ITC Global has launched a new Video-On-Demand (VOD) offering as part of its ITC Crew LIVE portfolio, a turnkey solution for crew welfare that delivers wireless communications and entertainment to remote personnel in the oil and gas, commercial maritime and mining industries. The VOD solution provides users with the experience of convenient, ‘at-home’-style viewing of popular movies and television series, improving overall crew welfare at remote work sites. Introduced to the market two years ago, Crew LIVE now boasts more than 30,000 registered users, with subsequent service updates that have enabled better operational efficiency and an enriched user experience.
As an offering available within the Crew LIVE broadband internet service platform, the VOD solution has the potential to be delivered at virtually zero net cost to the site operator. With a regularly updated library of 100 first-run movies and 15 popular television programs, selections made from the VOD system can be easily streamed on personal devices of remote staff and crews, and content is offered in multiple languages with subtitle support. Field trials for the VOD service began in early March and will continue through Q2 2018, with initial VOD deployments set for new remote sites, as well as VOD upgrades to some of the more than 45 current Crew LIVE sites around the world.
“Our Crew LIVE Video-On-Demand solution addresses the growing industry requirement for mobile connectivity, together with value-added entertainment and welfare services, delivered to any remote region where energy, commercial maritime and mining operations are underway,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO at ITC Global. “We know firsthand that Panasonic Avionics’ innovations improve the aircraft customer experience and recognize that these in-flight passenger features can be applied to meet similar needs for industrial sectors, enhancing the remote work experience. Crew LIVE users working at more than 45 global sites can now access their favorite programming along with internet applications, reforming a traditionally isolated work and living environment to become more attractive, helping operators retain personnel and recruit new staff.”
As the commercial shipping, oil and gas and mining industries continue to expand, ship, rig, and site owners and operators must find ways to attract and retain crew to support and manage operations. Growing numbers of millennial-aged workers could join these industries to fill this requirement. According to a recent study by IHS Markit and the American Petroleum Institute (API), millennials are estimated to account for 41 percent of the oil and gas workforce by 2025. Maritime leaders are targeting this demographic for their workforce as well. Implementation of the VOD service on a site demonstrates to crew which employers are committed to enhancing onboard capabilities, in order to target a more connected generation of employees.
The VOD solution can be accessed onboard each remote site via a local wireless network as opposed to streaming over a satellite link. This greatly reduces the need for bandwidth on the satellite network, while maintaining a seamless VOD connection. Because of this, there are no Wi-Fi or bandwidth charges for VOD content delivery to each Crew LIVE-enabled site.
The VOD service is also armed with encryption technology and Digital Rights Management (DRM) to prevent piracy and protect the integrity of intellectual property. Licensed content is subject to strict DRM standards as specified by movie studios and ITC Global conducts critical security and compliance screening to ensure the VOD offering meets these legal and licensing requirements.
The VOD solution features foster an improved crew welfare environment onboard remote work sites by enabling end users to view popular entertainment, including the latest movie releases, traditional classic films and top-rated television programs:
Media library includes 100 Hollywood movies and 15 popular television series, updated weekly
Media player app and self-service portal enable immediate streaming via local Wi-Fi network
Stream securely from smartphone, tablet or laptop
Easy-to-browse library format
Global Maritime Content Licensing