Sunday, July 22, 2018

Everything a guest needs is in the palm of their hand (reliant on your wifi!)

There has been a huge push for accommodation providers to start looking at guest entertainment.

BYOC: Bring your own content. Everyone’s doing it. Guests have access to absolutely anything they want by connecting to the internet on their devices via your wifi service.

For some time now, guests have been able to access their own entertainment subscriptions and purchase videos on demand from every site imaginable online, watching it on their devices. But times are changing.

Now they want to watch it on a larger screen – the TV in their hotel room. We have been getting calls for guests wanting to hook up their AppleTV that they with them. We can easily connect it. The AppleTV enables them to turn your TV into a smart TV, so they can access and stream their own content. Other portable devices that guests are starting to bring include Telstra TVs, Rokus, Google Chromecast and Amazon is soon to release Amazon Fire TV in Australia too.

The whole family generally has subscriptions for services on devices and their favourite shows are saved exactly where they left off watching them at home. Guests can simply sign into their streaming services for customised programming during their stay with you and carry on binge watching. 

We can’t predict what’s going to happen in technology over the next few years, or how it will affect you and your guests… But be wary of locking yourself into a lengthy contract with video on demand services for in-room entertainment. The guest is not going to pay for something they can bring with them; particularly when paying for it themselves is going to be cheaper than your pay per view prices. If they won’t pay, you are going to have to, to honour your contract.

Gimmicks get old fast and focusing on giving your guests fast, reliable wifi connections so that they can do what they want at your site is important.

Enhance the guest experience

What guests do in their house, they want to do in the hotel room. So investing in wifi and bandwidth is crucial.

Unlimited data is a must for any type of guest entertainment; a fast and reliable internet connection is imperative and an in-room guest wifi system is a must. A wireless access point or wireless modem in each unit should ensure the signal is strong enough for streaming and to supply the bandwidth required for streaming.

A lot of accommodation providers are getting rid of Foxtel and PABXs and using those funds to update their guest wifi and internet connections. Guests can bring their Foxtel subscriptions with them and nearly everyone has a mobile phone.

When investing in an in-room guest wifi system and/or internet management system, there are some key areas to consider:

  • Can you/your guest easily connect smartTVs, gaming and casting devices for streaming? Guests, especially millennials, want to stream and view their own content on the hotel room TV.
  • When your guests use a casting device, e.g. Chromecast, ensure that your guest wifi system can isolate it on the network to each specific unit, so only guests in that unit can cast to the TV. This is very important as you do not want someone in another unit being able to cast unwanted/undesirable shows onto your guests’ TV in a different unit.
  • How often does the guest have to login through a portal?
  • Can the wifi be set up the same as a home network, where each device logs in once while they are at the site and receives unlimited data? Guests want a home-like TV experience in their hotel room.
  • Can you throttle the speed of the connection by room to ensure you are sharing your bandwidth around fairly (remember, one ultra-high definition stream can take 25Mbps of your bandwidth)?
  • Can numerous devices be connected in each hotel room as they are at home? Families are now travelling with an average of three devices per person.

Your guests will start demanding this connectivity and service soon, if they have not done so already.

Invest in the technology and infrastructure to get your site guest entertainment ready.

About Judy Senn

Judy Senn
Director Judy Senn launched Time Out Internet in September 2011. She has over twenty years of IT reseller, hardware and software distribution, sales and business development experience.

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One comment

  1. Good article Judy.

    Couldn’t agree more. Guests now have access to more content than they had ever dreamed of and from anywhere. What they need is an excellent WiFi to take advantage of that content and a way to cast/stream it onto the in-room TV that is simple and secure.

    As you mention each room needs to be isolated on the network so that so only guests in that room can cast to the TV. Guests also shouldn’t be able to see multiple devices on the network, it just makes it too confusing.

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