TV-o-rama!

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05/21/2019

Hello all,

We've been slowly grinding through major renovations. It seems every layer of the onion you peel back reveals yet another needed update/upgrade/repair/replacement opportunity! It's going well but the pace and sheer number of issues and decisions is humbling. 

Getting closer to being operational sharpens the focus on services/amenities. I am working up to making decisions about TVs. I searched through the archives and read a lot of peoples' prior discussions on this topic, but the threads were at least a few years old. I'm curious to hear what folks latest and greatest thoughts are. 

1. What service are you all providing? Cable? Satellite? Wi-Fi only? Hulu? Netflix? Costs and benefits? 

2. I've seen TVs specifically geared towards hospitality providers. Anyone using them? Recommend them? Why or why not?   

3. We'd like to *not* have the TVs dominate the rooms. Anybody come up with novel, aesthetically pleasing ways to minimize the tv? 

Thanks a bunch. 

 

PhineasSwann's picture
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Supposedly Xfinity is supposed to open up its voice-activated remotes to hospitality clients this year. 

Not sure whether that will be better or worse.

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PhineasSwann's picture
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We have flatscreens in all rooms, sometimes 2 in our 2BR suites. The benefit is that you don't have guests wandering through your house all night trying to find something to entertain themselves ... so you can turn in earlier. 

We have Xfinity cable, because our guests tend to have trouble with technology. And we don't want to be the IT department on duty at 11 at night explaining how a Roku, AppleTV or FireStick works.

When you get started as an innkeeper, you want to sit out and chat up your guests all the time. After a few years you still enjoy it ... but you also treasure those times you can call it a night early.

Morticia's picture
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Yes, there is a lot to be said for the self-sufficient guest. Chatting and drinking wine together is fun, having to explain the workings of technology not so much.

 Remember when no one knew how to sign onto the WiFi network? And no matter how many other people were happily looking things up online if guest X could not figure it out it was because the WiFi didn’t work and you lied about it and they wrote a bad review?

 We had a guest who was harassing every male guest to come fix her tv (we’ve only had them for 5 years). When I asked if it could wait until morning (it was almost midnight) she told me to go find a man and fix it now! Of course, the guest had pushed every possible button and switch and had the TV set up for watching media and not tv. We now have those remotes that do very little.

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What a long, strange trip it’s been.

 

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

That's why I like the new Roku remote. It has an off/on button and volume on the side and no way to switch from HDMI... so they stop. I just put a sticker which option for TV and done.

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Morticia wrote:

We now have those remotes that do very little.

Absolutely! Keep it simple. I have a sticker on my remote saying, "This technology is only for those who know how to use such things." I never hear from anybody needing help with the TV. Just heard from a guest about that once. In 7 years.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

There is no analogue cable here, anymore. And guests couldn't figure out how to use the decoder boxes. So we switched to Roku. Even the normal channels are on our Roku.

 

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05/21/2019

Thanks everyone. We're definitely providing them, just a question of how and through what provider. I kinda yearn for the simple days of 4 channels over the air, but that's not gonna solve it. Lots to consider. 

Generic's picture
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People want a large flat TV and I put them on the wall. We are using the Roku and even our channels come in streaming. We have a netflix account logged in. 

Arks's picture
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cheeky Cheers

gillumhouse's picture
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I gotTVs early on when I figured out I had lost 2 room nights to no visible TV in the room (I had one that was going to be an extra amenity) the nights of BIG GAMES. TV was installed. I have upgraded to flat screen with 2 of them on the dresser and one on the wall behind the door (only place to put it). The best room has a 43 inch on an extra dresser (Himself did not like that TV so it went upstairs when he got his new one - 50 inch), which, now that he is no longer watching anything, has been moved to the Library (common room). 

I have whole house wifi and Basic Plus Cable with the Sports channels - all except the new streaming  required for WVU games that I do not have enough business to warrant getting. I set all TVs to the Weather Channel when I flip the rooms. And all have remotes.

Morticia's picture
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Our rooms are tiny. Because you are remodeling to suit what you want you can design around the tv.

 We bought the smallest tv that made sense for the space. They are all wall mounted with a glass shelf to hold the remote and the box. The wall mounts do swivel so they are adjustable.

when we were getting ready to install them I asked here what was the best location. Everyone said so the TVs could be viewed from the bed instead of from the chairs. So far that has worked well.

 We’ve had guests bring their own gaming systems to hook up and they’ve moved the chairs around so it made sense for them.

