Hotels have a tough time keeping up with consumer expectations. Even the best hotels — where you can order a BLT at 2am, buy front row ‘sold out’ seats from a super-connected concierge, and do laps of an infinity pool 10 floors above the rest of the world — chances are your in-room entertainment experience will be inferior to what you enjoy everyday in your front room, where you think nothing of watching Netflix on demand and ‘mirrorcasting’ content from a device to your TV.
One Perth-based AV integrator, the PSQ Group, is leading the way in closing the gap between guest expectations and hotel experiences, using Philips’ range of specialist hospitality TVs to get us there.
PSQ Group has worked with the newly opened Jazz Corner Hotel in Melbourne. Having already launched a world-class jazz club Bird’s Basement in an adjoining premise, the hotel sees property developer Ubertas (helmed by jazz guitarist Albert Dadon) take over a commercial building in William Street, transforming it into a block of jazz-themed serviced apartments. Each generously features one Philips hospitality TV in the lounge and one in the bedroom.
The Jazz Corner Hotel has invested in the IT/AV infrastructure that sees each fully room IP-connected. And when complete, the hotel entertainment system will allow guests to use the in-room TVs to order food from any of the four house restaurants, book tickets to Bird’s Basement shows after being exposed to high-production-value club promotion video (think: Vegas casino hotels), live stream shows from the jazz club, and avail themselves of the latest entertainment opportunities.
Ben Donaldson, Director of the PSQ Group explains the challenges:
“We work with around 40 hotels across Australia and the demands we hear are now almost always the same: hotels are looking to deploy Netflix and YouTube options so guests can easily procure their own in-room content. But mostly no one has thought through the security and privacy issues. It’s great that I can use my hotel TV like I would my TV at home but I’d be horrified to learn that the next guest might see all my YouTube browsing history, or access my credit card details, or — as I’ve heard has happened in certain hotels overseas — to think that I’m accidentally streaming content to a screen in a neighbouring room!
“The Philips hospitality TV provides the flexible integration piece you need to meet those challenges. For example, having the TV automatically reset to its factory configuration when a guest checks out, meaning the next guest can enter details without fear of their private information being retained or their browsing history shared.
“The Philips hospitality TV also allow us to design a system where guests can securely stream content from their device. It’s not news to be able to stream content to a TV, but as an integrator you need to ensure the Wi-Fi access point knows to only stream content from the Mac address of the guest’s device and not the device in a room next door.
All this can be a massive integration issue for hotel operators but it’s all now currently achievable to deliver that experience with Philips’ hospitality framework. Saying that, it does take someone who knows how these things come together.”
The power of Philips hospitality TVs is in its Android operating system that runs natively on the display. Unlike traditional display networks where the operating system sits on a media server in a rack, running the Android OS in the display means apps can be pushed to the hotel TV.
Ben Donaldson: “Pushing content, such as MPEG video or HTML5 isn’t new, but pushing full blown apps out, and to have those apps come up as options when you boot the TV or select a channel? That’s new. Because it’s an Android platform, if the content manager doesn’t have a certain feature, we can go to the Philips TV management platform and push apps out to the screens. Sky’s the limit. ‘What do you want written?’ You might want in-room lighting management, ‘okay, we’ll write that and push it out to the TVs’. For example, at the Jazz Corner Hotel, we can push a room service app to the TVs. That’s something new.”
CMND is Philips’ Display Management Platform and puts you in control of all your Philips displays. Whether it’s one display or thousands, you can manage your network from a central location.
With CMND & Create, you can create your content, push it live across all screens and update it with ease. You can also drag and drop widgets of your choice to create the ultimate set up, display content in landscape or portrait modes in HD resolution, and set scheduled content changes as it suits.
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Philips Professional Display Solutions include the Android OS, giving you full control of your apps and connectivity — push apps to screens on your network using CMND, opening up a world of possibilities.