Guests increasingly expect a better-than-at-home experience when staying in hotels and resorts. In the face of the rival 10 million properties listed on sharing economy websites such as Airbnb, hotels around the world are striving to differentiate themselves in a tightly competitive market. One-way hoteliers can do that is via a simple upgrade to their entertainment offerings.
Innovation in satellite TV delivery
Access to high quality premium content has long been a major draw for satellite TV providers. This includes a wide range of live news and premium sports channels, plus local language channels suitable for international travellers.
SAT>IP, an innovative industry protocol, offers hoteliers a simpler way of increasing the reach of these services not only to the in-room TV, but also to guests own personal devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. Furthermore, SAT>IP opens up exciting new revenue models by offering access to personalised subscription packages, including sports, movies, TV series or content for children.
A simple upgrade to a hotel’s entertainment offerings means hotel operators can offer guests a totally seamless multi-screen TV experience, including 4K UHD content, even when a high-speed broadband connection isn’t possible. The technology works by taking a conventional satellite TV signal and converting it to an IP based data stream. This can then be transmitted across a standard wired or wireless IP network, and viewed on multimedia and IP compatible devices.
Simplified room refurbishment
A major attraction of SAT>IP for hoteliers is that it can significantly simplify room refurbishment projects by integrating live premium TV alongside Video on Demand (VoD) services, which are delivered over a single IP network to anywhere within a resort.
For older hotels where the cost of a major refurb is difficult to justify, SAT>IP requires a less complex and expensive IP architecture. To go slightly deeper into the technology; IPTV usually relies only in IP multicast as transport protocol. A pure IP multicast service such as IPTV can become a hurdle to implement as major networks on hotel complexes will often require multicast routing protocols. Such protocols are sometimes not supported on certain routing equipment, present buggy implementations, or are simply not employed by network integrators.
Unicast services, although less efficient, present fewer problems to integrate onto IP networks and particularly legacy ones. As SAT>IP supports both IP multicast and unicast, it is potentially the best of both worlds, offering the scalability for hotels supporting IP multicast, and backwards compatibility on legacy networks without multicast support.
SAT>IP works via existing IP networks, meaning hoteliers will not need to drill holes of lay extra cables throughout their premises to enable it. All hotels need an IP network anyway, so why not leverage it to deliver a TV service anywhere?
Access to high quality TV content even in remote holiday locations
4K UHD TV’s are now a mainstream asset for most households in the US and Europe, meaning the demand for 4K sports matches, movies and top series is sky rocketing. The demand for high quality content across multiple screens and devices can put major pressure on a hotel’s broadband bandwidth, slowing down internet speeds and resulting in a negative experience for guests watching TV or browsing via the hotel WIFI.
Furthermore, the ability of OTT services to deliver premium 4K content is still limited by the lack of Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) and other high-speed broadband technologies in remote locations. The global average broadband speed is only 9.1Mbps (Cable). This makes satellite TV, with its downstream bandwidth over 100Mbps, a highly attractive option for delivering 4K premium content, regardless of local broadband availability.
This means that holiday resorts in remote locations, where high speed broadband infrastructure is too expensive to deploy, can leverage SAT>IP to offer the same high-quality experience as a metropolitan hotel. Using SAT>IP technology in areas with low broadband speeds will democratise access to high quality TV experiences, meaning hotel guests globally are guaranteed access to premium video during their stay.
Additional revenue through personalised subscriptions
Having multi-screen functionality is a hugely valuable utility for consumers. Audiences are reaching a tipping point where video content is increasingly being viewed on second screens and devices such as smartphones and tablets, rather than the main bedroom or living room TV.
For hotels, SAT>IP opens the potential to open up exciting and dynamic revenue models. For example, a hotel could implement a branded set of bundles such as a kid’s TV on a tablet, a popular TV show package on a laptop and premium sports and movies on the main TV in the lounge or bedroom.
The SAT>IP Alliance brings together world leading satellite operators, manufacturers, broadcasters and service providers to promote the use of SAT>IP technology as the best way for satellite providers to deliver live content to any TV screen, smartphone, games console or tablet.
The SAT>IP Alliance membership (Arcadyan, Eutelsat, HISPASAT, Irdeto, MaxLinear, NAGRA, Panasonic, SES, Verimatrix and Zinwell) has created a whole ecosystem of easy to deploy, flexible solutions from over 40 manufacturers.
SAT>IP can be delivered using satellites covering 95% of the globe, potentially reaching over a billion viewers. Combining satellite with an IP network enables hotel operators to deliver a “better than at home” experience by offering customers high quality entertainment options across multiscreen, multi-device with ease.