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Multi-Company Effort Creates New Solution to Guest Room Remote Control Challenges

Entertainment system products used in hotel rooms are now easier to integrate, thanks to a recently completed effort by members of the trade association Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG).
The group has published a new standard to enable a single remote control to support multiple devices, without expensive custom integration.  HTNG members recently held a live demonstration with equipment using the specification with a television from Samsung, an entertainment system from Swisscom, and connectivity panels from C2G, guestLINK and TeleAdapt.  Several global hotel companies have started requesting implementation of this standard from their suppliers.
Unlike home users, hotels must often choose entertainment system components from different suppliers for televisions, set-top boxes, connectivity panels and other components.  Differences among vendors in implementation of certain HDMI remote control commands, however, have often led to the need for custom integration and extra cabling in order to control all devices from a single remote control.  The new HTNG specification addresses this issue by requiring consistent implementation of the HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) commands that are needed in a hotel environment.
Samsung has committed to implement the specification across their entire new hospitality television line.  “We have embedded this profile in our 2012 hospitality TV line and are committed to maintaining this multi-device interoperability going forward” said Fred Crespo, Director of Technology & Business Development-Hospitality for Samsung Electronics America, Inc.  Swisscom has also reiterated its commitment to the HTNG profile.  “Our experience as a hotel system integrator allows us to merge the equipment from qualified third parties into one unified set-up.  We strongly supported this effort and have deployed this functionality in our set-top boxes,” stated Thomas Di Giacomo, Vice President of Global Service Development for Swisscom Hospitality.
The specification is the result of a global HTNG working group effort of hotel companies, consultants and technology suppliers.  Requirements were identified by hotel companies and consultants, including Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, JHM Hotels, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Sunstone Hotels and The Conceptual Group.  Technology companies who were involved in the profile development were C2G, Deuromedia Technologies Ltd., Enseo, guestLINK, iBAHN, LodgeNet Interactive Corporation, Media Communications S.A., Philips, Saflok, Samsung Electronics Co., Schneider Electric, Swisscom and TeleAdapt.

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