We are experts in hotel TV. For many years we’ve installed, specified and maintained hotel TV, offering innovative installation solutions all over the UK. We’ve installed in new-build as well as refurbished properties and we can quote for complete turn-key systems or just specific elements.
We specify and carry out installation of all the best brands in hotel-spec TV equipment, like Samsung, LG, Phillips, NEC and Vestel.
Today, hotel TV is so much more than just the installation of TVs in guestrooms. Advanced connectivity allows a wealth of revenue-enhancing possibilities including screen-casting from guests’ own devices, room-specific digital signage, in-room ordering and even on-screen check out.
So here’s the TVC guide to everything you need to know about hotel TV, including our guide to the sometimes rather confusing terminology.
Hotel TV systems
Hotel TV systems have come a long way in the last few years; now, in-room TV system installation is often part of a hotel-wide content distribution system that can offer guests a whole range of value-added services – and even digital signage in other parts of the building.
Key to this is a comprehensive network installation, whether that’s IP or coaxial technology. For example, using the latest IP techniques, individually addressable screens can be sited anywhere there’s a data point.
Differences between hotel TV and domestic TV
Contrary to appearance, there are very few similarities between a hotel TV and a domestic TV. A modern hotel TV is fully equipped to handle the latest entertainment management operating systems from major manufacturers like LG, Samsung or Phillips.
For instance, the LG hotel mode (using Pro:Centric SMART TVs) allows compatible screens to receive not just Freeview but many other channels of internet protocol television (IPTV) allowing personalised in-room messages and much more.
Additionally, hotel TVs are normally built with higher-quality, more robust components to ensure a long and reliable working life in-situ, cutting down on complaints and maintenance call-outs.
Hotel TV brands
At TVC you can rely on us to on specify and install hotel TV systems from the best brands like Samsung, LG, Phillips, NEC and Vestel.
Each of these TV brands offers specific hotel-only equipment designed to enhance guest experience and convenience whilst integrating with the hotel’s PMS (proprietary management server.)
Samsung hotel mode TV offers LYNK REACH 4.0 technology, whilst LG delivers with Pro:Centric SMART equipment.
Phillips hotel TV features the CMND+ system with their unique Ambilight experience whilst Vestel TV offers a variety of IP or coaxial-based sets with Vestel SmartTV.
Hotel TV Networks
Historically, hotel TV networks were all coaxial-based AV networks, using an MATV (Master antenna TV) distribution system for off-air signals and latterly, an SMATV for satellite.
The antenna and dish technology is still used today as they are among the best aerial systems, but most modern hotel TV systems now use IP (internet protocol) to distribute signals and data around a property.
Essentially, using IPTV connectivity means that one network installation can distribute hundreds of TV channels, high speed internet and telephony, as well as integrating with your hotel’s own PMS infrastructure, with data flowing both ways. This ensures a seamless guest experience and is one that TVC is well-equipped to advise on and install.
IPTV (Internet protocol TV) is now the accepted method of hooking up many TVs in hospitality and healthcare environments. One network cable can carry a large variety of signals in both directions.
IP can include everything in traditional hotel AV networks– like off-air and satellite TV, premium VoD and local info as well as digital services like high speed internet, telephony and data from in-room facilities like mini-bars.
Using Zeevee AV to IPTV technology, all manner of AV sources can be distributed over IP and integrated into content management systems. Some use an in-room IPTV box, whereas others use integrated IP TV sets that only need a network connection.
MATV is the term we use for a system to distribute signals from broadcast to hotel TV systems. It stands for Master Antenna TV and means that one television aerial system is used to feed the whole property.
This ensures the best quality signal is received in every room of all off-air TV stations and any channel updates can be effected quickly without having to retune TVs separately, saving staff costs and time.
Like MATV, SMATV stands for satellite master antenna TV and is essentially the use of a small number of fixed satellite dishes receiving a wide range of signals for distribution throughout a hotel.
Often roof-mounted, they are often a larger size than domestic satellite dishes allowing cleaner pictures in adverse weather conditions and a far better signal-to-noise ratio.
Ask what does IRS mean, and in the context of hotel TV, IRS stands for integrated reception system.
It combines signals from off-air TV (both analogue and Freeview) radio stations (AM, FM and DAB) and satellite broadcasts into one combined feed to distribute around a hotel.
An IRS system would be an integral part of any new-build hotel TV system we specify and install. We have the experience to specify the most effective system for your requirements.
An RF network allows distribution of audio and video signals like radio, satellite and Freeview TV around a hotel using coaxial cable.
These legacy systems can normally only carry information one way – into the rooms, so are not often specified today; on the other hand, modern IP systems allow two-way communication offering guests more choices and value-added services like high speed internet, in-room booking and billing info and even screen casting to play content from their own devices.
Hotel TV services
We are hotel TV experts and have wide experience of many differing types of installations, from new-build turnkeys to partial refurbs. As a result, we can advise on and specify systems for every size and class of hotel.
