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Re-imagining “Content is King” – Integrating the In-Room TV Viewing Experience

The notion of “content is king” has taken on new meaning in today’s hospitality industry.  

Leisure and business travelers regularly bring their own content (movies, music, games and more) on personal devices (such as smartphones, tablets and laptops), and they want to effortlessly view that content, and live TV, on the hotel’s HDTV in the comfort of their room just as if they were at home – watching “Game of Thrones,” checking out Academy-Award-winning movies they missed, catching the last inning of the big game or playing games and music while stretched out on their living room couch or in bed.

With consumers’ rapidly changing viewing habits and the consistent launch of new streaming content, hoteliers are faced with the growing challenge of implementing a smart, affordable and easy-to-manage-and-deploy solution that will improve a guest’s in-room viewing experience at optimal cost. Modifying a property’s current in-room entertainment offerings requires a well-planned strategy targeting a hotel’s current and future needs alongside delivering an elevated guest experience. Here are the top 4 things for hoteliers to consider when making the move.

The Quest For Hoteliers – Integrating Personal Content & Live TV

Consumers transport more than their content on their personal devices. They carry a desire to watch it – as well as live channels like NBC, HBO or ESPN – on a screen larger than a tablet or smartphone when staying in a hotel.

Innovative casting solutions to provide greater guest satisfaction are being introduced into the market – ones that integrate live HD channels with the content consumers bring with them for countless variety without sacrificing quality. For example, DISH Network’s new EVOLVE® system is the ultimate in-room entertainment solution personalized by guests and fueled by their content. EVOLVE is powered by Android TVTM with Chromecast built-in, so it is very flexible and future proof – of huge appeal for today’s hoteliers on the quest for a viable, cost-effective, long-term response to the in-room entertainment integration challenges they are facing.

Hoteliers should also explore whether an in-room entertainment solution is user-friendly, intuitive and offers exceptional choice. It’s a win-win when guests can use their own Google Play account to rent or buy the latest and greatest movies, shows, apps and games. And, they can take their purchases with them when they leave the hotel. An advanced program guide lets guests quickly find the shows they want to watch in the hotel live HDTV’s line-up (such as local news, their favorite sitcom, ESPN, etc.) after they’ve binge-watched on their favorite apps.

Manageable Solutions Backed By Partner Support

Balancing the demands of today’s guests with the demands of a property’s bottom line is an art. Considerations mount for how hoteliers can implement the in-room entertainment experience their guests want and which partners to align with to ensure a cost-effective, long-term solution.

Enhancing the in-room television viewing experience doesn’t require a massive infrastructure overhaul – a major bonus for hotels. For a seamless change, DISH Network’s EVOLVE is powered by SMARTBOX® technology and works with any hotel network. With video delivery over QAM or IP, and internet connectivity over DOCSIS, Ethernet or Wi-Fi (2.4/5GHz) connections, EVOLVE can work within existing or upgraded infrastructures.

Any technology solution to improve in-room television viewing, though, is only as good as the company that creates and supports it. Hotels need an efficient and manageable solution backed by a company that has the size and scale to meet a property’s long-term needs. Can the service be monitored remotely? What happens if there’s a problem? Is the TV remote built to last? Hoteliers must be confident in their solution provider because the guest experience is at stake. Working with a company that is innovative, continues to offer relevant and cost-effective enhancements, appropriately licenses software, has staying power, and provides exceptional customer service in the event of a problem yields the highest degree of success.

Balancing Costs With Individual Hotel Needs

Enhancements can come at a cost, and gauging the return on investment for installing and deploying a new system is crucial. The benefit is the tremendous value afforded to hotel guests by satisfying their in-room, TV-watching demands, which are quickly become expectations.

Examining potential costs starts with evaluating an individual hotel’s situation. Does the solution work with the existing video distribution system and is it compatible with the current televisions? Do other networks need to be upgraded or in-room components installed? Do you want to offer a more upscale guest experience, gain an edge against the competition, or are you trying to draw a younger demographic or new families who are more likely to want to access their own content? Ask these questions and consider if the solution provider has the scale and buying power to drive down costs.

Hoteliers are encouraged to carefully weigh the impacts and costs of deploying a solution and ensure that it makes the most sense for each property at the lowest cost. As with the implementation of any new system, security is paramount. Guests want to feel secure that any credentials/passwords entered will be cleared when they check out – this can increase use of the new solution and ultimately drive guest loyalty, the holy grail of hospitality

The Potential For Boosted Personalization

An elevated in-room TV viewing experience yields benefits beyond integrated consumer content with live HD channels.  A smart solution that drives guests to use the in-room television more fittingly creates opportunities for hotels to bolster customization and profits.  

Thanks to a property’s PMS integration, hoteliers can personally welcome guests to their room with their name on the welcome channel and provide other customizations to create a unique experience for the hotel or consistent experience for the brand.

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Consumers will increasingly carry more, not less, content with them wherever they go. And, with it easily available at their fingertips, they’ll continue to want effortless access to it all, when and where they want it, even when staying in a hotel. A cost-effective, easy-to-deploy system that integrates a guest’s own content with live HD channels – and is backed by the support of a reputable provider – can deliver significant ROI, high levels of customer satisfaction, and revenue-earning opportunities. As content remains king, hoteliers are poised to reign in coveted consumer loyalty.

DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides over 13 million pay-TV subscribers, as of March 31, 2017, with the highest-quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value. With SMARTBOX® and EVOLVE®, we’ve taken the same commitment to innovation and value to provide the ultimate entertainment experience for your property and guests. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. For more information about DISH solutions for hotels visit www.dish.com/hotels.

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.