Hotels are at a crossroads in terms of in-room technology, guest expectations are for a better than home experience, how do they achieve this?
Traditional Hotel TV systems involved a dedicated headend which supplied a TV signal over a coax cable and maybe an in house channel, welcome page or extra features such as better on screen graphics and on demand movies were added by using set top boxes behind screens.
While the TV’s themselves have moved on hugely in terms of features and processing power, delivery methods have stayed the same set top boxes (stb). In the last year or two manufactures have really upped their game in this space, particularly Philips and Samsung.
What has changed? Firstly both companies have updated the software which runs their Hospitality system. These can now be centrally controlled and updated from software in the same way as digital signage.
The TV distribution that was sent over coaxial cable is now replace by Category cable, but in reality there is a solution for every type of cable.
Category cable (Network)
- Using a modern Headend converts your TV channels into an internal IP Tv stream, in effect making any data point a TV point. Ease of distribution is key and it has the added advantage of data thus enabling the use of TV apps (Netflix, Amazon, Youtube etc). The Smart TV’s allow for screen mirroring, Bluetooth music, bill view.
- We could just simply send dvb-T or dvb-C signal along the cable and provide HD TV channels, this would be a missed opportunity coax cable is capable of so much more by adding a piece of hardware called Dah (Data access hub) Coax can do everything a category cable can do and more. Virgin media use this technology for it’s customers providing, Phone, Broadband and TV all down coaxial cable.
In order to get the best use out of your Smart TV, it will have to be connected to a data network. What are the options?
- Wifi: Connect the TV to Hotel wifi ( do you really want to add another 100 devices to the wifi network)
- Category Cable data point: Use the built network ports in the TV
- Coax: Use the existing coax cable to transmit data and TV
- Software: Choose your manufacturers software (perpetual license)
Hotel TV options:
CMND & Create
Customize your content with CMND & Create. This powerful authoring tool comes included with your Philips Professional Display to help you design and create your own rich, compelling content. You can brand all the displays throughout the hotel the way you want to, simply and effectively.
CMND & Control
Manage all your connected displays through a single, centralized location. With CMND & Control, you can update your software, settings, scheduling and content configurations across your entire suite quickly and efficiently. No need to go room to room to manually change settings anymore.
Impress your guests with infinite possibilities. Choose from an ever-growing collection of apps, games and services to maximize your guests’ overall experience with you. Better still, personal device connectivity will give your rooms a sophisticated modern touch.
Samsung LYNK Remote Enhanced Active Control for Hospitality (REACH) is a hardware and software solution for better management and maintenance of room display content, compatible with all Samsung Hospitality TVs. On the hardware side, our REACH Server and the remote controller enables the updating and adjusting of Digital TVs (DTVs) over radio frequency (RF) signals to avoid the need for time-consuming manual updates. On the software side, it incorporates LYNK REACH, which is designed for ease of use.
Bring a residential TV navigation experience to the guest room with the Interactive Program Guide (IPG). IPG data is provided through a subscription service by your content provider or system integrator. The REACH device can then pull the necessary metadata from multiple sources in multiple formats. Guests can enjoy picture in picture viewing, detailed program information and a convenient channel grid.
Deliver information automatically with a headline-style scrolling ticker. The LYNK REACH ticker feature provides a crawl of data that’s of special interest to guests, such as local weather or event information. In addition, property managers can create and update targeted promotional content or marketing messages, while displaying an interface that seamlessly matches your property’s brand.
The integrated solution uses existing infrastructure assets, lowers labor and operating costs and eliminates the need for set-top boxes and other components. For those establishments that have RF infrastructures currently in place, LYNK REACH is an ideal way to provide Hotel TV content more efficiently.
- Combining LYNK REACH 3.1 and Samsung SINC 3.0, LYNK REACH 4.0 accommodates any new or existing hospitality communication
infrastructure, including coax, LAN and Wi-Fi. That helps eliminate much of the maintenance and cost required to deliver a premium experience
to guests. It also reduces energy, as well as visible clutter by eliminating the need for a set-top box. Everything is condensed into a single-source
content management platform
Samsung Lynk Sinc
Create an In-Room Experience with an At-Home Feel
- Control content effectively with Samsung LYNK SINC for Samsung SMART Hospitality TVs. It enables remote management of a hospitality property’s TV network from one central location, so hotel property managers or technicians can easily provide popular applications and premium content individualized to guests’ needs and expectations, and customized for each guest room or group of rooms.
Enhance the Guest Experience
- Using services enabled by LYNK SINC, hotel guests can enjoy a luxurious, entertaining stay with enhanced content based on their individual needs. For example, TVs in conventioneers’ rooms can display a custom user interface (UI) and menu specific to the convention, while displaying a seamless view of the property’s brand. Event locations, meeting alerts and entertainment options catering to a topic of interest can be set up with little time or effort. As well, tourist data, available discounts, local event information and more can be displayed for swift access by guests.
