New TVs signal enhanced guest experience, costs for operators

Previously in this GuestIQ article, I noted a 4hoteliers article that mentions that guests expect more technology in the room, which includes an integrated technology, television, and entertainment system in the guestroom.

This Hotel News Now article describes the new TVs signal and its benefits and costs to hotel operators.  LG Electronics and Panasonic spokespeople talked about future television capabilities at the 2009 LodgNet Customer Technology Symposium.  They believe that in the long run digital television will be delivered using the Internet through the new CAT-6 cable, rather than through cable and satellite, which is currently being used.

Jim Noecker from Panasonic mentions other capabilities out there that have been available since the conversion to digital television:  “Among those capabilities is richer free-to-guest content, including descriptions of area attractions, hotel amenities, interactive room-service menus, local weather and so forth.”  He mentions that in addition to those hotel-specific capabilities, the television in the guestroom will have web browsing, and the usual pay-per-view providers.  However, in order to have all those capabilities, hotel operators need to pay for additional infrastructure and support.

The article mentions that the web browsing may be limited to certain sites, but needs additional infrastructure for a full browsing experience.

I’m not really sold on its potential benefits to the guest experience.  Isn’t it a huge price to pay to browse the internet through the guestroom television, when I could just as easily do it through my laptop?  When guests want descriptions of the area attractions and hotel amenities, would they really turn on the television as their source to get information?

Interactive room-service menus seem like an excellent benefit, but what happens to opportunities to upsell?  If they can do interactive room-service menus, they could also include other guest requests, such as requests for additional towels, and hopefully, integrate those requests into their CRM database.

Read the HotelNewsNow article here.

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