Home' Hotel Management : HM APRIL 2015 Contents What are some of the key trends with Smart TVs at present
(including Apps, mirroring and digital TV) and how much
has the technology evolved over the last couple of years?
PAUL YARDLEY: Mirroring and Smart device compatibility seems to be
topping the charts at the moment, with hotel guests wanting more and more
to stream their own content rather than strictly relying on the hotels’ offerings.
Samsung in their 690 series have managed to add catch up TV to their Apps.
ROBERT CROCKER: It’s been an interesting period in SmartTV
development. We’ve seen our existing partners like Samsung, LG and Philips
further develop their platform making it more stable for middleware providers like
ourselves to integrate directly. We’ve also seen new players developing SmartTV
solutions, Sony for instance have released a great product now and we’re happy to
be working alongside them too. Now we have a more stable platform to work with
we have seen greater demand and desire for features like mirroring for BYOD and
BYOC functionality, again, working with the major manufacturers we can now use
their native applications alongside out interactive IPTV portal. We’ve really seen
an opening up by the manufacturers to work with us, they see the value in our
solutions and in the partnership we can offer them and, likewise, we can see the
value they offer us. SmartTVs are a great solution, they save money for the client
as they remove the need for an external STB, they save electricity as there is just
one unit to power and not two and they make any in-room implementation look
much tidier. They have also opened up the opportunity for us to integrate native
apps into our hotel TV portal, something we’re getting asked for more and more
all the time. Our solution already integrates into PMS systems, room control and
EPOS solutions, so removing the need for the external STB is really simplifying
solutions in a market that has to be price sensitive.
What’s next when it comes to Smart TVs? Where do you
see the technology heading in the next few years?
P Y: An evolution from ‘entertainment’ to ‘infotainment’. Given the network
capability of today’s Smart Hotel TVs, we definitely see a trend towards
making the TV a focal point of digital entertainment and more of a hub for
the in-room digital devices. Given the rapid rise of the Smart TV’s processing
capability, we think that the future hotel TV will be able to integrate into the
hotel Check In and Check Out systems as well as billing, which will make the
guest’s stay a seamless one.
RC: Quality, speed and cost are all going to improve for the end user,
we have no doubt about that. We’ll also start seeing these TVs being
developed with more commercial applications in mind. This will allow people
like ourselves to integrate directly onto the TV’s chipset for digital signage
for instance, something we are already doing with Samsung. It will also be
interesting to see if the major broadcasters begin broadcasting directly to TV
apps rather than via satellite and aerial; the technology is there, so it is only a
matter of time now the SmartTV is mainstream technology.
What are some examples of some of the
leading products in the market?
P Y: Feedback on Samsung’s current HC690 hotel TV range has been
quite positive from a VOD integration standpoint, with features such as
lightning-fast channel changes and quick start up and shutdown times being
prominent in comments received.
RC: We’ve been very impressed with the Sony SmartTVs. While they were
a little later to the market that the other manufacturers they have a great
product now and we’re seeing some real interest in the market. In terms of
development the Samsung TVs have been the best to work with for us.
HM spoke to two leading hotel technology suppliers,
PAUL YARDLEY from Yardley Hospitality and
ROBERT CROCKER from Tripleplay Australasia to
discuss some of the leading trends with Smart TVs.
The products capturing our attention this month.
3 Asahi Super Dry beer, as
served at AHICE.
1 The KS Portable wireless
charging cube from Kube Systems.
4 The new Hugo Bolster from
2 Nero 20L microwave oven
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