What Guests Want? Flat Panel HD TV

How big is big enough?

Flat Panel HD TV, at least 40″ which should swivel so it’s visible from the Desk and Bed Most guests will watch the TV at some point and it has a large impact on the overall look and feel of the room.  If the room has a large high quality (preferably known Brand) TV, guests will be pleased that you are offering quality.  If you have a small CRT TV, guests will be disappointed with the overall perceived quality of the room.All guests will see the TV and most will watch it – make it a positive experience.

What to look for in a TV

Do seriously consider a known premium brand TV with hospitality features. It cuts down on a lot of maintenance issues (i.e. the TV’s can be locked so they can’t be re-programmed) and generally will readily integrate with complimentary technology such as Movie Systems, Media Hubs etc. In addition, guests’ perceptions of the room and entire property will improve if they see a known brand.  The saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover, but we generally do judge a hotel room by its TV.  The TV is one of the most visible items in any hotel room, and personally I believe it sets the overall tone of the room. If consistency throughout your property is important, again known brands will have longevity and you should be able to buy additional replacement TVs and parts.  They will also have a commercial warranty, which is a 3 year on-site warranty.

40″ TV that can Swivel – How do I achieve that?

Ideally have the TV wall mounted with specialised brackets that allow for safe movement of the TV.  Ensure the bracket is sturdy and can support the TV as guests may be quite vigorous as they move the TV to the desired position.  Some TVs are very thin so a bracket that offers additional support to the TV housing may be a good idea. Try to have it so the TV can be seen from the Bed and Desk – if it can be seen from the bath – even better.  Did you know you can now also get “Wet TVs”, these are suitable for bathrooms that steam up and there are even ones that can be installed within the shower.

Consider Guest Connectivity

The trend now is for guests to bring a lot of their own entertainment with them in the form of movies on laptops, tablets, external hard drives or Apple TV as well portable gaming devices.  As a result more and more guests are wanting to connecting their devices to the in-room TV to display their own content.  You need to keep this in mind when deciding on the placement of the TV.  Can your guest easily get to the ports they want to connect to.  You also need to make sure that the ports are un-locked and that they can get to them using the movie providers remote control (many of them don’t have an AV or Source button!).  The addition of a MediaHub/Connectivity panel could be the answer.  It provides Plug and Play connectivity for guests devices, allowing them to play their own content on the TV easily and without the need for them to get behind the TV.  When the guest connects their device to the MediaHub, it automatically detects the connection and automatically switches the TV without the need for the guest to do anything more.  They don’t even need to touch the remote.

What to think about if you are In the Market for new TVs?

There is a lot to consider – here are some of the issues to think about;

  • Size – We’d recommend at least a 40″, if you go too small, you may have to replace them before end of life.
  • Hospitality Features or not? – We’d recommend yes.  These are invaluable in guest comfort – volume capping and reduced maintenance by locking channels and other settings .  Also may be a great marketing opportunity if you have Hotel Info on the Start Up Channel on your TVs.
  • Integration – What other systems do you want to integrate with now and in the future?  Newer TVs have fewer RCA ports and more HDMI ports, what ports do your current and planned complimentary systems require?  Ensure that ALL suppliers are working together BEFORE you make your final choice to ensure that all desired functionality is available.  Don’t try to ‘save’ money on a cheaper model only to find you need to buy an additional component that is more than you ‘saved’.
  • Placement – Will the TV fit where you’d like to put it?  Will it be visible from the Bed and Desk.  Large TVs can be hazardous, do you need to safely mount it with a wall bracket, will this also accommodate your Set Top Box and other devices such as Media Hub, Blue Ray Player etc.
  • Life Span of the Model – Obviously life span of the actual TV is important but also look at life span of the model itself.  This is important if you require replacements parts and if room to room consistency is valuable to you.  As a rule, consistent models throughout your property will save time and money as engineering staff know what they are working with EVERY time.

Internet Ready

If you are looking at new TV’s I would defiantly suggest looking at a Smart TV which connects to the Internet.  The reason being, they are outselling non-smart TVs in the consumer market and will become common place in homes over the next 2 to 3 years, with the expectation from guests that hotels should be offering the same level of technology.