While fewer than 1 in 5 hotels currently offers SMART TV,* it’s become a must-have for tech‑savvy guests. In addition to entertainment features, Smart TVs can integrate more fully with content management systems, unlocking richer features and productivity benefits. Hotels that aren’t using this technology are losing productivity and revenue and likely aren’t meeting guest expectations.
Smart TV sets and remote content management systems offer the following benefits to hotels and their guests:
Remote TV management. The days of having to visit each room individually to make adjustments to televisions are over. You can now manage all televisions remotely and perform all administrative tasks from a central location.
Real-time facility and event information. Instead of having a dry listing of events in the lobby or generic facility information on an information channel, Smart TVs can include real-time information that allows you to increase revenue. If you see that reservations are down in a restaurant for the evening, you can begin promoting that restaurant and even include a coupon code on your Smart TVs.
Remote checkout. Guests hate to stand in line at the front desk and are often confused about whether they even need to check out. The printed bills typically placed under guests’ doors also don’t include charges after a certain time. But by using the remote checkout feature on the Smart TV, guests can see late night drinks and breakfast as well as their room charges, allowing them to save time and reducing the line at the front desk.
Room service ordering. Instead of having to pick up the phone and fumble through a paper menu to order room service, Smart TVs let guests order room service online with a real-time menu. This lets you remove items that you’re out of and include nightly specials.
Booking amenities. The same strategy applies to amenities such as spa services and tee times. Guests can see the open schedule and prices in real time to book their appointments without having to make a call and have the employee go through all the options, which is easier for your guests and more productive for your staff.
Upgrading your guest rooms with Smart TVs can impact many aspects of your hotel, especially hotel operations and customer satisfaction. The Samsung LYNK REACH 4.0 and H-Browser content management solutions offer specialized capabilities to give guests customized viewing options. Hotels that adopt this technology now will be leaders in the industry, but those that wait will quickly find themselves behind the curve.
TransworldAre you delivering on guest demands for Smart TVs?
When planning a digital signage deployment, it can be tempting to cut a few corners on the technology to save on entry costs. Why pay out for commercial digital signage when there are far less costly TVs at the local big box store?
Here’s the short answer: TVs and monitors may look similar, but they’re very different, and TVs simply aren’t suited to the operating demands of digital signage.
Sometimes, that’s enough explanation to get prospective end users to change their mind before making a purchase they regret. But some — perhaps suspicious of being upsold on unnecessary technology that pads the value of a proposal — want more details. It’s understandable, since TVs and professional monitors come from the same manufacturers, and the main display attributes like 4K resolution are common across both.
The full story lies in the details …
Industrial and Operating Design
The televisions you plug in at home are engineered to run for perhaps eight hours a day, while professional displays are rated for double that (16/7), or around-the-clock, seven days a week (24/7). Conventional TVs don’t have the airflow and cooling designs, or suitable electronic components, to allow heavy or constant use. Heavily used TVs will, in most cases, experience issues with color and image retention, such as ghosted images.
Professional displays used in digital signage are often positioned in portrait mode — rotated 90 degrees so the displays sit tall and wide in a 9:16 orientation, instead of the 16:9 mode almost every TV watcher uses today. Put a consumer TV in portrait mode, and it will eventually fail because the screens aren’t designed with vents and fans to handle the extra heat. Professional displays, on the other hand, are designed to handle the differences in air flow caused by the rotation.
A consumer TV’s warranty will be invalidated if it’s used for commercial purposes, so if it breaks down, it’s the end user’s problem. Most commercial displays ship with three-year warranties and can include on-site support, while typical consumer TV products ship with one-year protection.
Protected and Enhanced Controls
Most TVs ship with control buttons located somewhere along the edges of the enclosure. Those buttons are handy around the house when a remote goes missing or runs out of batteries. But making it easy to fiddle with controls like changing inputs, raising the volume or turning off a display can be a nightmare for a digital signage network operator. If a display has been switched off or input changed, for example, in a local branch of a retail chain, the central operators may not know for hours or days, and local staff can’t necessarily be relied on to remedy the problem on their own.
