Hotel Online  Special Report



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First HDTV, now nPVR – KoolConnect Again
Raises the Bar for In- Room Entertainment 

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Hospitality Interactive TV Leader Partners With InfoValue Computing
To Introduce IPTV and networked Personal Video Recording – 
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The Latest “Killer App” In In-Room Entertainment

NEEDHAM, MA AND ELMSFORD, NY- NOVEMBER 8TH 2005- Think you’ve seen it all? Well brace yourself – because as the song goes: “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”  The world of Generation X travel entertainment is here, and checking in along with it is a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms such as VOD, IPTV, EPG, nPVR and HDTV.  And it’s not just the same crowd who made iPod the hottest accessory in the country who are looking for these services.  Thanks to the recent revolution in digital televisions, home theatre systems and other advanced home electronics, travelers of all ages are increasing their expectations in terms of in-room entertainment and savvy hoteliers around the world are rushing to introduce guests to the next must have amenities of the millennium. 

Helping them with this quest is KoolConnect Technologies.  Today the company who kicked off the HDTV craze by introducing the hospitality industry’s first HD solution has again raised the bar by teaming with InfoValue Computing (“InfoValue”), another entertainment technology leader, to introduce the hospitality industry’s first nPVR solution.

nPVR stands for Networked Personal Video Recording, a technology that allows a guest to record their favorite programs and play them back at their convenience.  And unlike residential PVR solutions that rely on the individual set-top box to store and playback the desired program, the “n” – networked – means that programs are stored and streamed from a central server, which makes the service less complex and offers a wide array of added guest features.

“It is truly an On Demand world,” said KoolConnect Executive Vice President & General Manager Mike DiLeva.  “Today, consumers want what they want, when they want it and nowhere is this more evident than with entertainment.  People have been absolutely hooked on some of the hottest new shows such as Lost, Desperate Housewives, American Idol and 24 and it’s reflected in the ratings that show the millions of fans who wouldn’t fathom missing their favorite program.  Add to this the millions of fans who religiously follow their favorite sports teams and its clear that hoteliers have a terrific opportunity to appeal to the disgruntled traveler who missed their favorite show while they were on the road.”

With this new nPVR solution from KoolConnect and InfoValue, they’ll no longer have to.  The solution is based on IPTV, which stands for Internet Protocol Television.  IPTV is, simply put, traditional analog television programming that is converted to the digital domain and streamed to the room via the Internet protocol, similar to the way High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA) data is delivered to the room.   Much like digital VOD offers a dramatically better picture quality than traditional analog PPV, IPTV offers guests a better viewing experience and also affords the provider an unprecedented amount of flexibility.  “With Info Value’s IPTV solution, hoteliers can get much more creative in terms of how they want to offer free-to-guest television channels,” said Aubrey Flanagan, InfoValue Vice President, Business Development and Solutions.  “For example, instead of having a static channel line-up, hoteliers can choose to dynamically adjust their channel line-up to the preferences of their guests, making channels 1 through 3 the channels that the guest in that room views the most,” added Flanagan.    KoolConnect, for instance, is using the Info Value IPTV technology to convert stored HD programming into an array of streaming HD channels, thus significantly expanding the availability of HD programming to guests.

Once the TV signal is converted to IPTV, each channel can be recorded and the content “time shifted,” which means that the guest can watch their favorite program from that channel at their convenience.  The KoolConnect nPVR solution from InfoValue, for example, will record several popular channels for a rotating period of between 8 to 24 hours and allow the guest to rewind that channel to the point in time that they missed while traveling.  “The InfoValue nPVR technology is tremendous and KoolConnect has enhanced it with a guest-initiated feature and customized guest interface thereby allowing the guest to define which channel and time that they want to record,” said DiLeva.  “So in addition to the regularly time-shifted programming, guests can pick their own favorite program and watch it when they want.” 

“Beginning in the late 90’s, the demand for cutting edge media entertainment and communication caught the industry by surprise and hoteliers realized that to provide a truly quality stay for their guests, state-of-the-art technology had to become an integral part of the in-room experience,” said DiLeva.  “Our goal at KoolConnect has been to help hotels to meet this challenge.  We were the first provider to offer HD VOD together with InfoValue and we’re extremely pleased to continue our partnership with InfoValue to again raise the bar in in-room entertainment by blazing the trail for IPTV and nPVR.” 

Mr. DiLeva further discussed the significance of these services on the future of hospitality technology, “One of the most exciting aspects of KoolConnect is an ability to adapt. Because technology can become obsolete, it is fundamental that hoteliers choose a provider with the power to modify and update points of in-room contact at any time, without adding unnecessary costs to the hotel. Today the hot items are HDTV and nPVR functionality, but who knows what the techies of the world will bring us tomorrow.” He continued, “The invaluable component is recognizing that communication and media entertainment are advancing at an exponential rate year to year and that the jet-setters of the world will continue to choose accommodations that provide them with a sense of cutting edge style, creativity and innovation. At KoolConnect, we’ve mirrored those trends for the future in every aspect of our business.”

ABOUT KOOLCONNECT TECHNOLOGIES
KoolConnect Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of compelling multi- media solutions and system integrations to the hospitality industry. Our innovative platform provides interactive media services in both standard and high definition over digital IP networks and offers a host of scalable turnkey solutions and products. Video On- Demand, Virtual concierge, State of the art equipment and targeted marketing services are all a part of the KoolConnect. To learn more about KoolConnect, visit www.koolconnect.com.

ABOUT INFOVALUE COMPUTING, INC. 
Founded in 1994, InfoValue are experts in providing comprehensive broadband IP video streaming platforms and solutions. An industry pioneer, InfoValue is recognized for its innovations in advancing the video streaming technology that has set the pace in performance, scalability, and intelligence. The InfoValue QuickVideo™ broadband IP video streaming platform is based on a standards-compliant, open architecture that is optimized with innovative, patented technologies. InfoValue QuickVideo™ streaming software, currently being used by hospitality providers, telecommunication carriers, corporations, governments, educational institutions, and broadcasters around the world, offers interactive video-on-demand, multicast capabilities, network PVR, as well as integrated video indexing, distributed video caching, server clustering, and video service management capabilities. InfoValue's corporate headquarters are located at 4 Westchester Plaza, Elmsford, NY 10523. For more information on InfoValue or its products and services, visit www.infovalue.com, send e-mail to info@infovalue.com, or call (914) 345-5980. 

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Contact:

Ilanna Walden
KoolConnect Marketing
416.597.9615
  iwalden@koolconnect.com

Jane Villanueva
InfoValue Computing
914-345-5980
jvillanueva@infovalue.com

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Also See: Unisys and KoolConnect Partner to Offer Digital Video-on-Demand Services for Hotel Guests New Solution Includes Revenue Sharing Business Model / May 2004


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