Remember when flat screen hotel TV’s were considered a luxury amenity? Not anymore. Rapidly changing technology has changed the way individuals consume entertainment. Guests are ditching the in-room TV and opting to watch content on their phones and laptops.
This causes many hoteliers to ask same question – how do we get that content on the big screen? Enter hotel room streaming.
Streaming itself is not a new concept. Companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google have had solutions available for a few years now. However, implementing that technology in hotels is an entirely different challenge.
Many hotel groups are concerned about the impact of streaming on their existing Wi-Fi Network and are weary of investing thousands into a solution that cannot adapt to changing technology.
Apryl Lamberti, Director of Business Development for Hospitality at Almo Professional A/V, sat down with Neil Betterton, VP of TeleAdapt, to talk about the current state of streaming and to discuss Roomcast – a streaming solution powered by Google Chromecast.
What’s the big deal about hotel room streaming? Is it just a fad or is it here to stay?
A: Streaming is so easy to do on mobile devices that we don’t even realize we’re doing it half the time. Whether its watching a show or listening to your favorite music… you’ve probably got an app for that on your mobile device. It’s sort of whatever you want, whenever you want it.
It’s even more ideal when traveling. It’s impossible for a hotel to provide that much content, so the idea is… let guests pick their own content and play it on the TV.
Does Roomcast require additional servers to be installed?
A: No, that’s one of the unique things with Roomcast; it’s a lot like an AppleTV or Roku box. You just plug into the TV and connect it to the internet, and that’s it.
Can Roomcast be centrally managed?
A: Very soon. We are currently shipping release 3 of the Roomcast software. We will provide a full management API in Release 4.
We are already working with partners on providing a web-based management dashboard tool for monitoring and management of the Roomcast devices, which will be hosted in the cloud.
How will Roomcast effect a property’s existing Wi-Fi network?
A: This is the number-one question we get from our customers. Our initial goals with Roomcast were Security, Ease of Use, and Ease of Installation. We achieved all three by providing a personal area network (PAN) in the Roomcast box — which is an extension of the hotel’s network.
We’ve focused on hotels that have a wired port on the same wall as the TV. This makes it so easy to install the product without making any changes to the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure.
We recognize this strategy is not for everyone and not all hotels have a wired port available. Release 4 of the Roomcast software will introduce “Client Mode” which allows us to turn off our Wi-Fi radio and join the hotels Wi-Fi network as an additional client.
What does the future look like for Roomcast and the hotel room streaming market?
A: We’re at the beginning of a huge wave of new technology coming into the hotel guestroom. We built Roomcast to be a powerful, cloud-connected platform that is open and able to connect with other digital services.
Voice input and TV response is just one example where Roomcast can deliver future value.