Hotel Casting Systems: What to Look For
Historically, hoteliers were widely considered to be early adopters of advanced in-room entertainment solutions. Bringing amenities like satellite and cable television, on-demand movies and internet access to the forefront of the hospitality industry, hotels were the gold standard in entertainment— and frequently provided better experiences than guests had at home.
Yet the rise of content streaming giants such as Netflix and many others has in more recent years created a widening gap that legacy industry technologies are unable to fill. Some property owners have tried adopting smart TVs, only to run into guests concerned with data privacy issues or systems that are unable to be updated with newly launched streaming services. Performing substantially better in hotel environments and increasing in popularity are hotel casting systems, which can sidestep most issues impacting alternative in-room entertainment options. However, all hotel casting systems are by no means equal and selecting the right solution can make or break a guest’s experience. Read on to see which system features and capabilities should be non-negotiable in your search for an in-room entertainment system that will make guests rave about their experience.
What Is Hotel Casting?
The goal of a hotel casting solution is to provide guests with an easy and safe method for wirelessly casting streamed content from personal devices onto guestroom TVS. Unfortunately, providing a user-friendly experience that can also be effortlessly personalized is something that often seems to elude many hotel-designed casting solutions.
What to Look For in a Hotel Casting Solution
Adopting a successful in-room entertainment strategy involves catering to a series of guest expectations that have been shaped by the capabilities of consumer-based technology. To ensure a high rate of satisfaction with each guest, an effective hotel casting system should always include the following features:
To meet guest expectations, an effective casting system should offer intuitive interaction and minimal steps needed for guests to connect their own device in order to stream from personal subscriptions. To prevent frustration and a risk to business reputations, make sure the system avoids the following as part of its experience:
- Requiring guests to download an app
- Completing unnecessarily long device registration forms
- Requests for sensitive user login information
Streaming Experience Personalization
With the booming popularity of content streaming services, guests now expect the same dynamic experiences in their hotel room, but with a wider array of viewing options and platforms. Every guest’s preferences are unique— meaning that the solutions hoteliers provide must be highly personalized to meet their needs.
While casting solutions often share compatibility with the most renowned subscriptions such as Netflix or Hulu, the ever-growing list of streaming options means that guests will inevitably wish to access a greater amount of content from additional services.
An effective casting solution for hotel businesses should therefore feature expanded compatibility with a wide range of streaming mobile apps. This allows guests themselves to effortlessly decide which one suits their current preferences.
With hotels frequently welcoming travelers from across the globe, having a streaming solution with enhanced streaming service compatibility can be especially important when catering to guests seeking to access the same services they enjoy back home in their own country.
The last thing a hotel guest wants to encounter is a system that is cumbersome, difficult to navigate and requires frequent staff assistance. Even a system promising fast responsiveness and reliability will struggle among guests if it fails to offer practical use that is easy to interact with.
Instead, businesses should identify solutions that work to remove barriers standing in the way of instant guest streaming capabilities. Examples include:
- QR Code–Based Device Registration: Guests simply scan the QR code appearing on the TV screen to wirelessly connect their device and begin casting.
- Optional Streaming Solution Remote: Guests who prefer more traditional methods of interacting with a guest room TV will gain a more enjoyable experience if able to navigate via a standard remote.
- Intuitive Dashboard Navigation: To ensure widespread adoption, properties should examine a solution’s user interface and consider whether it offers an easy experience, even for guests not familiar with new streaming technology.
Enhanced Security & Privacy to Meet Guest Expectations
With only 10 percent of guests stating they aren’t concerned over potential data privacy and security risks at hotels, it’s certainly a factor that businesses must consider when selecting the right streaming solution.
Going back to the smart TV example, many guests can understandably feel hesitant over inputting sensitive login information into a public device. Doing so could expose user names, passwords, and potentially even credit card details to theft.
To address these common concerns, hotel businesses should consider evaluating a solution’s security and privacy abilities as a top priority. Effective features to look out for include:
- Username/Password-Free Streaming Account Access: Guests wirelessly connecting personal devices to a streaming solution should be able to cast content without having to verify their login credentials on the guestroom TV.
- Streaming Device Isolation: While hotel streaming devices typically utilize the same internet network, solutions featuring advanced device isolation capabilities prevent guests from inadvertently or maliciously casting content to televisions located in other rooms.
Hassle-Free Streaming Deployment
Although some hotels may be tempted to simply purchase a streaming solution intended for use in consumer homes, the complexity and requirements of hotel operations make such platforms often ill-suited and incompatible.
By identifying a streaming solution purpose-built for hotel environments, businesses can sidestep potential compatibility issues with commercial televisions and internet networks typically used by the industry. Enhanced security features typically unavailable with consumer platforms, such as device isolation, also help to boost guest trust and increase the likelihood of interaction with the system.
Reliable Online Connectivity
Reliable connectivity is arguably one of the most important amenities that a hotel can offer guests today. To ensure positive in-room entertainment experiences, including consistent high-quality video streaming and uninterrupted web surfing, hotels need to regularly evaluate the quality of their connectivity.
For example, according to Google, as mobile page load time increases from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a visitor bouncing increases 123%. The speed and stability of your hotel’s internet connection play a significant role in streaming latency (delays between the transmission of data and its display on the screen), making it important to ensure that your connection meets the necessary bandwidth and network stability requirements.
When a hotelier selects a new entertainment solution, they must also consider the implications it may have on their existing networks. They should identify which rewiring or network equipment upgrades may be necessary to support the increased connectivity demands of an advanced entertainment platform.
More advanced in-room entertainment systems are able to provide intuitive dashboards that don’t just continuously monitor solution performance, but also offer a real-time analysis of internet quality for each guestroom where a device is connected. Hoteliers should look for a comprehensive solution that includes this functionality so that hotel staff can proactively identify and address connectivity issues, ensuring a seamless and satisfying experience for every guest during their stay.
Enhancing the Guest Experience With GuestCast
While streaming technology may be relatively new, 45 percent of guests already view access to personal streaming accounts as a No.1 must-have priority during their stay. This means that selecting the right streaming solution has never been as important to hotel reputations and, ultimately, business revenues.
Engineered specifically for the needs of today’s hotel environments and their guests, GuestCast by Hotel Internet Services is the industry’s leading content casting solution of choice and used in more than 50,000 guest rooms around the world.
Featuring a simplified device-pairing process, effortless interaction, enhanced security, and instant compatibility with thousands of mobile streaming apps, GuestCast continues to set the standard for an intuitive, personalized and fully satisfying in-room entertainment experience.
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