Don’t Quit on Keeping Up—Simple Options Do Exist for In-Room Technology Upgrades


It’s not a new question for hoteliers: How can I deliver the in-room television experience my guests want and stay on budget? But the answer to this question is not as simple as bygone times when ordering newer TV models and adding the words “COLOR HD TVs” to the outdoor sign guaranteed more happy customers. The speed of today’s technology iterations makes it hard to even create an as-good-as-home experience, let alone that better-than-home experience guests long for. But that is no excuse to not move forward. Many hoteliers have sat in the frustration so long that they are not even aware of new, affordable technology options available to please guests.

CapEx that doesn’t induce Cardiac Arrest  

It is always hard to decide when to invest in new technology. How long will it last and is the next thing really better or necessary. When you are looking at an in-room system there’s a lot to consider. In-room television solutions have a lot of components. There’s the platform, platform hardware, platform software, cabling and infrastructure, content and integrations. And then, of course, the actual TV or device in the room. Updating all of those items at once is a lot of expenditure and could easily cause a coronary event.

While you may find bundle pricing options, you don’t have to do everything to get some immediate wow factor and reliable functionality.

Enter flexible platforms with smart, app-based features

There are new platforms available offering smart and adaptive features guests love but hat are also able to leverage much of the existing technology in the room. Hoteliers can limit their CapEx costs or spread them out over time.

Hoteliers should look for a platform that adapts to guest-content preferences and the environment while delivering smart features and visually compelling interfaces that provide those “random wow” moments guests love and appreciate. These new solutions shouldn’t break the bank either, and should work on a variety of infrastructures and hardware (e.g. Set-Top-Box, Smart/Commercial TV, Chromecast) while delivering memorable and personalized guest experiences.

While there are CapEx savings, that shouldn’t mean a limited feature set. Invest in technology with features guests use most: an interactive program guide, streaming, video on demand and a hotel directory. Plus, incremental custom apps, such as hotel loyalty features or other branded and sponsored content can be applied.

The moral of the story is… you have options. Don’t sit in frustration any longer with a dated system. There are many in-room technology options available - and many are not as expensive as you may think.

And according to Frost & Sullivan, by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator in all kinds of industries, including hospitality.  So the time to upgrade wisely is now.

  • About the Author

    Kara Heermans is responsible for managing the company's product strategy for existing and future products. Her main responsibilities include identifying new product opportunities or enhancements, product definition, market and product analysis, management of product development from concept to market launch, and product lifecycle management. She also oversees the development and design of the user experience. Heermans joined SONIFI in 2005 as the Manager of Multimedia, then in 2011 shifted to the Director of Interactive Design. She transitioned to her role in Product Manager in 2015. Heermans holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from Penn State University. She is based in SONIFI’s operations headquarters in Sioux Falls, SD.

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