The Ability to Connect Their Own devices to the In-Room TV
With guests bringing their own gadgets the job of in room technology has changed. It’s now about allowing guests to integrate or connect their devices. They have spent time and money loading their ‘life’ onto their devices and they know how they work. They will want to use these devices during their stay, just as they do at home and at the office. The key for hotels is to provide them with the infrastructure to achieve this.
Guests want the ability to play their own movies, music or games as they would at home. To do this they may want to connect a device they bring, such as a portable play station or an iPad to your TV. Make sure it is possible for them to do that. Ideally your TV will have the following ports accessible to the guest; VGA for laptops, HDMI for Mac’s, new notebooks and cameras, Audio for laptops and iPod’s etc & RCA (White, Red & Yellow) and USB. Many devices including cameras, gaming consoles and portable DVD players still connect via RCA.
One Solution: A Connectivity Panel / MediaHub – dedicated to providing simple access to the TV without the need for guests to remove cables. Thereby preventing a potential maintenance issue and inconvenience for the next guest.
Will it Integrate with your TV, Movie Provider etc?
If you are adding a MediaHub to your existing technology, you should ensure it will work with what you have. Some MediaHubs need to connect via RCA (that’s the 3 White, Red, & Yellow sockets), newer TVs generally only have 1 RCA port, which is normally used by the Movie providers set top box. There are MediaHubs that connect to the TV via a single HDMI cable which overcome this issue. This makes installation easy and helps to ‘future- proof’ your purchasing decision as TVs are being manufactured with fewer RCA ports and more HDMI ports.
Will it be easy to use?
This is critical – you are providing a MediaHub for your guest’s pleasure and comfort – make sure you don’t take away the fun by making it hard to use. It should be Plug and Play.
Ensure your MediaHub has CEC. What’s that you ask? Consumer Electronics Control protocol.
It means by simply plugging in say, a laptop, into the MediaHub, the TV will turn on from standby mode, go to the correct channel and display what is on the laptop screen – now that’s cool and will delight your guests. The technically savvy guest will ooh and ahh that it actually is that clever, the not so technical will be relieved that it was so easy and sit back and enjoy their stay that much more. Basically, CEC allows the MediaHub to ‘control’ the TV. The MediaHub automatically recognises when something is plugged in and will ask the TV to turn on and switch inputs.
Will it look right with your Decor?
This is important as a lot is invested in the look and feel of your rooms. Select a MediaHub with multiple looks and if possible, multiple installation options be it built in, desk mounted or incorporated into furniture.