Anyone who travels knows the painfully limited and slow experience that in-room IPTV can be . A company called KoolConnect aims to change that with a hybrid interactive TV experience for hotel guests that features an electronic programming guide (EPG) with direct channel tuning from the programming grid as well as a large array of Web apps like like Netflix, Pandora, USA Today and others.
The solution, called VU, can also be customised for the hotel, and additional property-specific apps can be added, including TV Concierge, TV Check-out, TV Room Service and more.
"VU really allows hotels to catch up on the type of technology and TV experience guests have at home," said KoolConnect CEO Dave Tahan. "An EPG is really a must-have with hotels having such large channel lineups. And with VU being fully Internet-equipped, guests can also access Web content such as Netflix and Pandora as well as hotel services on their TV in a multimedia manner that really delivers the 'wow' factor. Perhaps best of all, VU is up to 70% less in cost than other interactive systems which makes it affordable for all properties."
He said that savings can be found on a number of different fronts: for one, hotels don't need to print costly directories of guest services anymore, and can save on labor via VU's TV check-out feature. Also, he said that studies have shown that interactive room service can increase in-room dining orders by more than 15%.
VU also can drive incremental revenue with a revenue share from video on demand (VOD).
"The entire in-room entertainment industry is in a state of flux and has been for the past several years," Tahan added. "KoolConnect has broken out of the pack with technology designed to stay current as users demands change, and has targeted the entire hotel industry with this product, not just the elite few that either have the means to pay upwards of $1,000 per room, or those that have to mortgage future technology requirements to get a 'free' system now."