By comparison, commercial displays have protected controls that are out of reach of meddling passersby, and lockout features that prevent mischief or mistakes — meaning someone with a spare remote control can’t, for example, have a little fun messing with the store’s screens. Professional displays also have several operating controls and commands that allow operators to disable certain modes and remotely force screens back on, should they somehow be turned off.
TVs are designed for residential use in rooms with average natural light, and typically have brightness ratings of 250 nits. In retail or workplace environments, the lighting conditions are typically much brighter, whether from lighting fixtures or daylight from windows. Glare often overpowers a regular TV in these conditions, making whatever’s on the screen difficult to see.
Commercial displays have a variety of brightness ratings, usually starting brighter than TVs and offering options as much as ten times brighter, or 2,500 nits — which are deliberately designed to operate in direct, outdoor sunlight. Many of these panels also have anti-glare technology designed for bright viewing conditions, absorbing or redirecting external light.
TVs are, unsurprisingly, designed to look beautiful sitting on a credenza or hung on a feature wall, with glossy finishes and, in many cases, frames thick enough to prominently show a manufacturer’s logo. The chassis design can change frequently and the material is only sturdy enough to handle the light use expected around a home.
Digital signage operators are generally looking for displays with more ruggedized, fingerprint-resistant finishes, consistent design and super-slim bezels that enable multiple displays to be joined in arrays to create videowalls and menu-board displays. The thicker frames typical with TVs result in thick seams and gridlines, while commercial displays tuned to videowall demands minimize any seams.
Commercial displays are designed with business in mind, and the dimensions will stay consistent throughout a series. This means that it’s easy to add a new display in a couple of years while maintaining a consistent appearance. They also often ship without logos, removing the unnecessary aesthetic distraction. Samsung, for example, has tear-away fabric logo tags on their commercial displays.
Connectors and Inputs
Around a home, consumers might have cables plugged in from a media company’s set-top box, a separate streaming media device, a DVD player and maybe a gaming console — and that’s likely all they’ll ever need.
Commercial displays tend to have many more features — a much broader and diversified set of inputs for devices, including control options like an RS232C serial connector that allows a media playback device, like a PC, to fully interface with and issue commands to the display. In some cases, the screens will have built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet ports.
A new breed of commercial display called smart signage embeds an intelligent media player device inside the display. That eliminates the added cost of an external media player, simplifies installations and reduces the ongoing operating costs for digital signage projects because the absence of external devices and cables minimizes the possible points of failure.
Pay a Little More Now, or a Lot More Later
First-time digital signage network operators with limited or no experience understandably want to tightly control capital costs, and one of the biggest ticket items is screens. Going with a TV over a professional display will almost always mean less upfront cost, but the true costs will be much higher down the road.
One field service call can cost $200-plus. And if the TV fails, the replacement cost will be much higher down the road.
Once you know the full story, the chasm between consumer televisions and professional digital signage is obvious: cut a few corners at the outset, and your whole project will eventually end up on the floor. An investment in the right technology now, however, will ensure your digital signage draws eyes for years to come.
TransworldCan You Use Consumer TVs for Commercial Digital Signage?
Industry standard for flat screen televisions has transition away from LCD. Not only were they slower to respond and increased your electric bill, contrast was off making blacks appear grey. LED TVs have taken over the market, alleviating all the negatives from LCDs- better response time, more brightness and energy efficiency. There are different types of LED TV’s that affect the picture and look of the screen.
LED lighting that surrounds the perimeter of the TV is referred to as Edge lit LED TVs. These types of TVs are thinner, cool off easily and are cheaper to make.
LED lighting that is located directly in back of the LCD panel is called a Direct Lit LED. With the amount of coverage this execution has, overall all brightness and contrast is better. These types of TVs will be thicker and more expensive.
