Hotel guests want a TV experience like home

2009 Hyatt TV interactive menu

A Hyatt TV menu from just seven years ago. Photo by Karl Baron

Remember when I mentioned that I spent a couple of weeks in Columbus OH over the summer? I thought ahead and brought the family Roku 3 receiver with me. Thank goodness Roku now has a procedure to supply the password for the hotel room to hook into the Wifi. (Although I was disappointed that Tablo never considered this scenario and wouldn’t play my home recordings on the Roku as it did on my tablet. But I digress.)

The memory of that stay popped right back to the front of my head when I read a press release from ADB of Broomfield CO, just up the street from FreeTVBlog World Headquarters. Announcing its 2016 In-Room Entertainment Preference Study, the press release promised “reveals eye-opening conclusions” that lined up with what I’ve experienced.

Hotel guests want interactive program guides. When a guest arrives, he wants to know what channels are available and what shows are on tonight. That’s so obvious to me that I once prototyped a web site to match each individual unit; subscribing hotels would maintain their channel lists on a service such as TitanTV, then provide an easy URL to guests when they arrive. That idea still might work, but it doesn’t top the immediacy of an on-screen interactive guide.

Hotel guests want to be able to stream OTT content like at home. See my Roku.

Hotel guests want to read their hotel-related messages on the screen. Like on-screen checkout? That’s been available in the big hotels for what seems like forever.

Then at the end of the press release comes the punchline. “ADB used the findings from this study to reinvent its iTV platform called vuTyme. … vuTyme also offers Searchable IPG, OTT services access like Screencasting from BYOD, direct-to-guest messaging through the TV and more.”

I have no idea whether this vuTyme is better or worse than its alternatives. But ADB is right when it reminds hoteliers what their guests really want.