Hotels are installing thousands of display screen and in room automation systems in an effort to improve guest comforts lower operating costs and beat the phasing out of traditional CRT analogue TVs. Among the industries benefitting are the display industry and Companies like Control4.
In the latest move LG Electronics and automation Company Control4 have joined forces to develop an automation system for hotels, which will allow guests to control all aspects of their room experience, including lighting, room temperature, and in-room entertainment systems.
Control4 is currently talking to several hotel and motel groups in Australia according to Nick Libertone the Managing Director of Convergent Technologies the Australian distributor of Control4.
During the past 12 months Control4 Suite Systems has gained tremendous traction in the hotel industry with the recent introduction into the City Center Project in Las Vegas, Mandarin Oriental and Trump SOHO.
Control4 was previously focused on the residential marketplace but recently entered into hospitality marketplace. Jim Gist, VP of development, believes that its value proposition is focused on three key areas: the guest experience utilizing the TV as a portal, the green concept – focused on LEED certification and energy savings and construction cost savings – wireless initiative requires less infrastructure.
By establishing relationships with a number of key in-room technology providers Control4 has already partnered with companies such as Axxess Industries and Saflok to integrate their technology into an overall system. And from their experience in the residential marketplace, Control4 is well positioned to integrate its product lines in mixed use facilities that offer both residential and commercial applications.
“With the inroads Control4 has made in the hotel industry, we believe this is the right time to collaborate on an integrated solution that will deliver a superior guest experience, with more features and convenience than a set-top box approach,” LG’s senior vice president of technology for R&D, Richard Lewis, said. “We look forward to working with Control4 to extend the use and functionality of flat-panel HDTVs beyond entertainment into control and automation for hotel guests.”
A leading research Company also claims that hotels and motels are a major buyer of flat panel HD TV’s with rising occupancy and increased travel rates among both business executives and consumers driving the global hotel industry to upgrade the old CRT-TVs in guest rooms to flat-panel sets, causing hotel TV sales to this segment to rise by nearly a factor of 11% from 2007 to 2012, according to iSuppli.
In Australia many hotels are faced with thousands of TV’s becoming obsolete as soon as the Federal Governments digital TV service mandate comes into effect in February 2013. iSuppli expects to see more hoteliers-including lower-end motels-to adopt HD service and flat-panel displays.
The global hotel industry has been on an upswing for the past three years, said Sanju Khatri, principal analyst for projection and large-screen displays at iSuppli. Despite the economic downturn in the United States, worldwide macroeconomic fundamentals suggest that the hotel market will remain on a growth path for the next few years.
While iSuppli’s forecast of global hotel TV shipments will grow to 9.7 million units by 2012, managing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 61.5% from 894,527 units in 2007, the revenue growth also is expected to reach US$2.3 billion by 2012, up from US$1.1 billion in 2007.
Long a staple of the CRT-TV market, hotels are switching to Flat Panel Display (FPD) TVs, paralleling the shift that is occurring among consumers, Khatri said, hoteliers are noting that their guests desire more than just the standard hospitality elements that satisfied them in the past, like CRT-TVs.
iSuppli say that the Asia/Pacific region which includes Australia will generate the highest percentage growth for hotel TV shipments over the next few years. Shipments are expected to rise to 1.3 million units in 2012, increasing at a CAGR of 90% from 52,031 units in 2007.
Hoteliers claim that business guests are increasingly bringing their partners or families along with them as they travel, creating mini-vacations by extending their business stays by a few days. Because of this, hoteliers are adjusting their approach to suit entertainment and leisure interests rather than simply catering to a business mindset.
Most luxury and mid-scale hotels now are offering guests a variety of in-room entertainment options, such as High-Definition Television (HDTV), Video on Demand (VOD) and video games, Khatri said.
By offering these types of quality in-room entertainment services, they are hoping to capture more in-room entertainment revenue, differentiate their brands and ensure greater guest satisfaction, which has prompted hoteliers to turn to larger-sized displays with higher resolutions to provide a theatre-like experience inside their hotel rooms.