Videoworks in Italy is at the vanguard of integrating onboard visual and audio entertainment tech with lighting and cybersecurity systems
Home automation, or Domotics, has become a major trend onshore so it’s little wonder that the boating sector has picked up on it, with firms like Videoworks in Italy at the vanguard of integrating visual and audio entertainment tech with lighting and cybersecurity systems. Must-haves of system integration now include being able to watch at a football match on a large screen with very high resolution, to listen to music with loudspeakers that faithfully reproduce pure sounds, host a party on board, manage lights, blinds, multi-media contents and air conditioning and to browse the internet in a secure and reliable manner. Above all it’s cruicial that all that tech wizardry be wrapped up in a simple package to ensure installation, maintenance and the user interface are as easy as possible. One builder that’s fully embraced the concept is Wider, as witnessed by Videoworks’ work aboard its new 50m Cecilia.
One of the key challenges set by the shipyard and the designers was to obtain the best sound quality without audio installations taking up acreas of space. Videoworks created a centralised AV system featuring Creston processors. The audio system uses top-of-the-range equipment, not only in the saloons but in the guest areas as well. The owner’s hall has built-in Sonance speakers and a 5.1 surround system.
Videoworks then installed James Loudspeaker marine-grade speakers externally so that guests could enjoy the sound experience outside. As well as utilising a Kaleidescape server for films and music to ensure a cinematic film experience was available onboard, Videoworks was also conscious that superyachts are increasingly becoming places people work in, and so created a videoconference system in the main hall and in the owner’s office.
To protect the onboard network from IT attacks, Videoworks installed Kerio Control, an all-in-one firewall, antivirus and bandwidth management system, protecting the onboard server with an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) that monitors all incoming and outgoing communications. A web filter allows administrators to deny or limit access to internet sites, services and applications, protecting users and infrastructure by prohibiting access to harmful sites that could steal the users’ identities and data. In addition to its capabilities as a new generation firewall, the device offers a Load Balancing function that guarantees high speed transmission for the most important data and an optimised Internet connection, distributing traffic via multiple links.
At the heart of Videoworks’s solutions is a centralised rack system to avoid local racks distributed throughout the yacht, providing a more ‘clutter-free’ environment. In the cabins and other guest areas, for example, there are only the speakers and TV screens. It also provides additional privacy, as any maintenance required by the crew does not require access to the guest areas.
Videoworks did not just stop at Cecilia’s technological integration - it also dealt with lighting design and light engineering. Crucial when designing the project was the decision to use various lighting elements, including some customised ones, selected according to the desired atmospheres and the kind of illumination requested by the owners.
One of the more unusual elements on the Cecilia is the mixture of lighting ceiling panels with different lenses that ensure full illumination of every part of the room. Day, Night and Soft settings can be selected to make every moment of life on board satisfying. For the exteriors, Videoworks used a special type of illumination with elliptical lenses on the helipad platform and a system of lights for the sundeck’s glass panels, which make the yacht recognisable at night when anchored.