The company worked with Exterity (which was acquired by VITEC in 2021), to upgrade its in-cabin infotainment systems to exemplify the premium-quality amenities that make its ships into, in effect, seagoing resorts.
AIDA Cruises prides itself on providing facilities that create a modern and comfortable experience for all guests, from world-class sports and spa facilities to spacious cabins and suites. Yet in today’s digital era, travellers also see technology as a key consideration in their choice of luxury cruise, which is a key reason why AIDA chose to deploy VITEC’s ArtioView middleware to create a five-star in-cabin entertainment experience on a number of its cruise ships.
AIDA wanted a solution that would combine guest access to international TV channels with interactive cruise services. As well as supplying a range of high-definition international content to each cabin, the system also needed to be flexible and easy to manage to meet the highest levels of service expected by guests onboard the ships. One of AIDA’s primary motivations behind upgrading their technology was the desire to offer cutting-edge room infotainment services via SmartTVs, which was not possible with previous systems.
As Chris Van Hoven, senior product owner, digital onboard experience at AIDA Cruises, explains: 'Technology has become central to the overall onboard experience, providing guests with additional ease and convenience when accessing cruise ship services and television channels. After reviewing several vendors, it quickly became clear that the VITEC systems were the obvious choice. ArtioView has been widely deployed by world-renowned hospitality brands, which is testament to the reliability of the platform.'
To date, VITEC has equipped six AIDA ships – including AIDAnova which, at 183,900 tonnes and 5,200 passenger capacity, is among the world’s largest and most technologically advanced vessels – with a combined total of over 11,000 guest and crew cabins, each with in-cabin infotainment TV interfaces powered by ArtioView. AIDA created a fully customisable interface that delivers a rich variety of German language and international TV channels, and movies (with age restriction controls) and TV shows on demand. Crew members also have the ability to catch up on the previous two days of TV, an important benefit for their welfare, as well as to watch training videos.
Additional channels, provided by VITEC AvediaStream Encoders and AvediaServer Play channels, include important safety information videos, live and delayed broadcasts of on-board theatre, entertainment previews, and interviews with the Captain. Live feeds from on-board webcams are also available showing the view from bow, stern and pool deck cameras. Destination and experience videos with promotional shopping information also provide additional revenue opportunities for AIDA.
Alongside providing guests with a premium entertainment experience, ArtioView enables AIDA to drive additional revenue as guests are able to book excursions and purchase movies from the comfort of their room. Guests can also view their bill and receive messages from ship personnel on their in-cabin TV.
In addition to in-cabin infotainment, the system also powers public screens in areas such as reception and lounges, with digital signage displaying news channels, weather, events, restaurant/bar opening times, as well as live sports events, all managed centrally by the system administrator. Safety measures are also taken into consideration with the ability to automatically mute all TVs when emergency signals and announcements are in progress.
Van Hoven is full of praise of the deployment and its technical staff, and the Avedia platform: 'The VITEC technology exceeded our expectations. Each installation process has been seamless, and the team was always on hand to ensure everything was running smoothly. We’re looking forward to working closely with them again in the future.'
VITEC’s Director of Accommodation Solutions, Eleuterio Fernandes, commented: 'As with today’s tech-savvy hotel guest, the discerning cruise passenger has an expectation of exceptional comfort and style, which extends to their in-cabin entertainment system and digital communications onboard their cruise. VITEC provides a variety of technology solutions that integrate seamlessly with the cruise line’s own systems to ensure a premium, convenient experience.'
VITEC is a market-leading provider of IPTV, Video Streaming and Digital Signage Solutions that help organisations harness the power of video to engage, empower and evolve. VITEC is a pioneer in the design and manufacture of hardware and software for video encoding, decoding, transcoding, archiving and streaming over IP. Our end-to-end video streaming solutions enable customers to capture TV and video content directly from any source and manage its delivery, as channels or within digital signage screens, to any connected device via an existing network. From corporate, broadcast and venues, to accommodation, government and military, VITEC has global expertise in delivering complex, proAV solutions.
VITEC’s award-winning IPTV platform is a powerful suite of services for content management, digital signage, video archiving, and video wall processing. Our encode/decode solutions are 100% hardware based, including PCIe cards with SDK for custom design or OEM for high-performance video systems.
Headquartered in Paris, France, we have a global reach through our offices across the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
Making a difference with green initiatives, VITEC is the first Zero Carbon MPEG company and encourages customers to ‘buy GreenPEG’ for continued environmental efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.