Hotel Online  Special Report



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KoolConnect Reports “Huge” Interest in
IPTV and PVR at HITEC 2006
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Strong interest from hoteliers reinforces prediction of IPTV and PVR as the
heir to high-speed and HD as the next technology to “cross the chasm”

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – As the company that introduced digital IP-based VOD, HDVOD and VOD TV portals that were customized to the host hotel, KoolConnect has been at the forefront in terms of introducing new in-room technologies that have later became commonplace in the hospitality industry.  Following those successful predictions, KoolConnect was eager to learn the response of the industry to their latest “bet,” Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and Personal Video Recording (PVR), which they formally introduced in Minneapolis last week at HITEC. 

“Based upon the interest in the technology and the response of many hoteliers who stopped by to learn about the solution, it appears that IPTV and PVR are going to have a huge impact on the industry,” said Eran Sherin, KoolConnect co-Founder and President.   With IPTV allowing hotels to go beyond the trend towards the “triple play” of voice, video and data over a converged network by adding the distribution of free-to-guest television over that same network, the ability to not only further leverage their network investments, but to also avoid the installation and maintenance expense associated with coaxial cabling has caught the attention of the industry.  Beyond mere cost savings, however, the capabilities of IPTV have been well received as well.  With IPTV, hotels can enhance entertainment revenues by allowing guests to “opt in” to “niche channels such as BBC, Tai Seng, etc. for a small fee.  And with Personal Video Recording (PVR), guest service is dramatically enhanced as it allows guests to record their favorite programs, store them on a central server and watch them at their convenience.

“Our goal at Mandarin Oriental is to provide our guests with what they want, when they want it with the quality that they have come to expect and demand,” said Nick Price, CIO and CTO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.  Price’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group was the first hotel chain to introduce HDVOD and will be one of the first in the industry with IPTV and PVR when they deploy these new technologies from KoolConnect in their Five-Star luxury property in Hong Kong this Fall.  “When we introduced HD, it was an emerging technology and now it’s in over 25 million homes worldwide,” said Price.  Much like HD was in 2003, PVR is an emerging technology, but it is projected to grow much in the same way, reaching over 50 million by 2010.  “PVR is a natural contributor to the luxury experience that we provide at Mandarin Oriental,” Price added.

In the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, KoolConnect will be providing the IPTV and PVR technology and will also be integrating a wide array of compelling content from Tangerine Global.  Recognizing that even the best HD technology is only as good as the content it provides, Tangerine specializes in aggregating HD content for luxury and upscale hotels to allow them to further expand the HD experience.

“IPTV and PVR, as well as our iPod integration where guests can view their iPod menus over our VOD solution have been key areas of investment for KoolConnect,” said Sherin.  “It was rewarding to see such a great response at HITEC and we’re looking forward to moving this technology from the trade show floor to the guest rooms of the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.”

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.

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Contact:

Ilanna Walden
KoolConnect Marketing
416.597.9615
  iwalden@koolconnect.com
www.koolconnect.com

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Also See: KoolConnect Acquires VOD Operations of Entertainment Media & Telecom Corporation Ltd. / November 2005
First HDTV, now nPVR – KoolConnect Again Raises the Bar for In- Room Entertainment / November 2005
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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