The initial brief was for onboard entertainment that would allow guests to browse and control high definition satellite channels, a centralised music and movie collection, and have the ability to dock individual iPods. These audio video sources were to be available independently in all guest areas throughout the vessel, so that users could enjoy different satellite channels, music and movies simultaneously. In addition to general LCD and plasma type displays in the majority of cabins, there was also the request for a large screen projection system that was completely invisible when not in use.
The yacht featured a complete cable infrastructure covering every major cabin/area onboard. This infrastructure utilised CAT5/6, coaxial, speaker, and proprietary communications cables, both to support the equipment and systems currently installed, but also to support future system additions and upgrades, with additional spare cabling installed to all areas.
The entertainment system itself consisted of individual, standalone systems located in each cabin, which each featured a satellite receiver, media client, iPod docking station, audio video switching and amplification. With the exception of each Kaleidescape media client, which communicated to a central server for access to content, the equipment in each cabin operated as a standalone system. Even if the Kaleidescape connection was lost, a guest within a cabin would still be able to select and view local discs, satellite channels or their own iPod. In addition to the local cabin specific sources, a Kaleidescape audio player provided four independent audio feeds that were utilised for external areas and for party or vessel-wide audio, with guests or crew able to set a single piece of music playing throughout the yacht. In addition to the motorised devices in the Sky Lounge, a number of devices in other areas concealed displays whilst they were not in use. The Main Saloon featured a lift and swivel mechanism in a piece of furniture behind a sofa. When activated the display rose up behind the sofa, and could then be rotated for viewing from any area in the Saloon.
The Master Cabin display device was mounted within a motorised artwork frame, where the artwork concealed the display when not in use. When a video source was selected, the artwork automatically rolled out of the way. A Crestron control system was selected to provide intuitive operation of the entire entertainment system, with a combination of wireless handsets and wall-mounted touch panels. The simple nature of the system, how easy it was to use and its continued reliability have been praised by everyone onboard.
It was imperative that the system onboard was intuitive to operate and highly reliable. The shipyard and client expressed concern about complicated centralised systems with all sources and switching carried out in a single location and were keen for a high level of redundancy, so that if equipment failed or was damaged, it would not result in the loss of a large part of the system. This requirement was emphasised by the lack of space for central equipment racking. The Sky Lounge featured a completely hidden projection system with a motorised projector lift, which was built into the deck head design so that it was invisible when retracted, and a sofa unit with a motorised seating section that slid back to allow a 90” wide tab-tensioned projection screen to rise out of the base. A local surround receiver provided 5.1 surround sound in this area, with motorised blinds that closed to complete the transformation.
All of these devices helped to realise the full potential of the amazing design for the interior of this yacht. Every detail was considered, including all of the in-ceiling speakers being custom painted to match the ceiling material into which they were mounted.
The Follow Up
The shipyard has been so impressed by the installation that the core system specification has been incorporated into their standard specification. The vessel’s sister yacht has already had the same system installed and we have been involved with a third vessel that features another system. Sensory International was awarded “Best Marine Installation” across Europe in 2010 for this project by our industries governing body.