The best professional monitors use direct LEDs, since overall image quality is better. For those who want a slim profile TV, Edge lit is the way to go.
TransworldEdge Lit and Direct Lit LED TVs – What’s the difference?
One of the most annoying sounds that can either prevent you from falling asleep or waking up to is the rattling of an AC unit. As one of the biggest complaints made by guests, the loud noise coming from the AC unit will not only give them nightmares, but also the staff with all the complaints that arise from it. Although some brands may claim they have a quiet unit, what stands the test of time are the components that the Package Terminal AC ( PTAC) is built with. Do you know what parts make the difference? Revealed below is what you should look out for to know what will provide a good night’s sleep to your guests:
Baked on Mastic Barrier and Weather Barrier System:
The back of all GE Zoneline PTACS are equipped with a heavy, thickly coated cover for ultimate sound insulation. In addition to the this superior barrier, GE PTACs also have a weather barrier system seal around the barrier to not only keep out unwanted elements but also block any additional noise that can slip through from outside.
Blower and DC Motors:
Two DC motors coupled with a large cross blower helps to provide the right amount of airflow needed for each cooling and heating function creating a balance sound that is hardly noticeable.
Think of how with time the vibration of the blower and fans running will cause rattling from the screws loosening. A rubber grommet helps to avoid this issue as it will absorb the vibration and alleviate the noise that can arise without it.
Each of these components help to minimize the sound the unit makes. All together these features promote the quietest PTAC available on the market at the moment.
TransworldAvoid noise complaints by looking out for these PTAC features
Imagine walking into your hotel room and being able to connect from your phone to the TV to stream anything you want- instant access to your favorite entertainment apps without having to login using the remote control. This heavenly convenience is now available in the hospitality setting via a Google Chromecast called ROOMCAST. Providing guests with the ultimate streaming experience, they can watch their favorite content just as they would as home.
The best part is that there are no contract or content fees! Choose to try in 1 room, outfit only the suites or the entire hotel. Roomcast is a 2 step solution for hotels that requires no head end equipment, server or software to install. It’s that simple.
Plug in the HDMI, ethernet and power
Set the Room number into the setup screen and whitelist the MAC address
DONE- The room is ready to start casting.
Built as a hospitality solution, Roomcast has device isolation so that guests can only stream to their TV. Accessing their favorite content has never had a more safe and secure way until now. Now is the time to future proof your hotel with in-room entertainment to provide your guests with a familiar at home experience.
“BEEP BEEP BEEP” an alarm clock radio goes off at 4 am from a previous guest who set it for their 6:00 am flight. Issue is that the alarm went off the day after too, while a new guest was on their 3rd hour of sleep. The new guest almost ripped the clock radio out of the socket trying to figure out how to turn it off. Unable to go back to sleep, he proceeds to go downstairs and give the receptionist hell. Turns out this guest is an avid reviewer on trip advisor, leaving an ill- tempered review that taints the hotel’s rating.
What the hotel didn’t know was that this scenario could have been prevented with the single day alarm feature that hospitality radios should have. Automatically resetting the next day, new guests will not be affected by the previous alarm set. Not only does this help provide a better guest experience, but also avoids a potential headache that can arise with both parties involved.
Something to look out for when purchasing in addition to single day alarm feature, is automatic time update for the time change. Housekeeping no longer has to go room to room for the update, saving time and evading upset guests that could be looking at the wrong time because the manual time change was overlooked.
TransworldGive them a Good Night’s Rest or a Nightmare
Make up air units have grown popular in the hospitality industry as the no-duct work needed packaged terminal AC. When outside humidity drops around 55 degrees, make up air PTACs are great for high humidity regions to help avoid the stale smell in rooms that can result. Designed to treat 100% outside air, the unit supply’s either cold or room-neutral air, with a variety of control and reheat options.Often associated with the fit and function of rooftop units, make up air units do not necessarily need to be on the rooftop, but instead can function normally inside the mechanical room of the property.
