Panbo

Category: Entertainment

Mega AV: UMSI installs KVH IP MultiCast, Crestron & much more

Nov 14, 2014

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Whoever buys or charters Island Heiress will get an amazing audio video system. The 1996 Cheoy Lee has gone through a massive refit -- notice how much the satellite domes have changed from the original configuration -- including a $250,000 $500,000 custom entertainment system put together by Unlimited Marine Services Inc. (UMSI). You can be at any one of eight large Samsung LED HDTV screens using an iPad to choose from DirectTV, Apple TV, boat cameras, navigation screens, and the world's first install of a KVH IP MobileCast superyacht package. In Fort Lauderdale I got to see some of the phenomenal complexity behind the AV goodness and even picked up some equipment tips possibly relevant to more modest vessels...

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Sonos WiFi HiFi tested: excellent at home, maybe for boat

Mar 23, 2014

Sonos_Play_1_test_cPanbo.jpgI knew little about Sonos wireless hifi a month ago. While the ads suggested an elegant Apple-like design, I had the impression it also came with Apple-like premium prices and was certainly not suitable for boats. But now that I've lived for a month with the relatively new Play:1 seen above, I may have been wrong on both counts!  Many reviewers have already praised the little speaker/amp's hardware and audio quality compared to similar wireless speakers. I want to detail the superb Sonos audio access and control software that you can tap into with just one $199 Play:1(though adding more components will be a huge temptation) and also discuss how Sonos can make sense afloat.

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Fusion-Link N2K & Garmin, happy together

Mar 3, 2014

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The ability of Fusion marine stereo systems to integrate with multifunction displays over NMEA 2000 (or Ethernet) is a wonderful example of what MFDs and standard network protocols can do for us. One day last summer a Garmin software update suddenly made the GPSMap 7212 already installed on Gizmo's flybridge the best interface I had for the Fusion IP700 stereo installed below. And mind you, I already had a Fusion NRX remote control up there, and I also had the Fusion Remote apps running on iPad and smartphone via Gizmo's WiFi router. There was a notable glitch, which I'll describe, but that's long past and now Fusion-Link has arrived beautifully in the Garmin 7x1 and 8000 Series MFDs seen above.

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Miami 2014 comms #1: WiFi, Cellular, and V-SAT advances

Feb 21, 2014

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That's the Web browser built into the Humminbird ION10 MFD that I first saw demoed in Lauderdale (pre browser), and the test was pretty realistic for a boat show. It was easy to log the ION onto my phone's WiFi hotspot and if you click the image bigger, you'll see how well it rendered a complex site like www.powerandmotoryacht.com. It even supports tabs for multiple sites, so if I were out fishing on, say, a sunny center console, I could have had a weather site open while still checking my gmail or moderating Panbo comments, all on a bright waterproof screen. This is a MFD first, I think -- the Standard Horizon CPN1010i can access the Web, but not while in navigation mode -- though the lack of ION detail on Humminbird's site suggests that they are taking their time getting it out the door.

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METS 2013: Glomex WeBBoat, fingers on Garmin and Simrad, and more

Nov 26, 2013

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The Marine Equipment Trade Show 2013 held in Amsterdam last week lived up to its reputation again. The trade floors were packed with exhibitors, and I was told that the booths were packed with visitors on the first two show days. Fortunately, it wasn't as busy during my third day visit and I could move around easily -- if not as anonymously as before; at Garmin I was welcomed as "Hey, you're the guy from Panbo!"  Ben has already reported on Garmin's down- and side scanning sonar, xHD radomes, etc., plus the new Simrad NSS and B&G Zeus2 Series, but I got to see the new products in action and there was much more to cover, like that neat Glomex WebBoat WiFi/3G access point seen above...

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Intellian Technologies: smart, articulate & classy

Jun 27, 2013

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Intellian Technologies has come a long way since they first introduced their own brand of satellite TV antenna systems at the 2008 NMEA Conference, where I first met them. In fact, the company may well be the fastest growing in marine electronics, going from 77 employees in 2010 to 160 today. Intellian has also gone from supplying only the relatively modest end of the marine TV antenna market to all size vessels, broadband satellite communications definitely included. The company story is interesting on many levels, but there was a particularly telling moment as Global Marketing VP Paul Comyns (standing above) and CEO Eric Sung (to his left) addressed the group of American and European boating journalists that Intellian hosted in Korea.

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Fusion Marine Stereo 2013, great but confusing!

Jun 21, 2013

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Last week I had a long conference call with the Fusion Marine product management team in New Zealand. I came away even more impressed with how committed the company is to integrating its entertainment products with our boats and mobile A/V sources in every way possible. But I also got a deeper understanding of what a complicated mess their innovative ways has created!  I'll start with the new MS-Unidock Universal External Dock (above). It solves the problem Apple created by putting a new and entirely different Lightning connector on the iPhone 5 and current iPods -- without even telling their accessory developers in advance! -- but it also created a new issue for Fusion...

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Fusion 700 Series update, mission accomplished?

Oct 31, 2012
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I've been testing (and enjoying) a Fusion MS-IP700 and MS-NRX200 system since I installed them in June and I wholeheartedly support the 700 Series as NMEA's Technology Award winner of the year. And note that I wasn't a judge myself this year and unfortunately wasn't even there (especially as I've heard repeatedly that the 2012 NMEA Conference was the success hoped for). You can read all about it in this online version of the ME Journal, and further note that the judges didn't see the cool multi-manufacturer Fusion MFD interfaces that debuted in Fort Lauderdale...

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Fusion MS-IP700 and -NRX200, hands-on #1

Jun 6, 2012
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The Fusion IP700, first announced at last October's NMEA Conference, is so shiny that it's hard to photograph, which is why you'll see reflections of Gizmo's dotty overhead if you click/enlarge the shot above. But you'll also see the IP700's terrific volume control and the fact that you can now give your speaker zones meaningful names. As shown by the green color I'm controlling three sets of speakers at once but I can just push the big knob to select individual zones. Actually it's even simpler than that because usually I have the Fly Bridge zone control shut off on this display as I'll be controlling it, and it alone, with a NRX200 remote that will be installed up there, all very easy to set up even without peeking in the manual...

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Aquatic AV, doing what Fusion hasn't?

Oct 24, 2011
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The Aquatic AV AQ-DM-4B Media Locker is purportedly so waterproof and rugged that you could install it on a Jet Ski, and though the company is relatively new to the marine world, it does have years of experience making stereos for the highly humid and harshly chemical environment around hot tubs. Plus there's a nice simplicity to a black box iPod/MP3 amp run only by a wireless remote, especially when that's a two-way RF remote capable of 50 foot range and even of showing iPod tune titles on its little screen... 

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