White papers update hotel owners on entertainment options
HOTEL GUESTS LIKE to stream their favorite TV shows and movies on mobile devices, and they like to do so on free, reliable WiFi. Those are the conclusions of a pair of white papers from Hotel Internet Services.
“Bringing Hotel Guestroom Entertainment to the Mobile Generation” posits that many hotel guests are rejecting in-room entertainment services, such as video on demand, in favor of using personal devices to stream their personal content as they do when at home. HIS conducted a survey of more than 500 guests and found 75.91 percent of respondents indicated that they travel with a smartphone, 61.76 percent bring a tablet, and 68.07 percent carry laptops. More than half of respondents in the same survey wanted to be able to stream their own personal content, such as YouTube or Hulu, to a guestroom television.
“With separate statistics indicating that at least 65 percent of households across the US now connect their televisions to the internet, such findings should come as little surprise,” the white paper states. “However, while guest homes have found an array of services available to support their evolving entertainment needs, many consequently discover an abrupt disconnect in technological advancement when greeted by a hotel’s antiquated VOD libraries and instead simply turn to their own streaming accounts on personal devices.” This trend means hotels with VOD systems see will see less and less revenue from the systems until they become a drain, since most require payment to update the VOD libraries.
As an alternative, hotels can upgrade to systems such as BeyondTV, which connect to existing television sets to give access to personal online streaming services. The same service also can provide access to social media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and hotels can charge a usage fee to add to their revenue. This solution can be cheaper and easier than replacing a hotel’s televisions with internet ready smart TVs. But either way, hotels need to provide reliable access to the internet via WiFi.
HIS’s “Wi-Fi Management for Management Companies” cites data from Research+Data that found that 80 percent of economy travelers were more likely to form good opinions of hotels that provide free WiFi at guaranteed speeds. The white paper points out that a majority of hotels traditionally rely on hallway access points to transmit Wi-Fi signals, the signal from which can be interrupted by competing APs transmitting on other floors or weakened by shorter antennas used in modern devices. It suggests upgrading to in-room access points, which provide a closer signal source that is less susceptible to interference. “Hoteliers can also learn that structural limitations that once posed an obstacle to implementing a seamless network, can now be affordably overcome by leveraging newer technology,” said Gary Patrick, HIS CEO.