How guestroom TVs are smarter and more responsive

(LG TVs)

Hotel televisions are getting smarter and more appealing for hotel guests. Not only is the physical television hardware improving, the interaction between the guest and between other hotel systems are advancing as well.
“The move is to higher-end, larger and smarter televisions across the hospitality market,” said Fred Crespo, director of technology and business development for hospitality TV for Samsung Business. “The demand for smarter televisions has been growing.”

Televisions that can interact with guest mobile devices, that can enable content management, and that can work with a hotel’s software solution, such as property-management systems and energy management, are all increasingly prevalent in hotel rooms. The design evolution of hotel televisions has clearly lead to the TV being a commercial platform for the hotelier, said Richard Lewis, senior vice president at LG. They create a platform that will interface with anyone’s hub.

“With more computer power in the room, the televisions can be more responsive,” Lewis said. “Televisions are now IP-based, creating a central hub for computing and other systems, producing a control for the lighting or the heating.”

Smarter TVs are allowing the guest to customize their in-room experience. With energy management being integrated into the smart television, it allows the guest to control the temperature, lights, and drapery through the TV interface. Guests can even control the door locks. The new TVs also allow for increased interface control—integrated down to the PMS, allowing for peak operational efficiency.

Hotels are increasing the value of interaction via guestroom televisions, enabling guests to view and utilize amenities such as housekeeping, restaurant reservations and in-room dining service, valet, spa services and much more. “These services are much more accessible to guests when offered via a user-friendly television screen interface that is integrated into the hotel's technology systems,” said Gary Patrick, president of Hotel Internet Services. “Many of our clients typically note a higher level of satisfaction and increased revenue as a result of implementing an integrated interactive entertainment solution that incorporates guest services and entertainment functionality.”

These technologies are now offered to hoteliers at a much lower price point than in the past because they don’t rely on extra wiring, a set-top box or anything similar. This allows hoteliers to get more value out of that smart television.

“This allows the hotelier to leverage the momentum on building a smarter TV experience in the guestroom,” Crespo said. “This reduces the total cost of ownership, as well.”

Gone are the days when people went to a hotel to access programming they didn’t have at home. “Content and technology are much more rapidly changing in the consumer world [for televisions],” Lewis said. “Hoteliers need to curate a selection of content that is appealing to guests and a simpler way to access that content.”

Properties are going beyond pay-per-view and giving guests the same access to technology that they have at home. “This has resulted in a sharp spike in the industry’s interest in solutions that can provide guestroom streaming technology,” Patrick said. “Guests can enjoy personal subscription-based content such as Netflix, Hulu and Pandora on the guestroom TV as well as streaming personal content from their smart device.”