Easily Select and Manage Viewing Content
- Update multiple room TVs with just one click to reduce the costs associated with the laborious room-by-room trips that are required for typical Hotel TV management. Working with an existing property management system (PMS) and Samsung SMART Hospitality TVs, the functions needed to enable premium interactive services and remote TV controls are integrated with the television units. These built-in functions eliminate the need to install and maintain external Set-Top Boxes (STBs).
Control In-Room TVs from One Location
- Offer guests High Defintion (HD) content and popular applications with the touch of a button. The LYNK SINC Remote Control menu simplifies the monitoring, management and control of a property’s TV network. Various tasks can be performed on individual TVs or groups of TVs, including power on, power off, volume control and firmware updates. Multiple tasks can also be set up to run together to save time and improve customer service.
Provide Access to Frequently Used Applications
- Incorporated with LYNK SINC, Samsung Smart Hub enables guests to use internet applications on their Hotel TVs the same way they use them on other devices, such as smartphones, tablets and desktops. Entertainment packages and High Definition (HD) content can provide an in-room experience with an at-home feel. Property managers can also download only the widgets they want to include with their in-room entertainment experiences onto the SINC server, so that Hospitality TVs do not need to be connected to the internet for widget installation.
Samsung HMS ( Hotel Management system)
LYNK HMS (Hospitality Management Solution) transforms in-room hotel TV into a control and management hub, combining critical capabilities into a single solution. This integrated solution enables hotels to operate more efficiently and provide differentiated services to their guests through four core services. These services include Room Management Solution (RMS), Energy Management Solution (EMS), In-Room Control (IRC) Service and Content Management Solution (CMS).
- Streamline workflow with real-time monitoring and a compatible mobile application
- Increase management efficiency and reduce energy costs through sensor-based control
- Maximize guest comfort through streamlined device control accessibility
- Elevate guest experience through a two-way, IP-based content management solution
RMS (Room Management Solution)
Automate staff workflow and unlock guest responsiveness with a room management solution
RMS is a comprehensive management tool that is complete with a mobile app. Hotel staff can conduct real-time monitoring to check room device status, temperature and security. Staff also can perform energy utilization analysis and optimize energy settings. The RMS mobile app automates processes to accelerate staff workflow and stimulate guest responsiveness.
- Real-time monitoring
- Energy utilization analysis
- Mobile application
EMS (Energy Management Solution)
Reduce energy costs and drive operational efficiency with an energy management solution
Hotel staff can pre-set room temperatures based on current weather patterns and room position within the hotel. Sensors located in each room monitor room occupancy and adjust heat and air settings accordingly. Through EMS, hotels can optimize in-room energy settings to reduce overall consumption while still delivering unparalleled comfort.
IRC (In-Room Control Service)
Empowers guests with intuitive UI to create an optimum environment with an in-room control solution
IRC service allows guests to control various aspects of their in-room environment. Guests can adjust room settings through a user-friendly interface and request for privacy through do-not-disturb/make-up-room (DND/MUR) functionality. Additionally, users can save their preferred conditions and quickly activate them with a simple push of a button.
CMS (Content Management Solution)
Design and deliver custom content for an enhanced guest experience with content management solution
Embedded within LYNK HMS, LYNK SINC 3.0 enables hotels to create content without having to purchase additional external tools. Through the use of CMS, hotels can remotely program hospitality displays to showcase personalized and customized contents. A two-way user interface grants guests convenient access to their favorite web-based apps and social media.
Samsung’s all-in-one LYNK HMS elevates in-room televisions into a gateway connecting guest room devices with the HMS server, the hotel’s existing property management system (PMS) and LYNK HMS’ embedded mobile application for the room management solution (RMS). This seamless integration of resources, achieved through standard wireless protocol, allows hotels to control the personalization of light, shade, temperature, door signage, content and motion detection settings to suit guest needs.
In-Room Voice Control
HARMAN + Watson
Harman are using ‘Voice-Enabled Cognitive Rooms’ to show off the functionality built directly into a JBL Horizon alarm clock.
Harman says its voice-enabled cognitive rooms concept represents a powerful solution that integrates IBM’s Watson AI with its own AKG microphones, JBL speakers and AMX AV control and switching systems to create an intuitive voice interface for end users and an enterprise-grade management interface for building operators.
The maker is targeting hotels and conference rooms with its initial demo, but other suggested areas include cruise ships and other hospitality environments; in fact the technology could be applied anywhere this type of functionality might be required, including domestic systems.
In the early stages of this design, this device is unlike most on the market. This device doesn’t require a specific set of syntax. In order to to call the device to attention, simply call out JBL and ask the question. You can ask questions like “where’s the best place for dinner?” or “What is check out time?”.
Amazon Echo and Apple’s Siri
These are currently popular domestic products that need tailoring to allow for commercial use, conceptually there is no reason why these can not be adapted for commercial Hospitality use.
Marriott is testing both Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa in hotel rooms, and may decide to install the platforms in all rooms in “one or more of its chains.”
Wynn Guests will be able to control the room lights, temperature, drapes, and TV with the device. The personal assistant feature will likely be introduced down the road.
The day’s of having a luxurious room with a big Hotel TV are a distant memory, we are now looking at how smart we can make them.