I had to move art around to fit in the tv, and I do still think they’re hideous, but you do what you have to.

Arks's picture
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Morticia wrote:

...I do still think they’re hideous, but you do what you have to.

Yes! So important to remember it's a business, and you do what's best for the customers and the success of the business.

Morticia's picture
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Arks wrote:

Morticia wrote:

...I do still think they’re hideous, but you do what you have to.

Yes! So important to remember it's a business, and you do what's best for the customers and the success of the business.

 bah humbug! ha ha

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

cable with two premium channels

After so many requests for tv in the rooms, we put them in. Some people want (demand) that option. Bottom line was not losing a few bookings a week to a hotel MILES away from the shore because people wanted to have a tv in their room. Those few bookings easily made up for the monthly cost.  You didn't ask this, but I actually bought used tv's. For eight rooms there was no way I was going to buy new. I had a free ad that ran for a long time in a few places asking people who were upgrading to a bigger tv to get in touch. I saved so much $ this way. A few I even got for free. Never got a dud. I went with a friend or a son to check out each tv before buying - and made sure they came with remote!!  

Some of the rooms had hutches with doors that close ...  a few we wall mounted. I made sure the wall mounts were quality and had them professionally installed.  I didn't feel that the tv dominated the rooms at all. Most rooms had a great view but you could arrange your chairs or sit on the bed to face the tv. 

There was a setting with password for volume - a friend set it up for me. So people could only turn it up so high. Although, one year the world series was playing and I think every room had the game on. I served popcorn and hotdogs. 

Arks's picture
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My TVs are connected to cable, and some of them also work with Wi-Fi. I have Roku for the ones that don't have built-in Wi-Fi. I got all my TVs from Walmart and Amazon. They are just standard home units. Definitely from now on all TVs I buy will be "smart" TVs that connect to Wi-Fi and have built in connectivity to Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, etc.

I got my cable plan through the cable company's "hospitality department" so I have 14 TVs, all with cable boxes and HBO, and it's only $228/month! That's less than I pay for my own home cable service for 2 TVs! So I got an excellent deal there.

Here's how I control the  maximum sound setting on the sets. I have cable boxes that come with the cable company's remote. When I installed the TVs, I first used the remote that came with the TV to set each TV to the maximum volume level I wanted people to be able to use, then I locked those remotes away in my supply room. So now the guests use the cable box's remote to control volume and the maximum level they can go to is the setting I made with the set's own remote. Hope this doesn't sound too confusing. It has worked perfectly for years.

I have big flat screens so of course they do dominate. When I got them I planned on placing a painting over each one that could be swung out of the way when people wanted to watch TV, and closed back over them otherwise. But that ended up being more trouble than I wanted to mess with, so I just have big TVs on the wall, and I'm comfortable with it!

Morticia's picture
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We have satellite tv. I don’t know from Adam what all the other services are and not interested in researching. I’m not a tv advocate. I lost the no tv debate 5 years ago. 
 

we did buy the hospitality tv’s so we can control the sound aspect. My biggest peeve about tv is the noise. We have the sound adjusted to always start quiet and then the guest has to adjust up. The adjustment only goes so far so everyone in the house doesn’t have to listen to the same program.

JimBoone's picture
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1. What service are you all providing?  Satellite & Wi-Fi   

We use satellite, had cable for years, mostly found our company unresponsive to our changing needs, lucked into a semi local person who could fill our needs with satellite, and it may have just been luck.

2. I've seen TVs specifically geared towards hospitality providers. Anyone using them? Recommend them? Why or why not? 

Mine are not specific hospitality TV's, I think those are more expensive that what you find on a local sale. My understanding is that there are 2 different reasons for using them, [a] if one has a large number of rooms you can set them all up the same without the time to program each room one by one, they have some options like volume limiting or always opening on a certain chanel or splash screen, maybe more useful in a large hotel. [b] My understanding is that depending on the type of TV service you have certain features built in, I'll call it a descrambler for lack of knowledge, where you have a bulk provider for TV rather than a home type system with a drop to each individual TV

3. We'd like to *not* have the TVs dominate the rooms. Anybody come up with novel, aesthetically pleasing ways to minimize the tv? 

Mine are in a hutch I built for the purpose, but don't consider myself a "classy" place and TV is expected. In a dressy place I'd look at ideas like behind a drape, or more rustic like a set of barn doors that rolled to the side to revel the TV. I think there are some types of mounts where the TV lowers into a cabinet out of sight.

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Jim & Maxine

 

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