The usual form of on-board passenger entertainment in an airplane, train, or cruise is to flick through a library of pre-loaded movies or TV shows, hoping to come across something that catches the eye. However, most of the time, passengers end up settling for whatever is available. But, that’s beginning to change; the widespread popularity of on-demand platforms and OTT has caused a paradigm shift in how content is consumed. Viewers are now accustomed to highly personalized on-demand content libraries and expect to see this replicated while being on the move.
Making OTT Streaming a Possibility On the Go
The Modernization of On-Board Entertainment
Enabling OTT streaming services in transportation settings can be a win-win for passengers and transportation operators. Operators benefit from not having to spend on sourcing and continuously updating their content libraries. At the same time, passengers can stream their favorite content from a preferred provider. The most crucial part of the puzzle that makes this seamless experience a possibility is the availability of on-board internet connectivity, smart technologies, and integrations.
Enabling On-Board Internet Connectivity
OTT streaming services need reliable and high bandwidth internet connectivity to mirror the on-ground viewing experiences. This requires the service of connectivity providers who install on-board connectivity systems powered by air-to-ground towers and satellite infrastructure. Achieving stable connectivity is not an easy matter considering the range of factors that need to align. This includes connection speed, availability, bandwidth, vessel’s geo-location, and hardware support.
To offer the best possible coverage, transportation operators combine the services of multiple connectivity providers. Each service provider will have its own connectivity services manager application deployed on-board. However, from the passenger’s side, once they sign in to the captive portal, on-board internet connectivity should feel unified.
How can you attain this unity to achieve seamless connectivity?
The Connectivity Solution
The Axinom Connectivity solution facilitates the provision of on-board internet connectivity by simplifying the deployment and integration of on-board captive portals, connectivity service managers, and hardware. The solution can incorporate several connectivity providers in order to optimize user experience, bandwidth utilization, and cost.
An integral part of the Connectivity solution is the Axinom On-Board Cloud, which enables the centralized on-board deployment and orchestration of digital services within the respective passenger or crew facing portals. Services run on the On-Board Cloud as UMS (User-Modifiable Software), completely isolated from each other using containerized deployment. This approach significantly reduces certification and testing needs and facilitates granular control over the orchestration and resource usage of services. The connectivity services manager and the on-board captive portal are deployed and controlled on-board via the On-Board Cloud. It also orchestrates a unified connectivity API to the passenger-facing portal, creating a seamless connectivity experience.
The Connectivity solution leverages Axinom’s hybrid storage technology for pre-positioning elements of the captive portals and popular entertainment content right on the on-board server. This is facilitated via a grouping of Content Management and On-Ground Service Management services for content and service preparation on-ground. Which is followed by the synchronization on-board via the bidirectional Axinom Sync Service.
A digital hybrid storage concept reduces the load over the on-board Wi-Fi and provides an additional layer of fault tolerance in case of a network outage. As all on-board entertainment devices can operate independently using the pre-placed content in case of disconnection or outage.
A Personalized and Integration Friendly Portal
The Connectivity Portal by Axinom provides a central UI for passengers to access connectivity options from seatback screens as well as their personal devices. Furthermore, the portal can offer a personalized experience to each passenger based on their profile details in your systems.
Other functionalities that can be easily integrated with the portal include,
On-board entertainment allows access to a broad range of entertainment options, ranging from movies, live channels, and events to magazines and games.
E-commerce functionality gives passengers access to on-board shopping, with integrated payments management module and sales promotions options.
Connected services for operators exploring ancillary revenue streams. This includes integrating ad exchanges for personalized and targeted ads and destination-related services such as hotel bookings, excursions, and car rental services.
The Future of On-Board Entertainment
Convenience is the driving force behind the dominance of OTT streaming. Viewers are given the complete freedom to dictate what, how, and where they stream, creating a highly personalized experience. As it gets adopted as a dominant form of on-board entertainment, OTT streaming will turn the tables. Passengers will bring their own content on-board and decide whether they watch it on the seatback screen or on their personal devices. Creating a homelike viewing experience.
Axinom Mosaic ensures your infrastructure is future-ready, with an innovative range of on-ground and on-board software products required to centrally manage, deliver, and deploy content and digital services. Our products have empowered some of the biggest transportation operators in setting up entertainment, connectivity, IoT, and ancillary services on-board their vessels.
The Mosaic platform offers a seamless and automated way to choose, connect, and customize the digital supply chain. With a range of services for content ingestion, encoding, DRM, content and services management, administration, monetization, on-ground and on-board synchronization, and orchestration and deployment.
Use-cases that we support include seatback and wireless on-board entertainment, smart cabins, predictive maintenance, live TV, connectivity portals, crew services, and much more. In addition, our standard or bespoke solutions are designed to integrate with third-party or existing customer systems and connected services. Thereby opening new avenues for personalization and ancillary revenues.