News for the Hospitality Executive
| CANTON, MA AND
– JUNE 15, 2010 – Of
all the technology changes that have impacted hospitality over the past
years, the changes in in-room entertainment systems and Pay Per View
models are among the most significant.
Unfortunately for hoteliers, it appears that those changes were just
beginning as a new array of home entertainment services – such as 3-D,
and IPTV - are already in millions of homes and will undoubtedly be
that guests will begin expect their hotels to offer as well.
And since revolutionary times call for revolutionary solutions and revolutionary approaches, two industry leaders in in-room entertainment, KoolConnect and Deuromedia, have taken the unprecedented move of combining resources to introduce what can only be described as the next-generation in hospitality in-room entertainment and interactive services.
Branded CanvísSM, this new solution takes what were already extensive facets from each company’s solutions and adds a variety of new features – including two industry firsts: 3-D movies and a new PC-like TV Web browsing experience via a set-top box, called TrueWebSM, that brings streaming Web content from popular sites like HuluTM and YouTubeTM to the in-room TV.
“In the consumer space, you’re really seeing the convergence of the TV and the PC, not only in terms of streaming Web content being available on the TV, but also the emergence of TV-based interactive services like Widgets,” said KoolConnect CEO Dave Tahan. “There’s an entirely new paradigm in TV entertainment and appreciating how challenging this would be for hotels, we wanted to create a solution that meets not only guest needs, but also hoteliers requirements of affordability, simplicity and revenue maximization,” he added.
The uniqueness of Canvís is not only in its features, but also in its development as it is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between two leading industry providers, KoolConnect Technologies and Deuromedia. Both companies offer impressive interactive television solutions and were in the process of developing many of the same new features in their latest releases. By combining efforts and aligning the two companies, KoolConnect and Deuromedia were able to add even more innovations, develop features more efficiently and get the solution to market faster, while reducing development costs and making the solution more affordable for hotels.
“Our alliance is huge for the industry,” said Deuromedia CEO Markus Hiebeler. “Our ability to assist hotels is significantly amplified as we now feature over 100 installations in 18 countries as well as 50 engineers and developers continually working on enhancing Canvís,” Hiebeler added. Those robust resources are important as one of the other key attributes of Canvís is that it’s relatively “future proof.” As guest expectations change and new features are developed, existing sites can be upgraded with new software releases, ensuring that hotels stay ahead of guest expectations and don’t have to continually invest in costly new hardware to stay ahead of the competition.
3-D is one of the biggest breakthroughs in this new solution and is true to Hiebeler’s prediction of the solution allowing hotels to leverage Canvís to add new features without costly upgrades. “Without a doubt 3-D is the next big thing in entertainment, taking over from HD,” said Hiebeler. “3-D movies already account for a third of box office revenues and virtually all TV manufacturers are pushing 3-D sets at the consumer level. With Canvís though, hotels won’t need to buy pricey new sets. We can deliver 3-D content using our software over existing HD sets and as Hollywood begins to release 3-D titles in the hotel content window, it will be a huge revenue generator for hotels,” he added.
Speaking of revenue, Tahan and Hiebeler noted that despite hotelier’s fears of the negative impact of Internet content sites like Hulu and YouTube, VOD revenues remain strong and for most hotels, movie rental revenues will fully fund the cost of Canvís, making it a cost-neutral upgrade. “Sites like Hulu and YouTube really have more of an impact on free-to-guest TV and Web surfing,” said Hiebeler. “And the problem with them is that the laptop viewing experience isn’t very impressive. By offering a true PC-like browsing experience over the TV, that content is not only more convenient for a guest to access, but is also presented in much higher-quality,” he added.
For movies, however, both executives feel strongly that guests still prefer traditional VOD to Internet options and that this preference is reflected in the revenues. “This year we have seen movie revenues increase in most every hotel” said Tahan. “As long as there is a television in the room, people will always prefer watching movies on the best available in room technology – and that technology remains the TV,” he added. In addition to that technological advantage, another one of the strengths of traditional VOD remains the content. “Guests continue to show that they will spend money for quality and value,” said Tahan. “With many of the titles on Canvís being still in theatres, guests accustomed to spending $11 for a movie ticket don’t think twice about spending that same amount to watch a current title in their hotel room. The movies we offer won’t be available on DVD or sites like Netflix for months, which give them a very solid appeal and ability to generate very strong revenues for our hotels.”
In addition to 3-D content and “TrueWeb” TV Internet browsing, other features in Canvís include:
ABOUT KOOLCONNECT TECHNOLOGIES
KoolConnect Technologies Inc. is the longest-running fully digital provider of interactive TV services to the hospitality industry. KoolConnect was the first company to offer HD VOD in the hospitality industry and today, the company’s Intrigue solution – the most customized and fully integrated VOD system in the industry - serves nearly 20,000 rooms in prestigious properties in the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Dubai, Qatar and the Caribbean. To learn more about KoolConnect, visit:
Deuromedia is the leading provider of IP-based Infotainment solutions for the hospitality market world-wide. The software of Deuromedia combines video, radio, TV and multimedia applications and can be used on hotel or info screens. Deuromedia, founded in 1992, has its headquarter in Vienna, Austria. Please visit: www.deuromedia.at
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