighting controls to monitoring systems. IoT devices and sensors provide real-time data that can enhance operational efficiency and energy conservation.
For instance, smart energy management systems can monitor power consumption and suggest optimal usage strategies. Similarly, smart navigation systems can provide real-time weather updates and sea conditions, enhancing navigational safety and efficiency.
Enhanced cybersecurity measures
As the digital infrastructure of superyachts becomes more complex, cybersecurity is gaining paramount importance. Cybersecurity solutions such as those employed by TSM, ensure that advanced measures are in place to ensure that onboard digital systems and data are secure. This includes firewall protections, data encryption, VPN usage for secure connections, and multi-factor authentication to protect sensitive information.
TSM offers specialised marine security solutions tailored to superyacht owners, ensuring a robust defence against potential cyber-attacks. Regular risk assessments and system updates are part of any comprehensive cybersecurity protocols that ensure both the owner’s, guests' and crew's digital safety.
Get the best onboard connectivity and entertainment
TSM Superyacht Technology delivers the ultimate in connectivity solutions at sea, as well as mind-blowing onboard entertainment with state-of-the-art audio and video systems for crisp sound quality and stunning visuals.
Contact TSM today to learn how Scott and his skilled team can take your leisure time at sea to the next level.