Authored by Ivonne Prugnaud, VP Sales Worldwide Enterprise
Most hotels provide guests with a TV in their room and a selection of local and international channels to choose from. But what happens when a guest catching the morning news needs to hop into the bathroom for a shave, before heading off to his early-morning meeting? Some high-profile hotels offer a TV screen enclosure in every room’s bathroom mirror, to allow guests to carry on watching their programmes while getting ready. But this is usually an expensive option, with a price tag of almost €3000 per room, including the mirror, screen, set-top box and installation.
TV to go
However, in Istanbul (Turkey), one of the city’s five-star establishments, with close to 200 rooms and suites, found an interesting and forward-thinking alternative. A few years ago the hotel’s management, with the support of their integrator, introduced a solution relying on Anevia’s Flamingo MT video headend.
In addition to a standard TV set, each room was equipped with an iPad that guests may take into the bathroom when required. A mobile app lets them select among 30 TV channels to watch live.
The underlying infrastructure is built around two HP servers: one for the integrator’s middleware guest-room entertainment solution, and one for the VOD content delivered through IP to the devices in the rooms. Upstream from the VOD server are five Flamingo MT units that descramble the encrypted digital feeds arriving from a satellite dish on the roof of the building, and re-encrypt them just-in-time for secure delivery to connected TV and iPad units. The content is fed to the iPads through the hotel’s WiFi network.
No impact on the HSIA bandwidth
To make sure the streaming video has no impact on the HSIA network used by guests to go online, the VOD delivery system uses the hotel’s separate admin WiFi network, that was also designed from the onset to provide the required bandwidth (500 kbps per TV channel streamed).
The system offers a novel, high-quality, reliable TV viewing experience to the hotel’s guests, for a third of the cost of a standard screen enclosure setup.
In addition to providing an entertaining and forward-looking solution, the system proves to be very easy to maintain, with no hardware to service in the rooms, beyond a simple iPad replacement when required. Also, having a video-streaming infrastructure that is separate from the WiFi network used by guests ensures that users get the best quality of service on both sides.
Flamingo: modernizing in-room entertainment without breaking the bank
Anevia’s Flamingo headend unit is designed to provide hotels, healthcare institutions and enterprises with a novel solution to deliver live, time-shifted and on-demand TV services that also address personal devices (smartphones, laptops, set-top boxes, etc) through WiFi.
The Flamingo Suite is modular and scalable, so customers may choose the input and output modules that fit their business model – and modules can be added or removed as their needs evolve over time.
More on Anevia’s Flamingo suite here.