Flat screens that fall flat

The New York Times reports on how hotels at virtually all ends of the lodging industry’s continuum are replacing the old bulbous TVs with flat screen TVs. But what they are not doing fast enough is replacing regular TV service with HDTV. As a result “the old-style squarish images are stretched, resulting in wider-than-normal heads and bodies”. One reason, per the Times article, some hotels have failed to take the next step is the high cost of updating the servers that provide video-on-demand service, changing the device that switches channels and updating in-room hardware.

The NYT also notes that “Hotels often do not buy TV programming and equipment directly but do so through a third party. Hilton, Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton all use LodgeNet Interactive, which provides TV service to 1.8 million hotel rooms in the United States, about 40 percent of the nation’s total number of rooms. LodgeNet, which began offering high-definition service in 2005, has now placed it in 130,000 hotel rooms, and expects to add it to 500,000 rooms this year”. But one constraint as noted by Lodgenet President is capital who suggested as an option that “hotel(s) would pay for the new equipment and LodgeNet would take a reduced fee to manage and support the service”.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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