Lodgenet Announces Significant Expansion of Interactive Solutions
LodgeNet Interactive Corporation announces a suite of new media and connectivity products that, together with the company's existing products, collectively delivers the most comprehensive set of interactive solutions available to the hospitality industry. The new products include VOD Basic, a new, more economical digital-to-the-room (D2R) VOD solution; IPTV Advanced, a new IP-based HD video on demand solution; Free-to-Guest (FTG) Basic, a new streamlined satellite TV solution that provides a wide variety of HD television channels to hoteliers; and, the HD Built-In Program, a unique arrangement with select TV manufacturers to integrate LodgeNet's in-room terminals into televisions designed for the hospitality industry.
Over the past year, LodgeNet has focused on expanding its product portfolio to address the specific needs of different hospitality segments. With this expansion of product choices, LodgeNet can now provide a comprehensive array of products serving the needs of hotels ranging from the economy through the luxury segments.
The new products announced today mark a significant expansion of the overall number of solutions available through LodgeNet, the development of which was enhanced by leveraging the resources gained through the acquisitions of StayOnline and On Command in early 2007. These acquisitions created the largest team of engineers with expertise dedicated to the specific media and connectivity requirements of the hospitality industry.
The LodgeNet VOD Basic platform is an interactive television system that delivers the core features and benefits of D2R video in a reliable and cost engineered on demand solution. This new solution was designed to lower the total cost of providing on demand entertainment for both LodgeNet and its customers. Advances in cost engineering, as well as focused design and feature definition, have allowed LodgeNet to create a new solution that provides customers the option of adding D2R VOD across a range of property categories, from luxury to mid-scale to economy.
The new LodgeNet IPTV Advanced solution provides the same high-definition experience as LodgeNet's acclaimed HD Advanced platform, with all elements of the service and content delivered over an IP network. In addition to supporting an IP infrastructure, the new LodgeNet IPTV Advanced solution also supports a one-on-one relationship with guests through interactivity provided by in-room technology. LodgeNet is demonstrating two versions of its IPTV solution at HITEC: one with a "medium client" that provides a base level of functionality, and one with a "thick client" to provide additional computing power in the room. With these new capabilities, LodgeNet is now able to work with customers to design custom IP implementations that support emerging converged network implementations.
FTG Basic has been developed as a trusted source of FTG content and service for hotels desiring an HD solution for less than would be required for a full VOD solution. The many benefits of FTG Basic include quality HD FTG programming, a customizable channel lineup that can be easily configured to meet the needs of guests without an in-room visit, and LodgeNet's reliable, consistent nationwide service. In addition, the LodgeNet FTG Basic system can be upgraded with a variety of interactive features as requested by hotel brands or properties.
LodgeNet has partnered with leading TV vendors in the hospitality industry to integrate the interactive communications control required for HD FTG and HD VOD directly into select television models. This new selection of integrated solutions reduces costs for the hotelier by helping them make sure that the television sets they buy already include all the in-room technology required to support HD content. Initial participants in this program include LG Electronics, Panasonic and Philips, and additional partners are expected to be announced in coming months. As a further enhancement to this program, LodgeNet is also offering the available Certified Installation services of its Professional Solutions group.