With the use of IP technology, in-room TVs become part of an integrated hotel information system, offering enhanced entertainment management and revenue opportunities.
Technologies like Chromecast screen sharing are now possible (whilst retaining your data integrity) together with high speed WiFi connectivity and public area touchscreens.
Interactive displays and digital signage become part of a comprehensive content distribution system, offering streaming solutions and global entertainment to inform and entertain every guest.
Central Management Platform
All of the new-technology hotel TV systems we install work with IPTV technology and are controlled by a central management platform. Trust our experience to be able to integrate this with your hotel’s PMS (proprietary management server) for a seamless guest experience.
Integration allows control of a whole host of exciting features including entertainment management: managers can decide on an instant, per-room basis which channels are free to view and which ones would be charged extra. Different rates and black-out periods can be easily specified too.
Depending on the system used, integrations with the hotel’s PMS can offer personalised welcome messages, restaurant and hotel facility booking and even on-screen checkout.
Personalised in-room guest experience
Another advantage of modern IPTV-based hotel TV systems is that the in-room experience is far more visible and will move your hotel’s branding and ethos into each guestroom.
Welcome screens are a start, but further integrations allowing for customised screen layouts and added personalisation (for instance offering different features depending on whether it’s a business or leisure stay) are perfectly possible.
Today’s management systems are easily to operate and use, offering drag and drop functionality for many tasks. At TVC we can assist with staff training for most systems from Samsung, LG, Phillips and Vestel.
Chromecast for hotels
The ideal way to offer guests who want to view their own films and videos on hotel room screens is to offer them complimentary Chromecast facilities. This connectivity can be integrated into your new hotel TV system easily.
This easy-to-use screen sharing technology is already used by many people at home and the Chromecast hotel version offers similar convenience. It’s possible to cast from devices operating on Windows, Mac OS, IOS and Android systems.
Excellent quality sound and pictures are possible, and the advantage is that guests do not have to share their data with any of your computer systems – allowing for data integrity.
One of the many advantages of an IP-based hotel TV communications solution is that some tasks that can be time-consuming for staff can be easily automated.
So, it’s perfectly possible for guests to not only discover the dishes of the day but to be able to make restaurant bookings at their choice of time – perhaps even at their favourite table – all from their rooms.
Room service ordering
Another communication solution which can also be revenue-building is room service ordering. Menus can be integrated into an on-screen ordering app, easily configurable from the management platform.
Ideally integrated with a touchscreen solution, on-screen ordering is an ideal sell-up to accompany premium movies and is easy to integrate into an IP-based hotel TV system.
Having a hotel TV system that allows room-specific information to be loaded can be a boon for both leisure and business travellers.
For example, a conference attendee can be shown times and locations of seminars and events; leisure travellers can check their flight times. All of these (and many more possibilities) are easy to update and manage on an IP-based hotel TV system.
More content distribution of tourist information can also be set by local management including weather updates, rates of exchange and even news headlines.
These can be displayed as moving display boards in public areas as well as on addressable screens on in-room TVs.
At TVC we can help you set up and maintain services such as these that require little maintenance long-term.
Device charging solutions
These days business travellers expect device charging solutions for tablets and phones – and increasingly are demanding wireless charging too.
As part of a new build or a refurb, we recommend installing USB/USB C sockets and QI pads where possible. Your guests will thank you for it!
For any new-build or refurb installation in a hotel, we’d recommend digital signage in addition to in-room TVs.
From an individualised touchscreen at check-in to high brightness displays for digital wayfinding signage, having a centralised management system allows a multitude of applications – all aimed at making the life of the guest more comfortable (and hopefully increasing your revenue at the same time.)
Ask us about our experience in specifying and installing everything from a simple LCD display to wayfinding systems and display boards for conferences.
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Look around in any hotel at a busy check-in time and you’ll always find people wandering around not knowing where to go. So it makes good sense to also include digital wayfinding signage in any new installation.
These can do more than just direct people of course and it’s easy to program in additional messages apart from wayfinding to help (or even entertain) guests whilst they’re making their way through your property.
Outside your property there could well be other applications for large-scale digital signage. A modern LCD display can offer a really bright screen and these can be used for everything from the ice cream menu to safety warnings in inclement weather.
Outdoor digital signage is a fast-growing area of interest to many hotel owners and at TVC we have the experience to be able to deliver a cost-effective high-brightness weatherproof solution.
Large display boards – almost video walls – can also be used in hospitality settings with stunning results.
From their use as backdrops in nightclubs to creating ambience with a large format display in a bar, there’s a wealth of possibilities.
As well as creating mood they can also be used for messaging – again controlled by the hotel’s central management system.
At check-in, check-out and even in self-service eating areas, a touchscreen is incredibly useful. As well as at point of sale they can also be used as interactive kiosks, potentially generating additional income.
There are so many possibilities in hospitality for innovative AV and IP-based solutions. That’s why at TVC we’re the acknowledged experts.
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