With a dearth of content broadcast at the resolution of 4K TVs, the new models could still offer benefits in the future by allowing hotels to use larger screens without a loss of picture quality.
“If you blow a picture up very large, and you sit too close to it, in the past it was a problem because if you didn’t have the pixel density you could see the dots,” said Anthony Fonzo, national account manager, Philips Hospitality TV. “With 4K, everything is going to look better on a larger screen. You don’t need more dots on a 22” screen, but on a 46” or 57” TV, you need more pixels.”
“In the future, I think the logical place for 4K TVs would be in restaurants and bars,” said Jennifer Green, director of guestroom technology at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Because TVs in hotel public areas tend to be much larger than their guestroom counterparts in order for the picture to be visible over a greater distance, the gain in clarity offered by a 4K TV would be more obvious.
“I don’t see putting an 80” or a 90” TV in a guestroom,” said Green. “There, where you’re still talking about midsize, 30” to 50”, HD is still more than adequate to give you a crisp signal.”
“The larger issue is that hoteliers are interested in consumer trends,” said Jonas Tanenbaum, VP of hospitality at Samsung. “They are interested in what consumers are doing with their mobile devices, and how they are viewing content that comes into their hotel rooms.”
Putting interactive and guest content on guestroom TVs can be challenging because guests may be reluctant to turn over personal credentials, such as their username or password, to hotels, said Green.
“We do have security protocols in place, but there is reason for people to be concern in light of recent events with major department stores,” Green said. “I do think we want to be in a position where guests can control their experience with their content, and it doesn’t necessarily require a smart TV – there are other ways of accomplishing the same thing.”
This article is the third in a three-part series on 4K TVs and hotels. Look to www.hotelmanagement.net for the past articles.