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Friday, 22 October 2010

Tallink Sets Sail with ONELAN

Tallink is one of the largest passenger and cargo shipping companies in the Baltic Sea region. The company operates on seven shipping routes with twelve ships under the brands of Tallink and Silja Line.

Tallink wanted to make their ships’ digital signage systems consistent and centrally manageable, with central organised media creation and delivery.
Seven ships in Tallink’s fleet already have digital signage systems installed, and because some of the systems were from different providers, content needed to be created in 3 or 4 different formats and with different resolutions. Furthermore as the digital signage was standalone for each ship, all media had to be provided to individual ships on USB sticks every time changes and updates were required. The ONELAN digital signage system has been installed and is managed by SiseTV.

M/S Baltic Queen is the newest ship and has the most advanced ONELAN digital signage system, comprising the following:

· 8 ONELAN Net-Top-Boxes (NTBs) in the onboard shop for showing point of sale advertising on 37” screens

· 8 ONELAN NTBs in cafés and restaurants for menu displays on 22” screens

· Two ONELAN NTBs with 42” screens at the information desk for officers and crew, and to provide latest cruise and entertainment information

· One ONELAN NTB is for onboard TV channel (distributed in cable TV network) showing Tallink’s corporate films and presentation films of destination cities. At the same time other zones are used for cruise schedule information, entertainment information and special offers.

· One ONELAN NTB entertains kids with cartoons in the childrens’ play area.

The digital signage on all Tallink Ferries’ ships is managed centrally from land via a single ONELAN NTB publisher media player.
Local information is added and updated on the ships by information clerks, shop managers, cruise managers using ONELAN’s Ad-Hoc capability. The more sophisticated content and system management is undertaken by SiseTV.

The main issue encountered with the digital signage was networking with ships when they are at sea. The satellite connections needed have quite narrow bandwidths and are very expensive. This problem was solved by programming the NTBs in such a way that large files are only acquired and downloaded when ships are in harbour. In this way regular wireless connections can be used.

Another issue that had to be resolved was distributing video signals to screens via additional cabling. It is very complex adding cabling on a ship as everything must be both waterproof and fireproof, and meet exhaustive safety and other regulations. This issue was overcome by using existing cable TV network or modern video over IP solutions that utilize the existing LAN network.

End user feedback
The digital signage has had a very positive impact on Tallink’s corporate image as passengers can find information much more easily and like the graphic displays showing up to date schedules, offers, tickets, menus and news.

The system is very reliable: ‘ONELAN runs 24/7 for 99% of the time’.
ONELAN digital signage is easily scalable - you can start with only one NTB and scale the system gradually to hundreds (or thousands) with no need to replace the first one. The Ad Hoc facility is very easy to use for non-technical users: information clerks, shop managers and cruise managers are very happy with the simplicity with which they can ‘air’ their messages.’ Mallar Prandi, SiseTV.

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