Also known as fresh air units, the best candidates for make up air are rooms where the air cannot be circulated or the HVAC system cannot introduce fresh air. Many times they are added to introduce fresh air into a space which a heat pump is unable to do on its own. It’s important to note that operating costs will increase with this application due to the constant treating of new air when compared to an HVAC system that can provide a larger energy savings using recirculated air.
Travelers are culprits to leaving the air conditioner on the highest level when leaving the hotel room. They can be gone for hours or once they checked out, hours pass before housekeeping gets to the room. Multiply this energy wastage by the numbers of rooms in the hotel, and you find yourself paying a higher energy bill that could have been prevented. It’s clear an energy management system is needed to cut out the wastage. EcoSmart has aimed to help fulfill this need using a little help from the cloud and smart thermostats.
EcoSmart from Telkonet’s energy management system has been created to extend the costing saving solutions into occupancy sensors, light controls, televisions and even outlets. Out of all their solution, the spotlight goes to EcoSmart’s thermostat that not only controls the temperature but collects minute-by-minute data about a guest’s temperature needs.
“This is truly an intelligent thermostat in that there’s a microprocessor on board,” said Jason Tienor, Telkonet chief executive. “It’s actually recalculating every second of the day” to control the air conditioning or heat once a guest leaves the room, and then to recover to the desired temperature at the time guests typically return.
The technology is part of a increasing focus in the energy-efficiency business to use integrated monitoring systems to help companies save on their energy costs. In the United States, market research firm Lux Research forecast the market for sensors and controls for building energy-management systems is projected to grow at a rate of 17% per year. A similar growth rate is projected in Europe, with the combined market size for both regions reaching $4 billion by 2020.
TransworldAn Intelligent Thermostat Saves Energy for Hotels
Induction cooktops and ranges are known to be one of the fastest in delivering heat, shaving off the time you need to be in the kitchen. Although they may look similar in appearance, the difference between a regular electric smooth top and induction stove top is the way they deliver heat. Using an electromagnetic field rather than radiant heat, induction cooktop surface will not get as hot but instead transfers the heat around the pot.
In the case of Induction, many at home cooks feel that faster is indeed better. Although many people are warming to the idea to make the switch, it’s important to consider on Induction cooking:
Special Cookware is needed.
Induction capable cookware is a must so that the magnetic field can be properly dispersed. All pots and pans will need to be changed to magnetic which comes in a variety of finishes including stainless steel
Replace Digital Thermometers for analog.
Interference between the magnetic field and the digital thermometer will not allow a proper reading of temperature. The best solution is to go an old fashion analog thermometer.
Additional Benefits of Induction.
Besides heating up faster than any other cooking elements out on the current market, induction cooktops stay cooler than electric allowing for easier clean up. Another advantage is that if the heating element is left on with no pot or pan on it, the element itself will not get hot.
TransworldWhat to Consider when Switching to Induction
Though all PTACs cool a room the same way, there are two distinct ways a PTAC heats a room: via heat pump or via resistance heat.
Resistance (Electric) Heat – Resistance heat units work by passing an electric current through wires to heat them. Resistance heat units require a smaller initial investment, but can result in higher energy costs when used for prolonged periods of time.
Heat Pump – Heat pumps work in a similar manner to an air conditioner, except by reversing the cooling process to circulate warm air. Heat pumps use less energy than resistance heat models, but require a larger initial investment. All packaged terminal heat pumps also incorporate resistance heat technology that can help maintain room temperature when the outside temperature drops below the minimum operating threshold for a heat pump.
Heat pumps are suggested for cooler climates where the need for heat is greater; you’ll see a return on the initial higher investment in about a year. All climate zones within the U.S. will realize some energy cost savings by choosing a heat pump model, but the payback will vary by location.
TransworldWhat’s the Difference between Heat Pump and Electric Heat PTACS?