With the decline of traditional Video-On-Demand (VoD) systems and an increase in content streaming through our own devices, it has never been more important for hotels to move towards a more ‘connected’ room offering where guests can enjoy a ‘home from home’ or even ‘better than home’ TV entertainment experience.
8 out of 10 UK adults now use catch up or streaming technology to watch more than one episode of a TV series in one sitting, whilst 76% of 16 to 24 year-olds are signed up to a subscription service like Netflix (source: The Caterer). Whether at home, on the move or staying away for business or leisure, we expect to be able to access our favourite content on the go.
That is why the new Bring Your Own Content (BYOC) trend has become ever more popular in hotels. BYOC means that guests are able to bring their own smart devices into their hotel rooms and – rather than have to watch their content on a small screen on their phone, tablet or laptop – can watch it on their hotel room TV instead.
By introducing this offering, whether guests wish to watch their own purchased downloads, stream their favourite TV programmes or simply browse through live TV, they have everything they need.
So what are the options for hotels when it comes to implementing the systems required to offer this service?
The two main solutions currently offered are ‘mirroring’ and ‘casting’.
The term ‘mirroring’ means the user is able to mirror what is displayed on their own device on their TV, enabling them to watch whatever content they are able to stream or play on that device on the larger screen.
The Google Chromecast powered ‘casting’ mechanism allows your device to connect to the Chromecast dongle which then handles the media streaming to the TV at the instruction of your paired device (using the apps compatible with it).
The main difference between the two is that whilst mirroring, the user’s device cannot be used for anything else, whilst casting allows the user to continue using their mobile, tablet or laptop at the same time as watching their favourite content on their hotel room TV.
The right option for each hotel will depend on a variety of different factors including the age, structure and limitations of its current set up. We offer solutions that both support legacy systems and compliment new systems – allowing all hotels to make the most of this new technology.
Why not get in touch to find out more about what we can provide and start your hotel’s journey towards a more connected hotel room offering for guests.